Observation of an Extremely Large-Density Heliospheric Plasma Sheet Compressed by an Interplanetary Shock at 1 AU

Observation of an Extremely Large-Density Heliospheric Plasma Sheet Compressed by an... At 11:46 UT on 9 September 2011, the Wind spacecraft encountered an interplanetary (IP) fast-forward shock. The shock was followed almost immediately by a short-duration (∼ 35 minutes) extremely dense pulse (with a peak ∼ 94 cm−3). The pulse induced an extremely large positive impulse (SYM-H = 74 nT and Dst = 48 nT) on the ground. A close examination of other in situ parameters from Wind shows that the density pulse was associated with i) a spike in the plasma β $\upbeta$ (ratio of thermal to magnetic pressure), ii) multiple sign changes in the azimuthal component of the magnetic field ( B ϕ $B_{\phi}$ ), iii) a depressed magnetic field magnitude, iv) a small radial component of the magnetic field, and v) a large (> 90°) change in the suprathermal (∼ 255 eV) electron pitch angle across the density pulse. We conclude that the density pulse is associated with the heliospheric plasma sheet (HPS). The thickness of the HPS is estimated to be ∼ 8.2 × 10 5 km ${\sim}\,8.2\times10^{5}\ \mbox{km}$ . The HPS density peak is about five times the value of a medium-sized density peak inside the HPS (∼ 18 cm−3) at 1 AU. Our global three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulation results (Wu et al. in J. Geophys. Res. 212, 1839, 2016) suggest that the extremely large density pulse may be the result of the compression of the HPS by an IP shock crossing or an interaction between an interplanetary shock and a corotating interaction region. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Solar Physics Springer Journals

Observation of an Extremely Large-Density Heliospheric Plasma Sheet Compressed by an Interplanetary Shock at 1 AU

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA)
Subject
Physics; Astrophysics and Astroparticles; Atmospheric Sciences; Space Sciences (including Extraterrestrial Physics, Space Exploration and Astronautics)
ISSN
0038-0938
eISSN
1573-093X
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11207-017-1114-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

At 11:46 UT on 9 September 2011, the Wind spacecraft encountered an interplanetary (IP) fast-forward shock. The shock was followed almost immediately by a short-duration (∼ 35 minutes) extremely dense pulse (with a peak ∼ 94 cm−3). The pulse induced an extremely large positive impulse (SYM-H = 74 nT and Dst = 48 nT) on the ground. A close examination of other in situ parameters from Wind shows that the density pulse was associated with i) a spike in the plasma β $\upbeta$ (ratio of thermal to magnetic pressure), ii) multiple sign changes in the azimuthal component of the magnetic field ( B ϕ $B_{\phi}$ ), iii) a depressed magnetic field magnitude, iv) a small radial component of the magnetic field, and v) a large (> 90°) change in the suprathermal (∼ 255 eV) electron pitch angle across the density pulse. We conclude that the density pulse is associated with the heliospheric plasma sheet (HPS). The thickness of the HPS is estimated to be ∼ 8.2 × 10 5 km ${\sim}\,8.2\times10^{5}\ \mbox{km}$ . The HPS density peak is about five times the value of a medium-sized density peak inside the HPS (∼ 18 cm−3) at 1 AU. Our global three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulation results (Wu et al. in J. Geophys. Res. 212, 1839, 2016) suggest that the extremely large density pulse may be the result of the compression of the HPS by an IP shock crossing or an interaction between an interplanetary shock and a corotating interaction region.

Journal

Solar PhysicsSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 9, 2017

References

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