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  Information - ST4.5 Plasma entry processes at the magnetopause and cusp

Event Information
Understanding the mechanism by which the solar wind plasma enters the magnetosphere has been a key problem in magnetospheric physics since the first spacecraft observations about 30 years ago. Although magnetic reconnection is generally believed to be the dominant mechanism, other processes like Kelvin-Helmholtz instability or impulsive penetration and pressure pulses are still being discussed. Under southward Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF), reconnection around the subsolar point, allows the plasma to enter the magnetopause on newly reconnected field lines that are then convected tailward. The open questions are the location of reconnection, around the subsolar point or close to the cusp, the change of reconnection rate, impulsive or quasi-continuous, and if reconnection is purely anti-parallel or component. For northward IMF, reconnection takes place in the lobes, and initially the field lines move sunward and are then diverted toward the flanks and tailward. The open questions in that case are, under what conditions are the double reconnection occurring, and if it is the main process by which plasma enters the magnetosphere or if, alternatively, the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability play also a role on the flanks of the magnetosphere.

Contributed papers from space missions, like Cluster, Double Star, IMAGE, Polar and Geotail as well as ground-based and theory are very welcome and may be scheduled as either oral or poster presentations.

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers


General Statement
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