Bursty magnetic reconnection at Saturn's magnetopause

Badman, Sarah V. and Masters, Adam and Hasegawa, Hiroshi and Fujimoto, Masaki and Radioti, Aikaterini and Grodent, Denis and Sergis, Nicholas and Dougherty, Michele and Coates, A. J. (2013) Bursty magnetic reconnection at Saturn's magnetopause. Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (6). pp. 1027-1031. ISSN 0094-8276

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Abstract

We infer the evolution of magnetopause reconnection from simultaneous in situ magnetopause crossings and auroral observations by Cassini on 19 July 2008. Depending on the magnetosheath field, it proceeds from (i) the high-latitude lobe, producing a cusp spot in the aurora, to (ii) lower latitude but north of Cassini, evidenced by an enhancement of the pre-noon auroral arc and escape of magnetospheric electrons during a long boundary layer traversal, to (iii) bursts of reconnection south of Cassini, resulting in bifurcations of the near-noon auroral oval, escape of magnetospheric electrons, and a short boundary layer encounter. The conditions under which the auroral bifurcations associated with this bursty reconnection were observed were examined for this and three other examples. The magnetosphere was strongly compressed with a high magnetosheath field strength in every case. We conclude that reconnection can proceed at different locations on the magnetopause, depending on the local magnetic shear and plasma β conditions, and bursty reconnection occurs when the magnetosphere is strongly compressed and can result in significant solar wind-driven flux transport in Saturn's outer magnetosphere.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Information:
©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900
Subjects:
ID Code:
67042
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
09 Oct 2013 09:17
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
24 Oct 2020 02:51