Observations of electron vorticity in the inner plasma sheet





Citation of Original Publication

Gurgiolo, C., Goldstein, M. L., Viñas, A. F., Matthaeus, W. H., and Fazakerley, A. N.: Observations of electron vorticity in the inner plasma sheet, Ann. Geophys., 29, 1517–1527, https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-29-1517-2011, 2011.


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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From a limited number of observations it appears that vorticity is a common feature in the inner plasma sheet. With the four Cluster spacecraft and the four PEACE instruments positioned in a tetrahedral configuration, for the first time it is possible to directly estimate the electron fluid vorticity in a space plasma. We show examples of electron fluid vorticity from multiple plasma sheet crossings. These include three time periods when Cluster passed through a reconnection ion diffusion region. Enhancements in vorticity are seen in association with each crossing of the ion diffusion region.