, Volume 178, Issue 2-4, pp 385-417
Date: 02 Feb 2013

In-Situ Observations of Reconnection in Space

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Abstract

This paper gives an overview of the insights into the magnetic reconnection process obtained by in-situ measurements across current sheets found in planetary magnetospheres and the solar wind. Emphasis is placed on results that might be of interest to the study of reconnection in regions where no in-situ observations are available. These results include the role of symmetric versus asymmetric boundary conditions, the identification of the onset conditions, the reconnection rates, and the spatial and temporal scales. Special attention is paid to observations in the so-called diffusion region surrounding the reconnection sites, where ions and eventually also electrons become demagnetized and reconnection is initiated.