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Cluster Observations of the Substructure of a Flux Transfer Event: Analysis of High-time-resolution Particle Data : Volume 32, Issue 9 (08/09/2014)

By Varsani, A.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004002383
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 25
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Cluster Observations of the Substructure of a Flux Transfer Event: Analysis of High-time-resolution Particle Data : Volume 32, Issue 9 (08/09/2014)  
Author: Varsani, A.
Volume: Vol. 32, Issue 9
Language: English
Subject: Science, Annales, Geophysicae
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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André, M., Fazakerley, A. N., Walsh, A. P., Dandouras, I., Varsani, A., Forsyth, C.,...Carr, C. M. (2014). Cluster Observations of the Substructure of a Flux Transfer Event: Analysis of High-time-resolution Particle Data : Volume 32, Issue 9 (08/09/2014). Retrieved from

Description: UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking, RH5 6NT, UK. Flux transfer events (FTEs) are signatures of transient reconnection at the dayside magnetopause, transporting flux from the dayside of the magnetosphere into the magnetotail lobes. They have previously been observed to contain a combination of magnetosheath and magnetospheric plasma. On 12 February 2007, the four Cluster spacecraft were widely separated across the magnetopause and observed a crater-like FTE as they crossed the Earth's dayside magnetopause through its low-latitude boundary layer. The particle instruments on the Cluster spacecraft were in burst mode and returning data providing 3-D velocity distribution functions (VDFs) at 4 s resolution during the observation of this FTE. Moreover, the magnetic field observed during the event remained closely aligned with the spacecraft spin axis and thus we have been able to use these 3-D data to reconstruct nearly full pitch angle distributions of electrons and ions at high time resolution (up to 32 times faster than available from the normal mode data stream). These observations within the boundary layer and inside the core of the FTE show that both the interior and the surrounding structure of the FTE consist of multiple individual layers of plasma, in greater number than previously identified. Our observations show a cold plasma inside the core, a thin layer of antiparallel-moving electrons at the edge of FTE itself, and field-aligned ions with Alfvénic speeds at the trailing edge of the FTE. We discuss the plasma characteristics in these FTE layers, their possible relevance to the magnetopause reconnection processes and attempt to distinguish which of the various different FTE models may be relevant in this case. These data are particularly relevant given the impending launch of NASA's MMS mission, for which similar observations are expected to be more routine.

Cluster observations of the substructure of a flux transfer event: analysis of high-time-resolution particle data

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