The INI has a new website!

This is a legacy webpage. Please visit the new site to ensure you are seeing up to date information.

An Isaac Newton Institute Workshop

Reconnection in the Sun and Magnetosphere (Hewlett-Packard and Spitalfields Days)

Walen and slow-mode shock analyses applied to high-speed flows of the near-Earth magnetotail

Authors: S. Eriksson (Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder), C. Mouikis (Space Science Center, University of New Hampshire), M. W. Dunlop (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory), M. Oieroset (Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley), D. N. Baker (Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder), C. Cully (Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder), H. Reme (Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements), A. Balogh (Imperial College)

Abstract

Observed changes in the high-speed magnetotail flow direction from earthward to tailward and vice versa have been interpreted as a reconnection X-line passing by the spacecraft. Here we analyze several such events using Cluster observations from the near-Earth magnetotail. We investigate to what extent tailward and earthward flows satisfy the Walen condition and discuss whether tailward flows are more likely to do so due to the obstacle posed by the inner magnetosphere to earthward flows. The hypothesis that tailward flows would satify the Walen relation more readily than earthward flows across Petschek-type slow-mode shocks will be examined based on the Rankine-Hugoniot shock jump conditions. These results suggest that X-lines may form closer to the Earth than X = -20 Re.