We give evidence for the first time of the onset of undriven fast, collisionless magnetic reconnection during the evolution of an initially homogeneous magnetic field advected in a sheared velocity field. We consider the interaction of the solar wind with the magnetospheric plasma at low latitude and show that reconnection takes place in the layer between adjacent vortices generated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. This process generates coherent magnetic structures with a size comparable to the ion inertial scale, much smaller than the system dimensions but much larger than the electron inertial scale. These magnetic structures are further advected in the plasma in a complex pattern but remain stable over a time interval much longer than their formation time. These results can be crucial for the interpretation of satellite data showing coherent magnetic structures in the Earth's magnetosheath or the magnetotail.
|Autori:||Faganello M; Califano F; Pegoraro F|
|Titolo:||Numerical evidence of undriven, fast reconnection in the solar-wind interaction with Earth's magnetosphere: Formation of electromagnetic coherent structures|
|Anno del prodotto:||2008|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1103/PhysRevLett.101.105001|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|