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Structure of the earth’s magnetosheath at small fluctuations in the interplanetary magnetic field direction

Research paper by O. M. Chugunova, V. A. Pilipenko, G. N. Zastenker, N. N. Shevyrev

Indexed on: 07 Aug '11Published on: 07 Aug '11Published in: Cosmic Research



Abstract

Spatial structure of the magnetosheath of the Earth was studied under the conditions when no sharp (more than 40° during 5 min) changes in the interplanetary magnetic field direction were observed. On the basis of 24 flights of the Interball-1 satellite through the magnetosheath, it is found that three regions differing from each other by parameters of the field and plasma can be observed in the magnetosheath under the above-indicated conditions. These regions also differ from the solar wind region before front of the Earth’s magnetospheric bow shock. Empirical distributions of parameters were studied in each region. Taking into account the influence of the interplanetary magnetic field direction on the processes in the magnetosheath, the cases of quasi-perpendicular and quasi-parallel shock waves were considered separately. The study showed that the distribution of parameters in the selected regions (in the solar wind before front of the bow shock, in the magnetosheath behind the bow shock (post-shock), in the region of the magnetosheath with minimal fluctuations in the field, and in the inner magnetosheath) differ from each other at any interplanetary magnetic field direction.