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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 25, issue 7
Ann. Geophys., 25, 1471–1476, 2007
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-25-1471-2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 25, 1471–1476, 2007
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-25-1471-2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  30 Jul 2007

30 Jul 2007

The magnetic structure of an earthward-moving flux rope observed by Cluster in the near-tail

Y. C. Zhang1,2, Z. X. Liu1, C. Shen1, A. Fazakerley3, M. Dunlop4, H. Réme5, E. Lucek6, A. P. Walsh3, and L. Yao1,2 Y. C. Zhang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, Center for Space Science and Applied Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China
  • 2Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China
  • 3Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Univ. College London, London, UK
  • 4Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, DIDCOT, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX, UK
  • 5Centre d'Etudes Spatiale des Rayonnements, BP 4346, 31028 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
  • 6SAPG, Imperial College London SW7 2BZ, UK

Abstract. We investigate the magnetic structure of a small earthward-moving flux rope observed by Cluster in the near-Earth plasma sheet through application of the Grad-Shafranov (GS) technique to reconstruct the transverse magnetic field distribution perpendicular to the flux rope axis at X=−14.75 RE. We find that the principal axis of the flux rope lies approximately along the dawn-dusk direction and that the diameter of the flux rope is about 1.5 RE. There is a strong duskward core magnetic field in the center of the flux rope. According to the AE index, there is no obvious substorm associated with the magnetic flux rope. Recent studies indicate that the formation of the flux rope in the plasma sheet can be understood in terms of simultaneous reconnection at multiple X-line points in the near-tail. The distribution of the transverse magnetic field on the cross section is the asymmetric circles, which requires that the reconnections at multiple X-line points occur. So our results also provide additional evidence for the occurrence of multiple-X line reconnection in the magnetotail.

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