Evidence for periodic reconnection at Uranus?

J. D. Richardson*, J. W. Belcher, R. S. Selesnick, M. Zhang, G. L. Siscoe, A. Eviatar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The unique orientation of Uranus at the time of the Voyager 2 encounter results in a convection dominated magnetosphere. Plasma and magnetic field data from the tail magnetosheath are presented. Velocity decreases of 5‐10% seem to occur with a 17 hour period. At least four repetitions of this decrease are observed, in all cases when flow passes over the dayside polar cap. One possible interpretation of these features is that they are signatures of dayside reconnection. The cause of the velocity decreases would be drag on the reconnected flux tubes which are coupled via Birkeland currents to the ionosphere. The coupling efficiency for power transfer between the solar wind and Uranian magnetosphere implied by these decreases is consistent with previous determinations of this quantity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-736
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1988
Externally publishedYes


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