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Properties of the Turbulence Associated with Electron-only Magnetic Reconnection in Earth's Magnetosheath
Imperial Coll London, Dept Phys, London, England..
Imperial Coll London, Dept Phys, London, England..
Univ Calif Berkeley, Space Sci Lab, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA..
Imperial Coll London, Dept Phys, London, England..
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2019 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, ISSN 2041-8205, E-ISSN 2041-8213, Vol. 877, no 2, article id L37Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Turbulent plasmas generate intense current structures, which have long been suggested as magnetic reconnection sites. Recent Magnetospheric Multiscale observations in Earth's magnetosheath revealed a novel form of reconnection where the dynamics only couple to electrons, without ion involvement. It was suggested that such dynamics were driven by magnetosheath turbulence. In this study, the fluctuations are examined to determine the properties of the turbulence and if a signature of reconnection is present in the turbulence statistics. The study reveals statistical properties consistent with plasma turbulence with a correlation length of similar to 10 ion inertial lengths. When reconnection is more prevalent, a steepening of the magnetic spectrum occurs at the length scale of the reconnecting current sheets. The statistics of intense currents suggest the prevalence of electron-scale current sheets favorable for electron reconnection. The results support the hypothesis that electron reconnection is driven by turbulence and highlight diagnostics that may provide insight into reconnection in other turbulent plasmas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Physics (IOP), 2019. Vol. 877, no 2, article id L37
Keywords [en]
magnetic reconnection, plasmas, turbulence
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-254089DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/ab21c8ISI: 000470754000003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84991243401OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-254089DiVA, id: diva2:1330233
Note

QC 20190625

Available from: 2019-06-25 Created: 2019-06-25 Last updated: 2019-06-25Bibliographically approved

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Lindqvist, Per-Arne

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