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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 30, issue 1
Ann. Geophys., 30, 143–151, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 30, 143–151, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 16 Jan 2012

Regular paper | 16 Jan 2012

On the retreat of near-Earth neutral line during substorm expansion phase: a THEMIS case study during the 9 January 2008 substorm

X. Cao1, Z. Y. Pu2, A. M. Du1, V. M. Mishin3, X. G. Wang4, C. J. Xiao4, T. L. Zhang5,6, V. Angelopoulos7, J. P. McFadden8, and K. H. Glassmeier9,10 X. Cao et al.
  • 1Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 2School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 3Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkusk, Russia
  • 4School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 5Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, USTC, Hefei, China
  • 6Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria
  • 7Department of Earth and Space Sciences and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 8Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 9TUBS, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
  • 10Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany

Abstract. The location of magnetic reconnection in the mid-tail during a substorm was studied in many researches. Here we present multi-point THEMIS observations of a reconnection event in the near-Earth magnetotail during substorm. In this event, THEMIS probes stayed in the near-Earth and mid-tail region aligning along the magnetotail. This allows reconnection evolution to be probed simultaneously from about −10 RE to −23 RE down tail. The Hall current related electron streams were observed at the same time by two probes far away from the reconnection site. Before near-Earth reconnection involved the tail lobe magnetic field, the reconnection site was restricted in earthward −23 RE. When reconnection involved into the tail lobe region, the reconnection site started to retreat gradually.

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