Drift-Kinetic Alfvén Waves Observed near a Reconnection X Line in the Earth’s Magnetopause





Citation of Original Publication

Chaston, C. C., T. D. Phan, J. W. Bonnell, F. S. Mozer, M. Acuńa, M. L. Goldstein, A. Balogh, M. Andre, H. Reme, and A. Fazakerley. “Drift-Kinetic Alfv\’en Waves Observed near a Reconnection X Line in the Earth’s Magnetopause.” Physical Review Letters 95, no. 6 (August 4, 2005): 065002. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.95.065002.


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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We identify drift-kinetic Alfvén waves in the vicinity of a reconnection X line on the Earth’s magnetopause. The dispersive properties of these waves have been determined using wavelet interferometric techniques applied to multipoint observations from the Cluster spacecraft. Comparison of the observed wave dispersion with that expected for drift-kinetic Alfvén waves shows close agreement. The waves propagate outwards from the X line suggesting that reconnection is a kinetic Alfvén wave source. Energetic O⁺ ions observed in these waves indicate that reconnection is a driver of auroral ion outflow.