MMS observations of oblique small-scale magnetopause flux ropes near the ion diffusion region during weak guide-field reconnection

Teh Wai Leong, R. E. Denton, B. U.Ö. Sonnerup, C. Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report Magnetospheric Multiscale observations of a series of five small-scale magnetic flux ropes (FR1–5) embedded in the southward reconnection outflow during a magnetopause reconnection event with a small guide field (~2.2 nT). These small-scale flux ropes (diameter ~3–11 ion inertial lengths) are found inside or near the ion diffusion region on the magnetosheath side of the magnetopause boundary layer. A consistent result for determining the axis orientation of the flux ropes is achieved using two different methods, namely, minimum variance analysis of the axial electric field and constrained minimum variance analysis of the magnetic field. Our results show that the axes of these flux ropes (FR1–4) form a large angle (53°−66°) to the guide-field orientation and are tilted toward the direction of the reconnecting field. These observations provide evidence for the presence of oblique ion-scale flux ropes near the ion diffusion region during reconnection with a weak guide field. Our findings are similar to those obtained from a 3-D kinetic simulation of turbulent reconnection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6517-6524
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume44
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2017

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multimission modular spacecraft
magnetopause
analysis of variance
ion
variance analysis
ions
magnetosheath
magnetic flux
electric field
boundary layers
outflow
boundary layer
magnetic field
kinetics
electric fields
magnetic fields
simulation

Keywords

  • magnetic flux ropes
  • magnetic reconnection
  • magnetopause

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

MMS observations of oblique small-scale magnetopause flux ropes near the ion diffusion region during weak guide-field reconnection. / Wai Leong, Teh; Denton, R. E.; Sonnerup, B. U.Ö.; Pollock, C.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 44, No. 13, 16.07.2017, p. 6517-6524.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Pollock, C.

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AB - We report Magnetospheric Multiscale observations of a series of five small-scale magnetic flux ropes (FR1–5) embedded in the southward reconnection outflow during a magnetopause reconnection event with a small guide field (~2.2 nT). These small-scale flux ropes (diameter ~3–11 ion inertial lengths) are found inside or near the ion diffusion region on the magnetosheath side of the magnetopause boundary layer. A consistent result for determining the axis orientation of the flux ropes is achieved using two different methods, namely, minimum variance analysis of the axial electric field and constrained minimum variance analysis of the magnetic field. Our results show that the axes of these flux ropes (FR1–4) form a large angle (53°−66°) to the guide-field orientation and are tilted toward the direction of the reconnecting field. These observations provide evidence for the presence of oblique ion-scale flux ropes near the ion diffusion region during reconnection with a weak guide field. Our findings are similar to those obtained from a 3-D kinetic simulation of turbulent reconnection.

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