The feature and origin of current sheet flapping motions are one of most interesting issues of magnetospheric dynamics. In this paper we report the flapping motion of the current sheet detected in the tailward flow of a magnetic reconnection event on 7 February 2009. This flapping motion with frequency about 12 mHz was accompanied by magnetic turbulence. The observations by the tail‐elongated fleet of five Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms probes indicate that these flapping oscillations were rather confined within the tailward flow than were due to a global process. This flapping motion could be due to the instability driven by the free energy associated with the ion temperature anisotropy in the tailward flow. Our observations indicate that the flapping motion in the tailward flow could have a different generation mechanism with that in the earthward flow.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
American Geophysical Union
Grant or Award Name
NSF grants 41404129, 41331067, and 41474125, FWF project P24740-N27, NASA contract NAS5-02099
Scholarly Commons Citation
Wu, M. Y., Q. Lu, M. Volwerk, Z. Vörös, X. Ma, and S. Wang (2016), Current sheet flapping motions in the tailward flow of magnetic reconnection, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 121, 7817–7827, doi:10.1002/2016JA022819