BibTex format

author = {Zomerdijk-Russell, S and Masters, A and Sun, WJ and Fear, RC and Slavin, JA},
doi = {10.1029/2023JA031810},
journal = {JGR: Space Physics},
title = {Does reconnection only occur at points of maximum shear on Mercury’s dayside magnetopause?},
url = {},
volume = {128},
year = {2023}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - MESSENGER observations of large numbers of flux transfer events (FTEs) during dayside crossings of Mercury's magnetopause have shown that the highly dynamic Hermean magnetosphere is strongly driven by frequent and intense magnetic reconnection. Since FTEs are products of reconnection, study of them can reveal information about whether reconnection sites favor points of maximum shear on the magnetopause. Here, we analyze 201 FTEs formed under relatively stable upstream solar wind conditions as observed by MESSENGER during inbound magnetopause crossings. By modeling paths of these FTEs along the magnetopause, we determine the conditions and locations of the reconnection sites at which these FTEs were likely formed. The majority of these FTE formation paths were found to intersect with high-magnetic shear regions, defined as shear angles above 135°. Seven FTEs were found where the maximum shear angle possible between the reconnecting magnetic field lines was less than 80° and three of these had shear angles less than 70°, supporting the idea that very low-shear reconnection could be occurring on Mercury's dayside magnetopause under this global-scale picture of magnetic reconnection. Additionally, for the FTEs formed under these low-shear reconnection conditions, tracing a dominant X-line connecting points of maximum shear along the magnetopause that passes through a region of very low-shear may be difficult to justify, implying reconnection could be occurring anywhere along Mercury's magnetopause and may not be confined to points of maximum shear.
AU - Zomerdijk-Russell,S
AU - Masters,A
AU - Sun,WJ
AU - Fear,RC
AU - Slavin,JA
DO - 10.1029/2023JA031810
PY - 2023///
SN - 2169-9402
TI - Does reconnection only occur at points of maximum shear on Mercury’s dayside magnetopause?
T2 - JGR: Space Physics
UR -
UR -
VL - 128
ER -