Articles | Volume 34, issue 1
ANGEO Communicates
21 Jan 2016
ANGEO Communicates |  | 21 Jan 2016

Ion Bernstein waves in the magnetic reconnection region

Y. Narita, R. Nakamura, W. Baumjohann, K.-H. Glassmeier, U. Motschmann, and H. Comişel

Abstract. Four-dimensional energy spectra and a diagram for dispersion relations are determined for the first time in a magnetic reconnection region in the magnetotail using data from four-spacecraft measurements by the Cluster mission on a spatial scale of 200 km, about 0.1 ion inertial lengths. The energy spectra are anisotropic with an extension in the perpendicular direction and axially asymmetric with respect to the mean magnetic field. The dispersion diagram in the plasma rest frame is in reasonably good agreement with the ion Bernstein waves at the second and higher harmonics of the proton gyrofrequency. Perpendicular-propagating ion Bernstein waves likely exist in an outflow region of magnetic reconnection, which may contribute to bifurcation of the current sheet in the outflow region.

Short summary
Four-spacecraft Cluster observations of turbulent fluctuations in the magnetic reconnection region in the geomagnetic tail show for the first time an indication of ion Bernstein waves, electromagnetic waves that propagate nearly perpendicular to the mean magnetic field and are in resonance with ions. Bernstein waves may influence current sheet dynamics in the reconnection outflow such as a bifurcation of the current sheet.