The nonlinear behavior of whistler waves at the reconnecting dayside magnetopause as observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission: A case study

Citation:

Wilder FD, Ergun RE, Newman DL, Goodrich KA, Trattner KJ, Goldman MV, Eriksson S, Jaynes AN, Leonard T, Malaspina DM, et al. The nonlinear behavior of whistler waves at the reconnecting dayside magnetopause as observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission: A case study. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics [Internet]. 2017;122 (5) :5487–5501.

Abstract:

We show observations of whistler mode waves in both the low-latitude boundary layer (LLBL) and on closed magnetospheric field lines during a crossing of the dayside reconnecting magnetopause by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission on 11 October 2015. The whistlers in the LLBL were on the electron edge of the magnetospheric separatrix and exhibited high propagation angles with respect to the background field, approaching 40°, with bursty and nonlinear parallel electric field signatures. The whistlers in the closed magnetosphere had Poynting flux that was more field aligned. Comparing the reduced electron distributions for each event, the magnetospheric whistlers appear to be consistent with anisotropy-driven waves, while the distribution in the LLBL case includes anisotropic backward resonant electrons and a forward resonant beam at near half the electron-Alfvén speed. Results are compared with the previously published observations by MMS on 19 September 2015 of LLBL whistler waves. The observations suggest that whistlers in the LLBL can be both beam and anisotropy driven, and the relative contribution of each might depend on the distance from the X line.

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