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Simulation of Magnetosheath Jet Evolution

Presentation #215.02 in the session Planetary Space Physics Talks (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Simulation of Magnetosheath Jet Evolution

Magnetosheath jets refer to regions in the magnetosheath with local dynamic pressure enhancements. Mostly, these enhancements propagate from the bow shock to the magnetopause. When they reach the magnetopause, they can cause large-amplitude indentations on impact. However, studies have indicated that these jets tend to occur more frequently near the bow shock as compared to the magnetopause.

The goal of the present study is to investigate the jet evolution from the bow shock to the magnetopause using a local 3D magnetohydrodynamic simulation. In particular, we studied the influence of the orientation of the background magnetic field, the velocity of the jet in the rest frame of the ambient magnetosheath plasma and the jet size. We show that for all conditions the plasma parameters inside the jet approach the values in the ambient magnetosheath plasma after a specific time scale. However, for larger and faster jets, this process takes longer and therefore such jets are more likely to reach the magnetopause. We find that the effect of the magnetic field onto the time scale is negligible. However, the shape of the jet becomes elongated and aligns with the background magnetic field. In addition, the jets are observed to break up into two parts, one with increased and one with decreased magnetic field strength. Furthermore, we validated prior observations that showed the formation of a vortical flow region around the jet, as well as the formation of a bow wave in front of a jet.

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