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Reconnection-driven Dynamics at Ganymede’s Upstream Magnetosphere: 3D Global Hall MHD and MHD-EPIC Simulations
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  • Hongyang Zhou,
  • Gabor Toth,
  • Xianzhe Jia,
  • Yuxi Chen
Hongyang Zhou
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor-Ann Arbor

Corresponding Author:hyzhou@umich.edu

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Gabor Toth
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Xianzhe Jia
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Yuxi Chen
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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The largest moon in the solar system, Ganymede, is the only moon known to possess a strong intrinsic magnetic field and a corresponding magnetosphere.
Using the latest version of Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF), we study the upstream plasma interactions and dynamics in this sub-Alfvenic system.
Results from the Hall MHD and the coupled MHD with embedded Particle-in-Cell (MHD-EPIC) models are compared.
We find that under steady upstream conditions, magnetopause reconnection occurs in a non-steady manner.
Flux ropes of Ganymede’s radius in length form on the magnetopause at a rate about 2/minute and create spatiotemporal variations in plasma and field properties.
Upon reaching proper grid resolutions, the MHD-EPIC model can resolve both electron and ion kinetics at the magnetopause and show localized non-gyrotropic behavior inside the diffusion region.
The estimated global reconnection rate from the models is about 80 kV with 60% efficiency, and there is weak evidence of about 1 minute periodicity in the temporal variations due to the dynamic reconnection process.