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  1. Abstract We investigate the detailed properties of electron inflow in an electron-only reconnection event observed by the four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft in the Earth's turbulent magnetosheath downstream of the quasi-parallel bow shock. The lack of ion coupling was attributed to the small-scale sizes of the current sheets, and the observed bidirectional super-Alfvénic electron jets indicate that the MMS spacecraft crossed the reconnecting current sheet on both sides of an active X-line. Remarkably, the MMS spacecraft observed the presence of large asymmetries in the two electron inflows, with the inflows (normal to the current sheet) on the two sides of the reconnecting current layer differing by as much as a factor of four. Furthermore, even though the four MMS spacecraft were separated by less than seven electron skin depths, the degree of inflow asymmetry was significantly different at the different spacecraft. The asymmetry in the inflow speeds was larger with increasing distances downstream from the reconnection site, and the asymmetry was opposite on the two sides of the X-line. We compare the MMS observations with a 2D kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation and find that the asymmetry in the inflow speeds stems from in-plane currents generated via the combination of reconnection-mediated inflows and parallel flows along the magnetic separatrices in the presence of a large guide field. 
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    Cosmic rays (CRs) are thought to escape their sources streaming along the local magnetic field lines. We show that this phenomenon generally leads to the excitation of both resonant and non-resonant streaming instabilities. The self-generated magnetic fluctuations induce particle diffusion in extended regions around the source, so that CRs build up a large pressure gradient. By means of two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) hybrid particle-in-cell simulations, we show that such a pressure gradient excavates a cavity around the source and leads to the formation of a cosmic ray dominated bubble, inside which diffusivity is strongly suppressed. Based on the trends extracted from self-consistent simulations, we estimate that, in the absence of severe damping of the self-generated magnetic fields, the bubble should keep expanding until pressure balance with the surrounding medium is reached, corresponding to a radius of ∼10–50 pc. The implications of the formation of these regions of low diffusivity for sources of Galactic CRs are discussed. Special care is devoted to estimating the self-generated diffusion coefficient and the grammage that CRs might accumulate in the bubbles before moving into the interstellar medium. Based on the results of 3D simulations, general considerations on the morphology of the γ-ray and synchrotron emission from these extended regions also are outlined.

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  4. Using hybrid simulations (kinetic ions--fluid electrons), we test the linear theory predictions of the cosmic ray (CR) streaming instability. We consider two types of CR distribution functions: a "hot" distribution where CRs are represented by a drifting power law in momentum and an anisotropic "beam" of monochromatic particles. Additionally, for each CR distribution we scan over different CR densities to transition from triggering the resonant to the non-resonant (Bell) streaming instability. We determine the growth rates of these instabilities in simulations by fitting an exponential curve during the linear stage, and we show that they agree well with the theoretical predictions as a function of wave number agree. We also examine the magnetic helicity as a function of time and wave number, finding a general good agreement with the predictions, as well as some unexpected non-linear features to the instability development. 
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  5. The nonresonant cosmic ray instability, predicted by Bell (2004), is thought to play an important role in the acceleration and confinement of cosmic rays (CRs) close to supernova remnants. Despite its importance, the exact mechanism responsible for the saturation of the instability has not been determined, and there is no first-principle prediction for the amplitude of the saturated magnetic field. Using a survey of self-consistent kinetic hybrid simulations (with kinetic ions and fluid electrons), we study the saturation of the non-resonant streaming instability as a function of the parameters of both the thermal background plasma and the CR population. The strength of the saturated magnetic field has important implications for both CR acceleration in supernova remnants and CR diffusion in the Galaxy. 
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