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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2018-90
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 16 Aug 2018

Regular paper | 16 Aug 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).

Total Reflection of the Strahl within the Foot of the Earth's Bow Shock

Christopher A. Gurgiolo1,†, Melvyn L. Goldstein2, and Adolfo Viñas3,4 Christopher A. Gurgiolo et al.
  • 1Bitterroot Basic Research, Hamilton, MT, USA
  • 2Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Department of Physics, American University, Washington, DC 20016, USA
  • 4Geospace Physics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • deceased

Abstract. The reflection of a fraction of the solar wind at the bow shock to some extent defines the physical properties of what is known as the foreshock, the region where the interplanetary magnetic field has a direct connection to the bow shock. Both ion and electron reflection have been observed and together form a significant source of free energy that is responsible for many of the instabilities observed in this region. In this paper we concentrate on reflection of electrons at the shock and report two significant findings: The first is that the strahl, the field aligned component of the electron solar wind distribution, is fully reflected at the bow shock; the second finding is that the reflection occurs in the foot of the shock and not in the shock ramp. The latter implies that mirroring appears to play, at most, only a minor role in the electron reflection process.

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