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The interaction between transpolar arcs and cusp spots

Fear, R.C., Milan, S.E., Carter, J.A. and Maggiolo, R. (2015) The interaction between transpolar arcs and cusp spots Geophysical Research Letters, 42, (22), pp. 9685-9693. (doi:10.1002/2015GL066194).

Record type: Article


Transpolar arcs and cusp spots are both auroral phenomena which occur when the interplanetary magnetic field is northward. Transpolar arcs are associated with magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail, which closes magnetic flux and results in a “wedge” of closed flux which remains trapped, embedded in the magnetotail lobe. The cusp spot is an indicator of lobe reconnection at the high-latitude magnetopause; in its simplest case, lobe reconnection redistributes open flux without resulting in any net change in the open flux content of the magnetosphere. We present observations of the two phenomena interacting—i.e., a transpolar arc intersecting a cusp spot during part of its lifetime. The significance of this observation is that lobe reconnection can have the effect of opening closed magnetotail flux. We argue that such events should not be rare.

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Accepted/In Press date: 2 November 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 November 2015
Published date: 28 November 2015
Organisations: Astronomy Group


Local EPrints ID: 392777
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: 9a6fd552-5e9b-4b35-9d9f-fc981fc19128
ORCID for R.C. Fear: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 15 Apr 2016 15:54
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 19:13

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Author: R.C. Fear ORCID iD
Author: S.E. Milan
Author: J.A. Carter
Author: R. Maggiolo

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