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Asymmetric distribution of reconnection jet fronts in the Jovian nightside magnetosphere

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • S. Kasahara
  • E. A. Kronberg
  • T. Kimura
  • C. Tao
  • S. V. Badman
  • A. Masters
  • A. Retinò
  • N. Krupp
  • M. Fujimoto
Journal publication date1/01/2013
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Journal number1
Volume118
Number of pages10
Pages375-384
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Magnetic reconnection plays important roles in mass transport and energy conversion in planetary magnetospheres. It is considered that transient reconnection causes localized auroral arcs or spots in the Jovian magnetosphere, by analogy to the case in the Earth's magnetosphere. However, the local structures of transient reconnection events (i.e., magnetospheric plasma parameters) and their spatial distribution have not been extensively investigated for the Jovian magnetosphere. Here we examine plasma velocity and density during strong north-south magnetic field events in the Jovian nightside magnetosphere, which may be associated with tail reconnection. We find prominent reconnection jet fronts predominantly on the dawnside of the nightside magnetosphere, which would be a signature unique to rotation-dominant planetary magnetospheres. The observed plasma structures are consistent with significant field-aligned currents which would generate localized aurora.

Bibliographic note

©2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.