Observation of multiple sub-cavities adjacent to single separatrix

Authors


Abstract

[1] We investigate a direct south-north crossing of a reconnection ion diffusion region in the magnetotail. During this crossing, multiple electron density dips with a further density decrease within the cavity, called sub-cavities, adjacent to the northern separatrix are observed. The correlation between electron density sub-cavities and strong electric field fluctuations is obvious. Within one of the sub-cavities, a series of very strong oscillating perpendicular electric field and patchy parallel electric field are observed. The parallel electric field is nearly unipolar and directs away from X line. In the same region, inflow electrons with energy up to 100 keV are injected into the X line. Based on the observations, we conclude that the high-energy inflowing electrons are accelerated by the patchy parallel electric field. Namely, electrons have been effectively accelerated while they are flowing into the X line along the separatrix. The observations indicate that the electron acceleration region is widely larger than the predicted electron diffusion region in the classical Hall magnetic reconnection model.

Ancillary