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Solar wind transport into magnetosphere caused by magnetic reconnection at high latitude magnetopause during northward IMF: Cluster-DSP conjunction observations

Solar wind transport into magnetosphere caused by magnetic reconnection at high latitude magnetopause during northward IMF: Cluster-DSP conjunction observations

Publication date: 16 October 2008

Authors: Yan, G.-Q. et al.

Journal: Science in China Series E: Technological Sciences
Volume: 51
Issue: 10
Page: 1677-1684
Year: 2008

Copyright: Science in China Press, Springer

An event of Cluster-Double Star conjunction observations of magnetic reconnection at high latitude magnetopause nightside of both cusps and solar wind transport into magnetosphere caused by such reconnection process has been investigated. During northward IMF, Cluster/SC1 observed accelerated flows and ion heating associated with magnetic reconnection at high latitude magnetopause nightside of southern cusp. And Double Star observed cold dense solar wind plasma transported into dayside magnetosphere. The analysis on such conjunction observations shows that: (1) during northward IMF, magnetic reconnection occurs at high latitude nightside of southern cusp, accompanied by accelerated flows that are observed by Cluster/SC1; (2) the direction of the accelerated flows, with its sunward component Vx, dawnward component Vy, northward component Vz, is quite consistent with the theoretical anticipation under the condition of northward IMF with dawnward component By; (3) reconnection can heat plasma more in parallel direction than in perpendicular direction, to a level of about 4 keV; (4) with reconnection taking place at high latitude magnetopause nightside of the southern cusp, TC-1 observed cold and dense plasma transported into magnetosphere; (5) by reconnection at high latitude magnetopause nightside of both cusps, solar wind flux tube can be captured by magnetosphere and pulled into dayside magnetosphere. This event presents further observational evidence for magnetic reconnection at high latitude magnetopause nightside of both cusps as an important mechanism of solar wind transport into magnetosphere.

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