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  1. Abstract Coulomb collisions provide plasma resistivity and diffusion but in many low-density astrophysical plasmas such collisions between particles are extremely rare. Scattering of particles by electromagnetic waves can lower the plasma conductivity. Such anomalous resistivity due to wave-particle interactions could be crucial to many processes, including magnetic reconnection. It has been suggested that waves provide both diffusion and resistivity, which can support the reconnection electric field, but this requires direct observation to confirm. Here, we directly quantify anomalous resistivity, viscosity, and cross-field electron diffusion associated with lower hybrid waves using measurements from the four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft. We show that anomalous resistivity is approximately balanced by anomalous viscosity, and thus the waves do not contribute to the reconnection electric field. However, the waves do produce an anomalous electron drift and diffusion across the current layer associated with magnetic reconnection. This leads to relaxation of density gradients at timescales of order the ion cyclotron period, and hence modifies the reconnection process. 
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  2. Abstract

    Plasma and wave measurements from the NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale mission are presented for magnetotail reconnection events on 3 July and 11 July 2017. Linear dispersion analyses were performed using distribution functions comprising up to six drifting bi‐Maxwellian distributions. In both events electron crescent‐shaped distributions are shown to be responsible for upper hybrid waves near the X‐line. In an adjacent location within the 3 July event a monodirectional field‐aligned electron beam drove parallel‐propagating beam‐mode waves. In the 11 July event an electron distribution consisting of a drifting core and two crescents was shown to generate upper‐hybrid and beam‐mode waves at three different frequencies, explaining the observed broadband waves. Multiple harmonics of the upper hybrid waves were observed but cannot be explained by the linear dispersion analysis since they result from nonlinear beam interactions.

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  3. Abstract

    On 5 May 2017, MMS observed a crater‐type flux rope on the dawnside tailward magnetopause with fluctuations. The boundary‐normal analysis shows that the fluctuations can be attributed to nonlinear Kelvin‐Helmholtz (KH) waves. Reconnection signatures such as flow reversals and Joule dissipation were identified at the leading and trailing edges of the flux rope. In particular, strong northward electron jets observed at the trailing edge indicated midlatitude reconnection associated with the 3‐D structure of the KH vortex. The scale size of the flux rope, together with reconnection signatures, strongly supports the interpretation that the flux rope was generated locally by KH vortex‐induced reconnection. The center of the flux rope also displayed signatures of guide‐field reconnection (out‐of‐plane electron jets, parallel electron heating, and Joule dissipation). These signatures indicate that an interface between two interlinked flux tubes was undergoing interaction, causing a local magnetic depression, resulting in an M‐shaped crater flux rope, as supported by reconstruction.

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