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Lower hybrid waves at the magnetosheath separatrix region
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  • Binbin Tang,
  • Wenya Li,
  • Daniel Bruce Graham,
  • Chi Wang,
  • Yuri V. Khotyaintsev,
  • Barbara L. Giles,
  • Per-Arne Lindqvist,
  • Robert E Ergun,
  • James L Burch
Binbin Tang
National Space Science Center, CAS

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Wenya Li
State Key Laboratory of Space Weather
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Daniel Bruce Graham
Swedish Institute of Space Physics
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Chi Wang
National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Yuri V. Khotyaintsev
Swedish Institute of Space Physics
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Barbara L. Giles
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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Per-Arne Lindqvist
KTH, Stockholm, Sweden
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Robert E Ergun
Univeristy of Colorado
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James L Burch
Southwest Research Institute
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Lower hybrid waves are investigated at the magnetosheath separatrix region in asymmetric guide-field reconnection by using the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. Three of the four MMS spacecraft observe clear wave activities around the lower hybrid frequency across the magnetosheath separatrix, where a density gradient is present. The observed waves are consistent with generation by the lower hybrid drift instability. The characteristic properties of these waves include: (1) the waves propagate toward the x-line in the spacecraft frame due to the large out-of-plane magnetic field, which is in the same direction of the diamagnetic drift of the x-line; (2) the wave potential is about 20\% of the electron temperature. These drift waves effectively produce cross-field particle diffusion, enabling the transport of magnetosheath electrons into the exhaust region. The observations presented in this study indicate unique features of asymmetric guide-field reconnection.
28 Oct 2020Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 47 issue 20. 10.1029/2020GL089880