What are flux transfer events?


We argue that surges in the reconnection rate on the magnetopause give rise to bubble-like regions of plasma containing a twisted field with energetic streaming particles in the outer layers. We propose that flux transfer events observed on spacecraft are the result of passage through or nearby such bubbles. All important observational features of flux transfer events fit qualitatively well with the model. Predictions of phenomena in the ionosphere associated with FTEs based on our model are substantially different from those predicted on earlier models such as Russell and Elphic's; events could have a much larger footprint than believed hitherto. Correspondingly, predictions of the electromotive force imposed around the terrestrial polar cap by FTE occurrence may need upward revision.

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Planetary and Space Science



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