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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 28, issue 8
Ann. Geophys., 28, 1511–1521, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-28-1511-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 28, 1511–1521, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-28-1511-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  11 Aug 2010

11 Aug 2010

Magnetic field structure of large-scale plasmoid generated by the fast reconnection mechanism in a sheared current sheet

M. Ugai M. Ugai
  • Research Center for Space and Cosmic Evolution, Ehime University, Matsuyama 790-8577, Japan

Abstract. On the basis of the spontaneous fast reconnection model, three-dimensional magnetic field profiles associated with a large-scale plasmoid propagating along the antiparallel magnetic fields are studied in the general sheared current sheet system. The plasmoid is generated ahead of the fast reconnection jet as a result of distinct compression of the magnetized plasma. Inside the plasmoid, the sheared (east-west) field component has the peak value at the plasmoid center located at x=XC, where the north-south field component changes its sign. The plasmoid center corresponds to the so-called contact discontinuity that bounds the reconnected field lines in x<XC and the field lines without reconnection in x>XC. Hence, contray to the conventional prediction, the reconnected sheared field lines in x<XC are not spiral or helical, since they cannot be topologically connected to the field lines in x>XC. It is demonstrated that the resulting profiles of magnetic field components inside the plasmoid are, in principle, consistent with satellite observations. In the ambient magnetic field region outside the plasmoid too, the magnetic field profiles are in good agreement with the well-known observations of traveling compression regions (TCRs).

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