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    Bursty magnetic reconnection at Saturn's magnetopause

    Badman, S.V. and Masters, A. and Hasegawa, H. and Fujimoto, M. and Radioti, A. and Grodent, D. and Sergis, N. and Dougherty, M.K. and Coates, Andrew 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

    [1] 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.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Saturn, reconnection, aurora
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences > UCL/Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2013 14:42
    Last Modified: 06 Jun 2013 14:42
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/7320

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