Statistical observations of electron-scale structures in magnetosheath turbulence Journal Article uri icon



  • Turbulence is characterized by the formation of small-scale structures, observed to occur down to electron scales. Furthermore, spacecraft observations have found active magnetic reconnection within such electron-scale current sheets. This points to small-scale structures serving as a pathway of energy conversion in collisonless plasma turbulence. However, the extent of their contribution to turbulent energy dissipation, compared to other energy conversion mechanisms, is still under investigation. The instruments of the MMS spacecraft are able to adequately resolve electron-scale processes, and in recent years have been gathering a large volume of burst resolution data in near-Earth space, allowing us to investigate this further. Here, we present the results of a statistical study of electron-scale structures observed by MMS in Earth’s magnetosheath. We show that the abundance of these structures as well as their properties, appear to depend more on the local turbulence parameters rather than on the large-scale dynamics of the magnetosheath, and bow-shock configuration. We report their contribution to the overall dissipation and their significance in plasma heating and particle acceleration. These results provide further insight into the pathways of energy conversion in collisionless turbulence, and contribute to our understanding of turbulent dissipation and particle energization. 

publication date

  • May 15, 2023

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • March 3, 2023 10:36 AM

Full Author List

  • Chasapis A; Ergun B; Ahmadi N; Schwartz S; Chhiber R; Bandyopadhyay R; Matthaeus W; Retino A; LeContel O; Giles B

author count

  • 16

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