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Journal Articles Geophysical Research Letters Year : 2016

Ion demagnetization in the magnetopause current layer observed by MMS

Shan Wang
Li-Jen Chen
  • Function : Author
Michael Hesse
  • Function : Author
Daniel J. Gershman
  • Function : Author
John Dorelli
  • Function : Author
Barbara Giles
  • Function : Author
Roy B. Torbert
  • Function : Author
Craig J. Pollock
  • Function : Author
Robert Strangeway
  • Function : Author
Robert E. Ergun
  • Function : Author
Jim Burch
  • Function : Author
Levon Avanov
  • Function : Author
Thomas E. Moore
  • Function : Author
Yoshifumi Saito

Abstract

We report ion velocity distribution functions (VDFs) observed by Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) and present evidence for demagnetized ion Speiser motion during magnetopause reconnection. The demagnetization is observed in the vicinity of the X line, as well as near the current sheet midplane about tens of ion skin depths (di) away from the X line. Close to the X line before the outflow is built up, the VDFs are elongated, and the elongated part of VDFs rotates from the out-of-plane current direction toward the outflow directions downstream from the X line. Farther downstream, demagnetized ions exhibit a characteristic half-ring structure in the VDFs, as a result of the mixture of ions that have experienced different amounts of cyclotron turning around the magnetic field normal to the current sheet. Signatures of acceleration by electric fields are more pronounced in the VDFs near the X line than downstream.
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insu-03670236 , version 1 (17-05-2022)

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Shan Wang, Li-Jen Chen, Michael Hesse, Daniel J. Gershman, John Dorelli, et al.. Ion demagnetization in the magnetopause current layer observed by MMS. Geophysical Research Letters, 2016, 43, pp.4850-4857. ⟨10.1002/2016GL069406⟩. ⟨insu-03670236⟩
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