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 reconnection substorms flares TCR current wedge