Electron Bernstein waves driven by electron crescents near the electron diffusion region


W. Y. Li, D. B. Graham, Yu. V. Khotyaintsev, A. Vaivads, M. André, K. Min, K. Liu, B. B. Tang, C. Wang, K. Fujimoto, C. Norgren, S. Toledo-Redondo, P.-A. Lindqvist, R. E. Ergun, R. B. Torbert, A. C. Rager, J. C. Dorelli, D. J. Gershman, B. L. Giles, B. Lavraud, F. Plaschke, W. Magnes, O. Le Contel, C. T. Russell & J. L. Burch
Nature Communications volume 11, Article number: 141 (2020)
The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft encounter an electron diffusion region (EDR) of asymmetric magnetic reconnection at Earth's magnetopause. The EDR is characterized by agyrotropic electron velocity distributions on both sides of the neutral line. Various types of plasma waves are produced by the magnetic reconnection in and near the EDR. Here we report large-amplitude electron Bernstein waves (EBWs) at the electron-scale boundary of the Hall current reversal. The finite gyroradius effect of the outflow electrons generates the crescent-shaped agyrotropic electron distributions, which drive the EBWs. The EBWs propagate toward the central EDR. The amplitude of the EBWs is sufficiently large to thermalize and diffuse electrons around the EDR. The EBWs contribute to the cross-field diffusion of the electron-scale boundary of the Hall current reversal near the EDR.