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Electron currents and heating in the ion diffusion region of asymmetric reconnection
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2016 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 43, no 10, 4691-4700 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

In this letter the structure of the ion diffusion region of magnetic reconnection at Earth's magnetopause is investigated using the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft. The ion diffusion region is characterized by a strong DC electric field, approximately equal to the Hall electric field, intense currents, and electron heating parallel to the background magnetic field. Current structures well below ion spatial scales are resolved, and the electron motion associated with lower hybrid drift waves is shown to contribute significantly to the total current density. The electron heating is shown to be consistent with large-scale parallel electric fields trapping and accelerating electrons, rather than wave-particle interactions. These results show that sub-ion scale processes occur in the ion diffusion region and are important for understanding electron heating and acceleration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 43, no 10, 4691-4700 p.
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-189816DOI: 10.1002/2016GL068613ISI: 000378347500004OAI: diva2:949435
Swedish National Space Board

QC 20160719

Available from: 2016-07-19 Created: 2016-07-15 Last updated: 2016-07-19Bibliographically approved

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Marklund, Göran T.
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Space and Plasma Physics
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