A Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Perspective of Magnetopause Reconnection and Dawn-Dusk Density Gradients

Friday, 19 December 2014: 1:56 PM
Brian Walsh1, John C Foster2, David G Sibeck3 and Philip John Erickson2, (1)University of California Berkeley, Space Sciences Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, United States, (2)MIT Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA, United States, (3)NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States
Magnetic reconnection is a primary process through which energy is transferredthrough the Earth’s magnetopause. Conditions both in the incident solar wind and in the magnetosphere are important in determining the efficiency of this energy transfer. In particular, the cold, dense plasmaspheric plume can substantially limit the coupling in the dayside reconnection region primarily on the dusk side of the magnetopause. Using ground-based Total Electron Content maps and in-situ measurements from the THEMIS spacecraft, we investigate simultaneous ionosphere/magnetosphere observations of the plasmaspheric plume and its involvement in an unsteady magnetic reconnection process.