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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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  4. Abstract

    We present a statistical analysis of >2,100 bipolar electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) collected from 10 quasi‐perpendicular Earth's bow shock crossings by Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft. We developed and implemented a correction procedure for reconstruction of actual electric fields, velocities, and other properties of ESW, whose spatial scales are typically comparable with or smaller than spatial distance between voltage‐sensitive probes. We found that more than 95% of the ESW are of negative polarity with amplitudes typically below a few Volts and 0.1Te(5–30 V or 0.1–0.3Tefor a few percent of ESW), spatial scales of 10–100 m orλD–10λD, and velocities from a few tens to a few hundred km/s that is on the order of local ion‐acoustic speed. The spatial scales of ESW are correlated with local Debye lengthλD. The ESW have electric fields generally oblique to magnetic field and they propagate highly oblique to shock normalN; more than 80% of ESW propagate within 30° of the shock planeLM. In the shock plane, ESW typically propagates within a few tens of degrees of local magnetic field projectionBLMand preferentially opposite toN × BLM. We argue that the ESW of negative polarity are ion holes produced by ion‐ion streaming instabilities. We estimate ion hole lifetimes to be 10–100 ms, or 1–10 km in terms of traveling distance. The revealed statistical properties will be useful for quantitative studies of electron thermalization in the Earth's bow shock.

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  5. Magnetic reconnection is an energy conversion process that occurs in many astrophysical contexts including Earth’s magnetosphere, where the process can be investigated in situ by spacecraft. On 11 July 2017, the four Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft encountered a reconnection site in Earth’s magnetotail, where reconnection involves symmetric inflow conditions. The electron-scale plasma measurements revealed (i) super-Alfvénic electron jets reaching 15,000 kilometers per second; (ii) electron meandering motion and acceleration by the electric field, producing multiple crescent-shaped structures in the velocity distributions; and (iii) the spatial dimensions of the electron diffusion region with an aspect ratio of 0.1 to 0.2, consistent with fast reconnection. The well-structured multiple layers of electron populations indicate that the dominant electron dynamics are mostly laminar, despite the presence of turbulence near the reconnection site. 
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  6. Abstract

    Kinetic structures of electron diffusion regions (EDRs) under finite guide fields in magnetotail reconnection are reported. The EDRs with guide fields 0.14–0.5 (in unit of the reconnecting component) are detected by the Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft. The key new features include the following: (1) cold inflowing electrons accelerated along the guide field and demagnetized at the magnetic field minimum while remaining a coherent population with a low perpendicular temperature, (2) wave fluctuations generating strong perpendicular electron flows followed by alternating parallel flows inside the reconnecting current sheet under an intermediate guide field, and (3) gyrophase bunched electrons with high parallel speeds leaving the X‐line region. The normalized reconnection rates for the three EDRs range from 0.05 to 0.3. The measurements reveal that finite guide fields introduce new mechanisms to break the electron frozen‐in condition.

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