Magnetic reconnection and particle energization: synergy of in situ and remote observations


We propose a team of 11 people to identify and study new ways how the knowledge about the magnetic reconnection process in astrophysical plasma environments can be significantly increased based on synergies between the observations of this process in situ in the near Earth space and remotely in the Solar corona. The major motivation is that both communities have reached a high level of understanding about the details of magnetic reconnection and such an approach finally is feasible. In addition, the launch within the last two years of Hinode, Stereo, and THEMIS, in combination with matured analysis of data from earlier spacecraft (RHESSI, Cluster, Wind, TRACE, SOHO) makes it very timely to address such questions as mechanisms of energetic particle acceleration in great detail. The support of theory and numerical simulations is crucial for the success. The first task of the team will be to review the fields of reconnection near the Earth, in the solar wind and in the solar corona to identify the most important questions where synergies can bring new important understanding and insights. The second part of the work will be to focus on one of the identified questions to carry out a detailed study utilizing all the important advantages of synergy. A possible scientific question for the detailed study might be the identification of particle energization mechanisms during the reconnection onset. This can require direct comparisons of the magnetic field reconfiguration, non-thermal particle distribution functions and their spatial and temporal evolution observed near the reconnection sites inside the Earth magnetosphere and the reconnection sites in the Solar corona. The expected outcome from this team is at least two papers - one review paper planned to be submitted in mid-2009 and a detailed study paper in mid-2010. A number of specialized study papers are anticipated in 2008-2010. For the goals of the proposal we would like to have three meetings: late 2008, early 2009, and early 2010.
Full proposal submitted to ISSI

Team members

Team photo
  • Ayumi Asai (Nat. Astronom. Obs., Japan)
  • Stuart Bale (U. California, USA)
  • Masaki Fujimoto (ISAS, JAXA, Japan)
  • Jack Gosling (U. Colorado, USA)
  • Yuri Khotyaintsev (IRF, Sweden)
  • Eduard Kontar (U. Glasgow, UK)
  • Säm Krucker (U. California, USA)
  • Thomas Neukirch (U. St. Andrews, UK)
  • Hamish Reid (U. Glasgow, UK)
  • Alessandro Retinó (Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria)
  • Vladimir Semenov (U. St.Petersburg, Russia)
  • Andris Vaivads (IRF, Sweden)
  • Loukas Vlahos (U. Thessaloniki, Greece)


  • First meeting December 1-5, 2008 (agenda)
  • Second meeting September 7-11, 2009 (agenda)
  • Third meeting Spring 2010 (preliminary)


Coming soon...

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