MMS observations of electron-scale filamentary currents in the reconnection exhaust and near the X line

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Title: MMS observations of electron-scale filamentary currents in the reconnection exhaust and near the X line
Author(s): Phan, TD
Eastwood, JP
Cassak, PA
Øieroset, M
Gosling, JT
Gershman, DJ
Mozer, FS
Shay, MA
Fujimoto, M
Daughton, W
Drake, JF
Burch, JL
Torbert, RB
Ergun, RE
Chen, LJ
Wang, S
Pollock, C
Dorelli, JC
Lavraud, B
Giles, BL
Moore, TE
Saito, Y
Avanov, LA
Paterson, W
Strangeway, RJ
Russell, CT
Khotyaintsev, Y
Lindqvist, PA
Oka, M
Wilder, FD
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: © 2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.We report Magnetospheric Multiscale observations of macroscopic and electron-scale current layers in asymmetric reconnection. By intercomparing plasma, magnetic, and electric field data at multiple crossings of a reconnecting magnetopause on 22 October 2015, when the average interspacecraft separation was ~10km, we demonstrate that the ion and electron moments are sufficiently accurate to provide reliable current density measurements at 30ms cadence. These measurements, which resolve current layers narrower than the interspacecraft separation, reveal electron-scale filamentary Hall currents and electron vorticity within the reconnection exhaust far downstream of the X line and even in the magnetosheath. Slightly downstream of the X line, intense (up to 3μA/m2) electron currents, a super-Alfvénic outflowing electron jet, and nongyrotropic crescent shape electron distributions were observed deep inside the ion-scale magnetopause current sheet and embedded in the ion diffusion region. These characteristics are similar to those attributed to the electron dissipation/diffusion region around the X line.
Publication Date: 5-Jun-2016
Date of Acceptance: 3-Jun-2016
ISSN: 0094-8276
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Start Page: 6060
End Page: 6069
Journal / Book Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 43
Issue: 12
Copyright Statement: © 2016 American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Sponsor/Funder: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Funder's Grant Number: ST/K001051/1
Keywords: Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
MD Multidisciplinary
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Space and Atmospheric Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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