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Electron-scale dynamics of the diffusion region during symmetric magnetic reconnection in space

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Title: Electron-scale dynamics of the diffusion region during symmetric magnetic reconnection in space
Authors: Torbert, RB
Burch, JL
Phan, TD
Hesse, M
Argall, MR
Shuster, J
Ergun, RE
Alm, L
Nakamura, R
Genestreti, KJ
Gershman, DJ
Paterson, WR
Turner, DL
Cohen, I
Giles, BL
Pollock, CJ
Wang, S
Chen, L-J
Stawarz, JE
Eastwood, JP
Hwang, KJ
Farrugia, C
Dors, I
Vaith, H
Mouikis, C
Ardakani, A
Mauk, BH
Fuselier, SA
Russell, CT
Strangeway, RJ
Moore, TE
Drake, JF
Shay, MA
Khotyaintsev, YV
Lindqvist, P-A
Baumjohann, W
Wilder, FD
Ahmadi, N
Dorelli, JC
Avanov, LA
Oka, M
Baker, DN
Fennell, JF
Blake, JB
Jaynes, AN
Le Contel, O
Petrinec, SM
Lavraud, B
Saito, Y
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Magnetic reconnection is an energy conversion process that occurs in many astrophysical contexts including Earth’s magnetosphere, where the process can be investigated in situ by spacecraft. On 11 July 2017, the four Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft encountered a reconnection site in Earth’s magnetotail, where reconnection involves symmetric inflow conditions. The electron-scale plasma measurements revealed (i) super-Alfvénic electron jets reaching 15,000 kilometers per second; (ii) electron meandering motion and acceleration by the electric field, producing multiple crescent-shaped structures in the velocity distributions; and (iii) the spatial dimensions of the electron diffusion region with an aspect ratio of 0.1 to 0.2, consistent with fast reconnection. The well-structured multiple layers of electron populations indicate that the dominant electron dynamics are mostly laminar, despite the presence of turbulence near the reconnection site.
Issue Date: 21-Dec-2018
Date of Acceptance: 6-Nov-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/66284
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aat2998
ISSN: 0036-8075
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Start Page: 1391
End Page: 1395
Journal / Book Title: Science
Volume: 362
Issue: 6421
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works http://www.sciencemag.org/about/science-licenses-journal-article-reuseThis is an article distributed under the terms of the Science Journals Default License.
Sponsor/Funder: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Funder's Grant Number: ST/N000692/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
ACCELERATION
MAGNETOTAIL
TAIL
physics.space-ph
physics.space-ph
Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
ACCELERATION
MAGNETOTAIL
TAIL
MD Multidisciplinary
General Science & Technology
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Space and Atmospheric Physics
Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences



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