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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-65
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-65
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ANGEO Communicates 06 May 2019

ANGEO Communicates | 06 May 2019

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

Jets in the Magnetosheath: IMF Control of Where They Occur

Laura Vuorinen1, Heli Hietala1,2, and Ferdinand Plaschke3 Laura Vuorinen et al.
  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  • 2Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • 3Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria

Abstract. Magnetosheath jets are localized regions of plasma that move faster towards the Earth than the surrounding magnetosheath plasma. Due to their high velocities, they can cause indentations when colliding into the magnetopause and trigger processes such as magnetic reconnection and magnetopause surface waves. We statistically study the occurrence of these jets in the subsolar magnetosheath using measurements from the five Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) spacecraft and OMNI solar wind data from 2008–2011. We present the observations in the BIMF-vSW plane and study the spatial distribution of jets during different interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) orientations. Jets occur downstream of the quasi-parallel bow shock approximately 9 times as often as downstream of the quasi-perpendicular shock, suggesting that foreshock processes are responsible for most jets. For oblique IMF, with 30°–60° cone angle, the occurrence increases monotonically from the quasi-perpendicular side to the quasi-parallel side. This study offers predictability for the numbers and locations of jets observed during different IMF orientations allowing us to better forecast the formation of these jets and their impact on the magnetosphere.

Laura Vuorinen et al.
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Laura Vuorinen et al.
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Latest update: 19 May 2019
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Short summary
Before the solar wind encounters the Earth's magnetic field, it is first slowed down and deflected by the Earth's bow shock. We find that downstream of the bow shock regions where the shock normal and the solar wind magnetic field are almost parallel and the shock is more rippled, plasma jets with high earthward velocities are observed significantly more often than elsewhere downstream of the shock. Our results help us forecast the occurrence of these jets and their effects on Earth.
Before the solar wind encounters the Earth's magnetic field, it is first slowed down and...
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