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Electron Currents and Heating in the Ion Diffusion Region of Asymmetric ReconnectionIn this letter the structure of the ion diffusion region of magnetic reconnection at Earths magnetopause is investigated using the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft. The ion diffusion region is characterized by a strong DC electric field, approximately equal to the Hall electric field, intense currents, and electron heating parallel to the background magnetic field. Current structures well below ion spatial scales are resolved, and the electron motion associated with lower hybrid drift waves is shown to contribute significantly to the total current density. The electron heating is shown to be consistent with large-scale parallel electric fields trapping and accelerating electrons, rather than wave-particle interactions. These results show that sub-ion scale processes occur in the ion diffusion region and are important for understanding electron heating and acceleration.
Document ID
20170003520
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Graham, D. B. (Swedish Inst. of Space Physics Uppsala, Sweden)
Khotyaintsev, Yu. V. (Swedish Inst. of Space Physics Uppsala, Sweden)
Norgren, C. (Swedish Inst. of Space Physics Uppsala, Sweden)
Vaivads, A. (Swedish Inst. of Space Physics Uppsala, Sweden)
Andre, M. (Swedish Inst. of Space Physics Uppsala, Sweden)
Lindqvist, P. A. (Royal Inst. of Tech. Stockholm, Sweden)
Marklund, G. T. (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)
Ergun, R. E. (Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Paterson, W. R. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Gershman, D. J. (Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Giles, B. L. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Pollock, C. J. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Dorelli, J. C. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
April 17, 2017
Publication Date
May 18, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 43
Issue: 10
ISSN: 0094-8276
Subject Category
General
Report/Patent Number
GSFC-E-DAA-TN41297
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NNG11PL02A
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other