An analysis of magnetic reconnection events and their associated auroral enhancements

Case, Nathan Anthony and Grocott, Adrian and Milan, Stephen and Nagai, Tsugunobu and Reistad, J. P. (2017) An analysis of magnetic reconnection events and their associated auroral enhancements. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 122 (3). pp. 2922-2935. ISSN 2169-9402

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An analysis of simultaneous reconnection events in the near-Earth magnetotail and enhancements in the aurora is undertaken. Exploiting magnetospheric data from the Geotail, Cluster, and Double Star missions, along with auroral images from the IMAGE and Polar missions, the relationship between a reconnection signature and its auroral counterpart is explored. In this study of 59 suitable reconnection events, we find that 43 demonstrate a clear coincidence of reconnection and auroral enhancement. The magnetic local time (MLT) locations of these 43 reconnection events are generally located within ±1 h MLT of the associated auroral enhancement. A positive correlation coefficient of 0.8 between the two MLT locations is found. The enhancements are localized and short-lived (τ≤10 min) and are as likely to occur during the substorm process as in isolation of a substorm. No significant dependence of the reconnection or auroral enhancement location on the dusk-dawn components of the solar wind velocity (Vy), IMF (By) or local By or Vy, as measured by the reconnection-detecting spacecraft, is found.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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©2017. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Deposited On:
15 Feb 2017 08:54
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:45