Simultaneous Remote Observations of Intense Reconnection Effects by DMSP and MMS Spacecraft During a Storm Time Substorm.

Academic Article


  • During a magnetic storm on 23 June 2015, several very intense substorms took place, with signatures observed by multiple spacecraft including DMSP and Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS). At the time of interest, DMSP F18 crossed inbound through a poleward expanding auroral bulge boundary at 23.5 h magnetic local time (MLT), while MMS was located duskward of 22 h MLT during an inward crossing of the expanding plasma sheet boundary. The two spacecraft observed a consistent set of signatures as they simultaneously crossed the reconnection separatrix layer during this very intense reconnection event. These include (1) energy dispersion of the energetic ions and electrons traveling earthward, accompanied with high electron energies in the vicinity of the separatrix; (2) energy dispersion of polar rain electrons, with a high-energy cutoff; and (3) intense inward convection of the magnetic field lines at the MMS location. The high temporal resolution measurements by MMS provide unprecedented observations of the outermost electron boundary layer. We discuss the relevance of the energy dispersion of the electrons, and their pitch angle distribution, to the spatial and temporal evolution of the boundary layer. The results indicate that the underlying magnetotail magnetic reconnection process was an intrinsically impulsive and the active X-line was located relatively close to the Earth, approximately at 16-18 RE.
  • Authors

  • Varsani, A
  • Nakamura, R
  • Sergeev, VA
  • Baumjohann, W
  • Owen, CJ
  • Petrukovich, AA
  • Yao, Z
  • Nakamura, TKM
  • Kubyshkina, MV
  • Sotirelis, T
  • Burch, JL
  • Genestreti, KJ
  • Vörös, Z
  • Andriopoulou, M
  • Gershman, DJ
  • Avanov, LA
  • Magnes, W
  • Russell, CT
  • Plaschke, F
  • Khotyaintsev, YV
  • Giles, BL
  • Coffey, VN
  • Dorelli, JC
  • Strangeway, RJ
  • Torbert, Roy
  • Lindqvist, P-A
  • Ergun, R
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • November 2017
  • Published In


  • Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission
  • magnetic reconnection
  • plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL)
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 10891
  • End Page

  • 10909
  • Volume

  • 122
  • Issue

  • 11