Japan Geoscience Union Meeting 2016

Presentation information

International Session (Poster)

Symbol P (Space and Planetary Sciences) » P-EM Solar-Terrestrial Sciences, Space Electromagnetism & Space Environment

[P-EM06] Magnetospheric Multi-Scale (MMS) mission -- A new age of magnetospheric physics

Tue. May 24, 2016 5:15 PM - 6:30 PM Poster Hall (International Exhibition Hall HALL6)

Convener:*Seiji Zenitani(National Astronomical Observatory of Japan), Naritoshi Kitamura(Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Yoshifumi Saito(Solar System Science Division, Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Paul Cassak(West Virginia University), Li-Jen Chen(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), Craig Pollock(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

5:15 PM - 6:30 PM

[PEM06-P07] Three-dimensional magnetotail reconnection: Geotail and Cluster observations

*Kevin Genestreti1,2, Stephen A Fuselier2,1, Jerry Goldstein2,1, Tsugunobu Nagai3, Jonathan P Eastwood4 (1.Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Texas San Antonio, 2.Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, 3.Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4.The Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London)

Keywords:Magnetic Reconnection, Magnetotail, Magnetospheric Multiscale

In this study, we investigate the conditions required for reconnection at the dawn and far-dusk sides, which is significantly more rare than reconnection near midnight. We analyze more than 2 decades of Geotail and Cluster encounters with the near-Earth magnetotail reconnection site. Previous studies have suggested that reconnection onset occurs on the duskside, near midnight, and that reconnection sites may subsequently expand in the dawn-dusk direction with the cross-tail current. We find that reconnection on the duskside, near midnight can occur for comparably low and short-duration solar wind energy input. Reconnection sites on the dawn and far-dusk sides require sustained high solar wind energy input, suggesting that longer-cross-tail-length x-lines require sustained magnetotail reconnection. We also investigate the properties of the current sheet during 16 Cluster encounters with the reconnection site. We find the current sheet to be thinnest on the duskside, near midnight. Approximately where previous studies have identified the duskward edge of the reconnection site, we find the current sheet thickness to be larger than the ion inertial length, consistent with predictions from theoretical models of 3D reconnection. We compare the geomagnetic activity levels (Kp, AL, Dst) for each of the reconnection site observations. Consistent with the above solar wind activity dependence, we find that reconnection can be observed on the duskside, near-midnight, during extremely quiet times, but is only observed on the dawn and far-dusk sides during periods of highly elevated activity. This suggests that reconnection at the dawn and far dusk sides form as a result of cross-tail expansion during intervals where the total reconnection rate in the magnetotail is abnormally high. Finally, we use our work to make predictions for the upcoming MMS tail season.