We report a Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS-D) spacecraft crossing of a magnetopause reconnection exhaust ~9 ion skin depths (di) downstream of an X line. The crossing was characterized by ion jetting at speeds substantially below the predicted reconnection outflow speed. In the magnetospheric inflow region THEMIS detected (a) penetration of magnetosheath ions and the resulting flows perpendicular to the reconnection plane, (b) ion outflow extending into the magnetosphere, and (c) enhanced electron parallel temperature. Comparison with a simulation suggests that these signatures are associated with the gyration of magnetosheath ions onto magnetospheric field lines due to the shift of the flow stagnation point toward the low-density magnetosphere. Our observations indicate that these effects, ~2–3 di in width, extend at least 9 di downstream of the X line. The detection of these signatures could indicate large-scale proximity of the X line but do not imply that the spacecraft was upstream of the electron diffusion region.
Digital Commons Citation
Phan, T. D.; Shay, M. A.; Haggerty, C. C.; and Cassak, P. A., "Ion Larmor Radius Effects Near A Reconnection X Line At The Magnetopause: Themis Observations And Simulation Comparison" (2016). Faculty & Staff Scholarship. 953.
Phan, T. D., Shay, M. A., Haggerty, C. C., Cassak, P. A. (2016). Ion Larmor Radius Effects Near A Reconnection X Line At The Magnetopause: Themis Observations And Simulation Comparison. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(17), 8844-8852. http://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL070224