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Coordinated Cluster and Double Star observations of the dayside magnetosheath and magnetopause at different latitudes near noon

Pitout, F; Dunlop, MW; Blagau, A; Bogdanova, Y; Escoubet, CP; Carr, C; ... Fazakerley, A; + view all (2008) Coordinated Cluster and Double Star observations of the dayside magnetosheath and magnetopause at different latitudes near noon. J GEOPHYS RES-SPACE , 113 (A7) , Article A07S06. 10.1029/2007JA012767.

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Abstract

[1] We present results of a favorable conjunction where the equatorial spacecraft (TC-1) of the Double Star mission exits the dayside magnetopause near the equator, while Cluster is inbound, near the southern cusp. This configuration makes it possible to compare observations of the magnetopause, around the same magnetic local time but at different latitudes. In this paper, we report on the general properties of the magnetosheath plasma at the two latitudes: unlike predictions from gasdynamic modeling, the density is found lower near the nose of the magnetopause than further downstream. Then, we present three interesting events. First, an FTE is observed at TC-1 and not at Cluster; we discuss the implications this has on the evolution of FTEs and on the size of the reconnection site. Then, a structure observed at both spacecraft is interpreted as a bulge progressing along the magnetopause. It is not clear whether this bulge is actually the remnant of an FTE or a running pulse that makes Cluster sense the reconnection layer. In any case, a rotational discontinuity is observed within it. At last, a northward turning of the magnetosheath magnetic field is observed at TC-1 and a reverse FTE is subsequently seen at Cluster, suggesting that magnetic reconnection is very fast to set up following a change in the IMF orientation.

Type:Article
Title:Coordinated Cluster and Double Star observations of the dayside magnetosheath and magnetopause at different latitudes near noon
DOI:10.1029/2007JA012767
Keywords:FLUX-TRANSFER EVENTS, SOLAR-WIND INTERACTION, EARTHS MAGNETIC-FIELD, PRESSURE VARIATIONS, PLASMA ELECTRON, BOW SHOCK, RECONNECTION, MAGNETOSPHERE, MODEL, FLOW
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Space and Climate Physics

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