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Simulation of plasmaspheric plume impact on dayside magnetic reconnection
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  • Jérémy Dargent,
  • Nicolas Aunai,
  • Benoit Lavraud,
  • Sergio Toledo-Redondo,
  • Francesco Califano
Jérémy Dargent
Università di Pisa

Corresponding Author:jeremy.dargent@df.unipi.it

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Nicolas Aunai
IRAP, Toulouse, France
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Benoit Lavraud
Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie - CNRS
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Sergio Toledo-Redondo
Institut de la Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie
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Francesco Califano
University of Pisa
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During periods of strong magnetic activity, cold dense plasma from the plasmasphere typically forms a plume extending towards the dayside magnetopause, eventually reaching it. In this work, we present a large-scale two-dimensional fully kinetic Particle-In-Cell simulation of a reconnecting magnetopause hit by a propagating plasmaspheric plume. We observe three main phases: before the plume arrives at the magnetopause, a transient phase where the system reshapes because of the new inflow conditions, and the full interaction when the plume is well engulfed in the reconnection site. We show the evolution of the magnetopause’s dynamics subjected to the modification of the inflowing plasma. Our main result is that the change in the plasma temperature (cold protons in the plume) have no effects on the magnetic reconnection rate, which on average depends only on the inflowing magnetic field and total ion density, before, during and after the impact.
28 Feb 2020Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 47 issue 4. 10.1029/2019GL086546