© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Energetic electrons along the high-latitude magnetopause
1Center for Space Physics, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
2NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
3Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Lindau, Germany
4Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Abstract. A case study is presented to determine the source of the energetic electron layer frequently observed along the high-latitude magnetopause. Measurements by the Cluster spacecraft show bursts of field-aligned electrons occurring during time periods with high potential for dayside reconnection. These properties are compared with the expected signatures from several sources including escape from the exterior cusp, acceleration in a reconnection region, and release from the dayside trapping region through reconnection. The observed properties are most consistent with the electrons being released from the magnetosphere due to reconnection. In this model the electrons would flow along the newly reconnected IMF draped along the magnetopause and propagate along the high-latitude magnetopause. These observations demonstrate an active source for populating the energetic particle layer frequently observed along and just outside the high-latitude magnetopause.