Articles | Volume 17, issue 6
30 Jun 1999
30 Jun 1999

A flux transfer event observed at the magnetopause by the Equator-S spacecraft and in the ionosphere by the CUTLASS HF radar

D. A. Neudegg, T. K. Yeoman, S. W. H. Cowley, G. Provan, G. Haerendel, W. Baumjohann, U. Auster, K.-H. Fornacon, E. Georgescu, and C. J. Owen

Abstract. Observations of a flux transfer event (FTE) have been made simultaneously by the Equator-S spacecraft near the dayside magnetopause whilst corresponding transient plasma flows were seen in the near-conjugate polar ionosphere by the CUTLASS Finland HF radar. Prior to the occurrence of the FTE, the magnetometer on the WIND spacecraft ~226 RE upstream of the Earth in the solar wind detected a southward turning of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) which is estimated to have reached the subsolar magnetopause ~77 min later. Shortly afterwards the Equator-S magnetometer observed a typical bipolar FTE signature in the magnetic field component normal to the magnetopause, just inside the magnetosphere. Almost simultaneously the CUTLASS Finland radar observed a strong transient flow in the F region plasma between 78° and 83° magnetic latitude, near the ionospheric region predicted to map along geomagnetic field lines to the spacecraft. The flow signature (and the data set as a whole) is found to be fully consistent with the view that the FTE was formed by a burst of magnetopause reconnection.

Key words. Interplanetary physics (ionosphere-magnetosphere interaction) · Magnetospheric physics (magnetopause · cusp · and boundary layers; solar wind-magnetosphere interactions)