Magnetospheric MultiScale observations of ion acceleration in a contracting magnetic bottle between plasma jet fronts.

Catapano F., Retinò A., Zimbardo G., Cohen I.J., Turner D., Perri S., Greco A., Cozzani G., Alexandrova A., Le Contel O., Breuillard H., Mirioni L., Delcourt D. per il Team MMS

III - Astrofisica
Aula 32B-3 - Mercoledì 19 h 09:00 - 13:00
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Most astrophysical plasmas are energized by processes driven by the magnetic reconnection. One of these processes is the propagation of plasma jet fronts in the outflow reconnection regions. Plasma jet fronts are boundaries separating hot fast reconnected plasma from colder ambient plasma. Both simulations and observations suggest that jet fronts produce energetic ions. Recent Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) spacecraft high-resolution measurements of ion distribution functions in the magnetotail allow us to study the acceleration mechanisms in detail. Here, we show an example of two jet fronts propagating earthward with different velocities. The faster jet is following the slower jet and observations of electric and magnetic fields in the region between the two jets are consistent with the formation of a magnetic bottle, in agreement with numerical simulations. Observations are consistent with ions being trapped and accelerated in a magnetic bottle.

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