Preface to Special Topic: Plasma Physics from the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission

Julia E. Stawarz*, Kevin J. Genestreti

*Corresponding author for this work

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NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission is a four-spacecraft formation of Earth orbiting satellites that have been providing unparalleled measurements of the local kinetic-scale plasma dynamics in near-Earth space for the past 8 years. The spacecraft carry a full complement of space plasma instrumentation capable of measuring the 3D electromagnetic fields and particle distribution functions at cadences up to 100 times faster than previous missions and with interspacecraft separations as small as ∼5km, approaching the characteristic electron scales in many of the plasmas that MMS samples. In this Special Topic, we bring together 26 papers covering a broad range of topics—from magnetic reconnection, shocks, and turbulence to some of the basic nuances of collisionless dynamics—highlighting the many ways in which MMS is helping us to better understand both the dynamics of Earth's magnetosphere and the fundamental physics of plasmas.
Original languageEnglish
Article number040401
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number4
Early online date3 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

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