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Simultaneous in-situ observations of the signature of dayside reconnection at the high and low latitude magnetopause

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • J. A. Wild
  • S. E. Milan
  • S. W. H. Cowley
  • J. M. Bosqued
  • H. Rème
  • T. Nagai
  • S. Kokubun
  • Y. Saito
  • T. Mukai
  • B. M. A. Cooling
  • A. Balogh
Journal publication date02/2005
JournalAnnales Geophysicae
Journal number2
Volume23
Number of pages16
Pages445-460
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We present magnetic field and particle data recorded by the Cluster and Geotail satellites in the vicinity of the high- and low-latitude dayside magnetopause, re- spectively, on 17 February 2003. A favourable conjunction of these spacecraft culminated in the observation of a series of flux transfer events (FTEs), characterised by bipolar perturbations in the component of the magnetic field normal to the magnetopause, an enhancement in the overall mag- netic field strength, and field tilting effects in the plane of the magnetopause whilst the satellites were located on the magnetosheath side of the boundary. Whilst a subset of the FTE signatures observed could be identified as being either normal or reverse polarity, the rapid succession of events observed made it difficult to classify some of the signatures unambiguously. Nevertheless, by considering the source region and motion of flux tubes opened by magnetic reconnection at low latitudes (i.e. between Cluster and Geotail), we demonstrate that the observations are consistent with the motion of northward (southward) and tailward moving flux tubes anchored in the Northern (Southern) Hemisphere passing in close proximity to the Cluster (Geotail) satellites. We are able to demonstrate that a multi-spacecraft approach, coupled with a realistic model of flux tube motion in the magnetosheath, enables us to infer the approximate position of the reconnection site, which in this case was located at near-equatorial latitudes.