Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices and double mid-latitude reconnection at the Earth's magnetopause: Comparison between observations and simulations

M. Faganello, F. Califano, F. Pegoraro, A. Retinò
2014 Europhysics letters  
Observational signatures of Kelvin-Helmholtz (K-H) vortices and of double midlatitude reconnection are highlighted in satellite data of the THEMIS mission. It is shown that the plasma fluid quantities at the low-latitude flank of the Earth's magnetosphere are compatible with K-H vortices, as described by three-dimensional simulations. At the same time it is shown that the particle fluxes are compatible with the presence of magnetic field lines, embedded in the K-H vortices, that close on Earth
more » ... hat close on Earth but are connected to the solar wind at low-latitude. These field lines are generated during the K-H evolution by magnetic reconnection proceeding spontaneously in both hemispheres at mid-latitudes, allowing the solar wind plasma to enter the Earth's magnetosphere directly.
doi:10.1209/0295-5075/107/19001 fatcat:vzyfc5fvz5dbjhv3pwo5rc56xe