Open Access

Modeling of substorms and flares by the fast reconnection mechanism

Earth, Planets and Space200961:BF03352922

https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03352922

Received: 2 October 2007

Accepted: 4 June 2008

Published: 29 May 2009

Abstract

The 3D spontaneous fast reconnection model is applied to well-known signatures of geomagnetic substorms and solar flares. First, it is applied to the traveling compression regions (TCRs) associated with plasmoids propagating down the tail plasma sheet, known as a definite signature of geomagnetic substorms, and the in-situ satellite observations can be precisely explained, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Then, it is demonstrated that the magnetospheric current wedge drastically evolves through field-aligned currents to link the tail current to the auroral electrojet. It is also found that the well-known morphological features of two-ribbon flares can be explained by the fast reconnection model. In particular, the joule heating, associated with the flare current wedge, is shown to be important for the two-ribbon heating. Therefore, it is suggested that both solar flares and geomagnetic substorms result from the same physical mechanism, i.e., the fast reconnection mechanism.

Key words

Fast reconnectionsubstormsflaresTCRcurrent wedge