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Properties of Near-Earth Magnetic Reconnection from In-Situ Observations

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Many properties of magnetic reconnection have been determined from in-situ spacecraft observations in the Earth’s magnetosphere. Recent studies have focused on ion scale lengths and have largely confirmed theoretical predictions. In addition, some interesting features of reconnection regions on electron scale lengths have been identified. These recent studies have demonstrated the need for combined plasma and field measurements on electron scale lengths in the reconnection diffusion regions at the magnetopause and in the magnetotail. They have also indicated that measurements, such as those that will be made by the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission in the near future, will have a significant impact on understanding magnetic reconnection as a fundamental plasma process.

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Fuselier, S.A., Lewis, W.S. Properties of Near-Earth Magnetic Reconnection from In-Situ Observations. Space Sci Rev 160, 95 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-011-9820-x

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  • Magnetic reconnection
  • Magnetosphere
  • Magnetospheric multiscale
  • Plasma physics