Observations of slow electron holes at a magnetic reconnection site
Publication date: 12 Oct 2010
Authors: Khoityansev, Y.V., et al.
Journal: Physical Review Letters
Copyright: The American Physical SocietyWe report in situ observations of high-frequency electrostatic waves in the vicinity of a reconnection site in the Earth's magnetotail. Two different types of waves are observed inside an ion-scale magnetic flux rope embedded in a reconnecting current sheet. Electron holes (weak double layers) produced by the Buneman instability are observed in the density minimum in the center of the flux rope. Higher frequency broadband electrostatic waves with frequencies extending up to fpe are driven by the electron beam and are observed in the denser part of the rope. Our observations demonstrate multiscale coupling during the reconnection: Electron-scale physics is induced by the dynamics of an ion-scale flux rope embedded in a yet larger-scale magnetic reconnection process.