Browsing by Subject "Interplanetary shocks"

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  • Lehtinen, Simo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The solar corona constantly emits a flow of charged particles, called the solar wind, into interplanetary space. This flow is diverted around the Earth by the magnetic pressure of the Earth’s own geomagnetic field, shielding the Earth from the effect of this particle radiation. On occasion the Sun ejects a large amount of plasma outwards from the corona in an event called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). Such events can drive discontinuities in the solar wind plasma, called interplanetary shocks. Shocks can affect the Earth’s magnetosphere, compressing it inwards and generating electromagnetic waves inside it. In this thesis we will cover a study of the ultra-low frequency (ULF) wave response in the magnetosphere to CME-driven shocks. Geomagnetic pulsations are ultra-low frequency plasma waves in the magnetosphere, observable from ground-based magnetometers. The compression of the magnetosphere by interplanetary shocks generates geomagnetic pulsations in the Pc4 and Pc5 frequency ranges (2 - 22 mHz). These waves play an important role in magnetospheric dynamics and the acceleration and depletion of high energy electrons in the radiation belts. We consider 39 interplanetary shock events driven by CMEs, and analyse ground-based magnetometer data from stations located near local noon at the time of the shock arrival. Solar wind measurements are used to categorise interplanetary shocks based on their Mach number and the dynamic pressure differential as main indicators of shock strength. The importance of these parameters in determining the strength of the wave response in the geomagnetic field is then studied using wavelet analysis and superposed epoch analysis. Stronger shocks are found to result in larger increases in wave activity, especially in the Pc4 range. Ground stations at higher latitudes observe higher wavepower, but there is an interesting anomaly in the Pc4 range at stations magnetically connected to regions near the plasmapause, which show an enhanced wavepower response. We quantify the decay time of the wave activity and find that it is around 20 hours for Pc5 waves and 7 hours for Pc4 waves.
  • Juusola, L.; Andreeova, K.; Amm, O.; Kauristie, K.; Milan, S. E.; Palmroth, M.; Partamies, N. (2010)
  • Wilson, Lynn B.; Chen, Li-Jen; Wang, Shan; Schwartz, Steven J.; Turner, Drew L.; Stevens, Michael L.; Kasper, Justin C.; Osmane, Adnane; Caprioli, Damiano; Bale, Stuart D.; Pulupa, Marc P.; Salem, Chadi S.; Goodrich, Katherine A. (2020)
    An analysis of model fit results of 15,210 electron velocity distribution functions (VDFs), observed within 2 hr of 52 interplanetary (IP) shocks by the Wind spacecraft near 1 au, is presented as the third and final part on electron VDFs near IP shocks. The core electrons and protons dominate in the magnitude and change in the partial-to-total thermal pressure ratio, with the core electrons often gaining as much or more than the protons. Only a moderate positive correlation is observed between the electron temperature and the kinetic energy change across the shock, while weaker, if any, correlations were found with any other macroscopic shock parameter. No VDF parameter correlated with the shock normal angle. The electron VDF evolves from a narrowly peaked core with flaring suprathermal tails in the upstream to either a slightly hotter core with steeper tails or much hotter flattop core with even steeper tails downstream of the weaker and strongest shocks, respectively. Both quasi-static and fluctuating fields are examined as possible mechanisms modifying the VDF, but neither is sufficient alone. For instance, flattop VDFs can be generated by nonlinear ion acoustic wave stochastic acceleration (i.e., inelastic collisions), while other work suggested they result from the combination of quasi-static and fluctuating fields. This three-part study shows that not only are these systems not thermodynamic in nature; even kinetic models may require modification to include things like inelastic collision operators to properly model electron VDF evolution across shocks or in the solar wind.