Structure of Lower Hybrid Wave Activity in Magnetic Reconnection Regions

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Cecilia Norgren, Mats Andre, Andris Vaivads and Yuri V Khotyaintsev, IRF Swedish Institute of Space Physics Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden
Lower hybrid waves are strong plasma waves that are often excited within thin boundaries that form in the vicinity of magnetic reconnection regions. These waves can be excited by sharp gradients in the density that can form along the separatrices or at the front of reconnection jets. The wave length scale is on the order of the electron gyroradius, which makes it hard to study them in detail. In this study, we present a new single spacecraft method that correlates the wave electric and magnetic fields to decide the velocity of the waves in the plane perpendicular to the background magnetic field. From the velocity, the length scale and electrostatic potential can be inferred. We apply this method to magnetic reconnection events in different regions of the magnetosphere. We investigate if the waves can have impact on the magnetic reconnection process or serve as a diagnostic tool, providing additional knowledge about the magnetic reconnection region.