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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 23, issue 2
Ann. Geophys., 23, 445–460, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-23-445-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 23, 445–460, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-23-445-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  28 Feb 2005

28 Feb 2005

Simultaneous in-situ observations of the signatures of dayside reconnection at the high- and low-latitude magnetopause

J. A. Wild1, S. E. Milan1, S. W. H. Cowley1, J. M. Bosqued2, H. Rème2, T. Nagai3, S. Kokubun4, Y. Saito5, T. Mukai5, J. A. Davies6, B. M. A. Cooling7, A. Balogh8, and P. W. Daly9 J. A. Wild et al.
  • 1Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
  • 2CESR/CNRS, 9 Avenue du Colonel Roche BP 4346, 31028 Toulouse, Cedex 4, France
  • 3Dept. of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8551, Japan
  • 4Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Toyokawa, Aichi 442, Japan
  • 5Institute of Space & Astronautical Science, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 229-8510, Japan
  • 6Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QX, UK
  • 7Formerly at: Astronomy Unit, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
  • 8Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, London SW7 2BZ, UK
  • 9Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, D-37191 Katlenburg Lindau, Germany

Abstract. We present magnetic field and particle data recorded by the Cluster and Geotail satellites in the vicinity of the high- and low-latitude dayside magnetopause, respectively, on 17 February 2003. A favourable conjunction of these spacecraft culminated in the observation of a series of flux transfer events (FTEs), characterised by bipolar perturbations in the component of the magnetic field normal to the magnetopause, an enhancement in the overall magnetic field strength, and field tilting effects in the plane of the magnetopause whilst the satellites were located on the magnetosheath side of the boundary. Whilst a subset of the FTE signatures observed could be identified as being either normal or reverse polarity, the rapid succession of events observed made it difficult to classify some of the signatures unambiguously. Nevertheless, by considering the source region and motion of flux tubes opened by magnetic reconnection at low latitudes (i.e. between Cluster and Geotail), we demonstrate that the observations are consistent with the motion of northward (southward) and tailward moving flux tubes anchored in the Northern (Southern) Hemisphere passing in close proximity to the Cluster (Geotail) satellites. We are able to demonstrate that a multi-spacecraft approach, coupled with a realistic model of flux tube motion in the magnetosheath, enables us to infer the approximate position of the reconnection site, which in this case was located at near-equatorial latitudes.

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