Evidence for a flux transfer event generated by multiple X-line reconnection at the magnetopause

  • Hasegawa H
  • Wang J
  • Dunlop M
 et al. 
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Abstract

Magnetic flux transfer events (FTEs) are signatures of unsteady magnetic reconnection, often observed at planetary magnetopauses. Their generation mechanism, a key ingredient determining how they regulate the transfer of solar wind energy into magnetospheres, is still largely unknown. We report THEMIS spacecraft observations on 2007-06-14 of an FTE generated by multiple X-line reconnection at the dayside magnetopause. The evidence consists of (1) two oppositely-directed ion jets converging toward the FTE that was slowly moving southward, (2) the cross-section of the FTE core being elongated along the magnetopause normal, probably squeezed by the oppositely-directed jets, and (3) bidirectional field-aligned fluxes of energetic electrons in the magnetosheath, indicating reconnection on both sides of the FTE. The observations agree well with a global magnetohydrodynamic model of the FTE generation under large geomagnetic dipole tilt, which implies the efficiency of magnetic flux transport into the magnetotail being lower for larger dipole tilt. Citation: Hasegawa, H., et al. (2010), Evidence for a flux transfer event generated by multiple X-line reconnection at the magnetopause, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L16101, doi: 10.1029/2010GL044219.

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Authors

  • H. Hasegawa

  • J. Wang

  • M. W. Dunlop

  • Z. Y. Pu

  • Q. H. Zhang

  • B. Lavraud

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