In this article we address several criticisms of Petschek-type reconnection models which have recently been raised by Heikkila. We discuss features of the time-dependent Petschek-type models in the context of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction, and point out that such models can incorporate and reproduce observed features at the magnetopause, such as plasma jets and erosion of the current sheet. We argue that some of Heikkila's criticisms can be attributed to weaknesses in the analysis due to incomplete experimental information, rather than to flaws in the concept of reconnection per se; in this category we include the question of which instability leads to the localised breakup of the magnetopause current sheet. Other criticisms are based on an adherence to steady-state models, and cannot be sustained within the extended time-dependent theory. We discuss, for example, how the time-dependent model can provide a consistent picture of how energy from the incoming solar wind is transferred and converted as it enters the magnetosphere.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Space Science Reviews|
|State||Published - 1 Dec 1997|
Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science