MMS Observations of Storm-Time Magnetopause Boundary Layers in the Vicinity of the Southern Cusp





Citation of Original Publication

Burkholder, B. L., Chen, L.-J., Fuselier, S., Gershman, D., Schiff, C., Shuster, J., et al. (2022). MMS observations of storm-time magnetopause boundary layers in the vicinity of the southern cusp. Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2022GL101231.


This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
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During a storm-time interval around winter solstice, observations by the Magnetospheric Multi-Scale (MMS) Mission show multiple distinct magnetopause boundary layers (BLs) in the vicinity of the southern cusp. The microphysics of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction during storm times are not well understood, because the observations are relatively lacking. This event enables the opportunity to probe the storm-time magnetopause, and observations support that MMS was near a reconnection site equatorward of the southern cusp, suggesting active reconnection in close proximity to closed magnetic flux regions in the BL. The Grid Agnostic magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) for Extended Research Applications global MHD simulation shows evidence for transient secondary reconnection sites near the southern cusp, demonstrating mechanisms to form closed field line regions of the BL