A magnetic boundary signature within flux transfer events


We present high resolution AMPTE-UKS data for a FTE signature in the magnetosphere. When the observations are confronted with the canonical model for such events, we find that we can substantiate clearly the existence of the two field regions (draping vs twisting) predicted from the model. In addition to these regions there is a separate, distinct region close to the expected boundary between open and closed field lines which we estimate to be of order ten ion gyroradii thick. This region is distinguished by a distinctive field and particle signature. The magnetic signature has not been reported before, but the electron signature bears a close resemblance to the electron heat flow layer reported in the ISEE data by Scudder et al. [1984 in Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas (Edited by Hones E.W., Jr.), p. 153. AGU, Washington]. Other observations we report are the occurrence of a large flow burst and, in the central region of the FTE signature, the presence of magnetic field oscillations of period ∼ 3 s.

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Planetary and Space Science



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