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Near-simultaneous magnetotail flux rope observations with Cluster and Double Star

Near-simultaneous magnetotail flux rope observations with Cluster and Double Star

Publication date: 30 August 2007

Authors: Walsch, A.P. et al.

Journal: Annales Geophysicae
Volume: 25
Issue: 8
Page: 1887-1897
Year: 2007

Copyright: Copernicus

We present observations of three magnetic flux ropes in the tail of the Earth's magnetosphere on 7 August 2004 by the Cluster and Double Star TC-1 spacecraft. The first two flux rope signatures were observed, near-simultaneously, by Cluster and TC-1, which were located at (-16.3, -8.7, 0.10) RE GSM and (-10.3, -7.11, 0.81) RE GSM, respectively, a separation of 6.3 RE. A third signature was observed some four minutes later by two of the four Cluster spacecraft, while the other two spacecraft observed a feature resembling a Travelling Compression Region (TCR). These observations are interpreted as three individual flux ropes existing in the magnetotail, the first two, at least, simultaneously. The formation mechanism of the flux ropes and the consequences of their presence for the structure of the magnetotail on this day are discussed in the context of multiple X-point reconnection.

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