Magnetosphere Seminars

Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission Observations of a Small-scale Flux Rope-like Structure at the Dayside Magnetopause

Speaker:Sanni Hoilijoki [LASP]
Date:Tuesday, Nov 27, 2018
Time:4:00 pm
Location:LASP Space Science Building, room N100 (1st floor)

Seminar Abstract:

At the dayside magnetopause temporally and/or spatially varying magnetic reconnection may lead to formation of flux transfer events (FTEs), which are often observed to have a structure of a flux rope. FTEs can grow to have a scale sizes up to couple of Earth radii. Recently, much smaller ion and even electron scale flux ropes have been studied using high cadence observations provided by Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, which was designed to study electron scale details of magnetic reconnection. Understanding the small-scale flux rope formation in magnetic reconnection is important because it has been found to have an impact on the reconnection rate and particle acceleration. I will present results of a small-scale flux rope like structure observed adjacent to an electron diffusion region. The structure has a bipolar magnetic field component normal to the magnetopause, which is a well known signature of a flux rope. However, some of the observed features including propagation direction and structure orientation do not fit in the picture of 2D reconnection and helical flux rope suggesting that reconnection at least in this case is a highly three dimensional process.