Volume 38 Issue 2
Mar.  2018
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LIU Yang, PU Zuyin, XIE Lun, GUO Ruilong, WANG Xiaogang, XIAO Chijie, SHI Quanqi, DUNLOP M, BOGDANOVA Y V, MOORE T E, RUSSELL C T, LINDQVIST P A, TORBERT R B, POLLOCK C, ZHAO Cong. Ion-scale Structures in Flux Ropes Observed by MMS at the Magnetopause[J]. Journal of Space Science, 2018, 38(2): 147-168. doi: 10.11728/cjss2018.02.147
Citation: LIU Yang, PU Zuyin, XIE Lun, GUO Ruilong, WANG Xiaogang, XIAO Chijie, SHI Quanqi, DUNLOP M, BOGDANOVA Y V, MOORE T E, RUSSELL C T, LINDQVIST P A, TORBERT R B, POLLOCK C, ZHAO Cong. Ion-scale Structures in Flux Ropes Observed by MMS at the Magnetopause[J]. Journal of Space Science, 2018, 38(2): 147-168. doi: 10.11728/cjss2018.02.147

Ion-scale Structures in Flux Ropes Observed by MMS at the Magnetopause

doi: 10.11728/cjss2018.02.147
  • Received Date: 2017-11-03
  • Rev Recd Date: 2017-11-24
  • Publish Date: 2018-03-15
  • In this paper the structures with scale of ion inertial length (di) in flux ropes at the magnetopause are studied based on MMS measurements. The results show that currents ( j m) of di scale are found to exist in many flux ropes with different scales, which flow in the -M direction in magnetopause local coordinates (i.e., in the same direction of the Chapman-Ferraro current at the magnetopause) and are carried by electrons' motion in the +M direction ( v em). Within the current structures, magnetosheath and magnetospheric plasma populations are mixed; the magnetic field has open topology; ions are non-magnetized, while electrons are frozen-in with the magnetic field lines; the N-component of electric field ( E n), which is Hall electric field in nature, substantially enhances (up to about 20mV·m-1), accompanying with notable fluctuations. Detailed analysis shows that the current, separation of electrons' motion from ions and the Hall electric field are closely related to each other, and obey the general Ohm's Law. In addition, we have also analyzed the MMS measurements of magnetic reconnection events at the magnetopause. It is found that structures similar to those in flux ropes are also present inside the reconnection region in many cases. Their scales are of di length. The directions (magnitudes) of the Hall electric field E N, current filament j M and electron velocity v eM are as same as (close to) those in flux ropes. On the bases of above observations and making use of the classical flux rope models, how the di-scale structures in flux ropes are formed is studied. It is suggested that they are likely to originate from the corresponding structures in the reconnection region at the magnetopause which play an essential role in the formation process of di-scale flux ropes.


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