Evidence for an Elongated (>60 Ion Skin Depths) Electron Diffusion Region during Fast Magnetic Reconnection
Publication date: 21 December 2007
Authors: Phan, T. D. et al.
Journal: Phys. Rev. Lett.
Copyright: The American Physical Society
Observations of an extremely elongated electron diffusion region occurring during fast reconnection are presented. Cluster spacecraft in situ observations of an expanding reconnection exhaust reveal a broad current layer (~10 ion skin depths thick) supporting the reversal of the reconnecting magnetic field together with an intense current embedded at the center that is due to a super-Alfvénic electron outflow jet with transverse scale of ~9 electron skin depths. The electron jet extends at least 60 ion skin depths downstream from the X-line.Link to publication