Journal Highlights

Analyzing a 3-D kinetic simulation of a vortex-induced reconnection event

Editor’s Highlight—


This paper presents an analysis of a 3D fully-kinetic simulation of Kelvin-Helmholz vortices along Earth’s magnetopause. The results of the simulation are compared to observations from NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. The authors present evidence of secondary, turbulent reconnection, a preference for reconnection on one side of the mixing layer between the two plasmas, and formation of a new mixing layer with strong electron parallel heating. This work shows how magnetic reconnection allows collisionless plasmas to behave globally in ways very similar to collisional fluids, but with unique magnetic signatures. It should be of significant interest to the magnetospheric and plasma physics communities.