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Energy budget and mechanisms of cold ion heating in asymmetric magnetic reconnection

Abstract : Cold ions (few tens of eV) of ionospheric origin are commonly observed on the magnetospheric side of the Earth's dayside magnetopause. As a result, they can participate in magnetic reconnection, changing locally the reconnection rate and being accelerated and heated. We present four events where cold ion heating was observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, associated with the magnetospheric Hall E field region of magnetic reconnection. For two of the events the cold ion density was small compared to the magnetosheath density, and the cold ions were heated roughly to the same temperature as magnetosheath ions inside the exhaust. On the other hand, for the other two events the cold ion density was comparable to the magnetosheath density and the cold ion heating observed was significantly smaller. Magnetic reconnection converts magnetic energy into particle energy, and ion heating is known to dominate the energy partition. We find that at least 10-25% of the energy spent by reconnection into ion heating went into magnetospheric cold ion heating. The total energy budget for cold ions may be even higher when properly accounting for the heavier species, namely helium and oxygen. Large E field fluctuations are observed in this cold ion heating region, i.e., gradients and waves, that are likely the source of particle energization.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 2:52:51 PM
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Sergio Toledo-Redondo, M. André, Y. V. Khotyaintsev, Benoit Lavraud, A. Vaivads, et al.. Energy budget and mechanisms of cold ion heating in asymmetric magnetic reconnection. Journal of Geophysical Research Space Physics, American Geophysical Union/Wiley, 2017, 122 (9), pp.9396-9413. ⟨10.1002/2017JA024553⟩. ⟨hal-01895716⟩

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