Energetic electron acceleration observed by MMS in the vicinity of an X-line crossing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • A. N. Jaynes
  • D. L. Turner
  • F. D. Wilder
  • A. Osmane
  • D. N. Baker
  • J. B. Blake
  • J. F. Fennell
  • I. J. Cohen
  • B. H. Mauk
  • G. D. Reeves
  • R. E. Ergun
  • B. L. Giles
  • D. J. Gershman
  • R. B. Torbert
  • J. L. Burch

Research units

  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • Aerospace Corporation
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • University of New Hampshire
  • Southwest Research Institute


During the first months of observations, the Magnetospheric Multiscale Fly's Eye Energetic Particle Spectrometer instrument has observed several instances of electron acceleration up to >100 keV while in the vicinity of the dayside reconnection region. While particle acceleration associated with magnetic reconnection has been seen to occur up to these energies in the tail region, it had not yet been reported at the magnetopause. This study reports on observations of electron acceleration up to hundreds of keV that were recorded on 19 September 2015 around 1000 UT, in the midst of an X-line crossing. In the region surrounding the X-line, whistler-mode and broadband electrostatic waves were observed simultaneously with the appearance of highly energetic electrons which exhibited significant energization in the perpendicular direction. The mechanisms by which particles may be accelerated via reconnection-related processes are intrinsic to understanding particle dynamics among a wide range of spatial scales and plasma environments.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7356–7363
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Dayside reconnection, Electron acceleration, Magnetopause, MMS, VLF waves, Wave-particle interactions

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