Hodographic approach for determining spacecraft trajectories through magnetic reconnection diffusion regions

Citation:

Shuster JR, Argall MR, Torbert RB, Chen L-J, Farrugia CJ, Alm L, Wang S, Daughton W, Gershman DJ, Giles BL, et al. Hodographic approach for determining spacecraft trajectories through magnetic reconnection diffusion regions. Geophysical Research Letters [Internet]. 2017;44 (4) :1625–1633.

Abstract:

We develop an algorithm that finds a trajectory through simulations of magnetic reconnection along which input Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft observations are matched. Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of asymmetric reconnection, the method is applied to a magnetopause electron diffusion region (EDR) encountered by the MMS spacecraft to facilitate interpretation of the event based on fully kinetic models. The recently discovered crescent-shaped electron velocity distributions measured by MMS in the EDR are consistent with simulation distributions at the corresponding time along the computed trajectory.

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