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The structure of low Mach number, low beta, quasi-perpendicular collisionless shocks

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1
Lynn Wilson
  • Function : Author
Andriy Koval
  • Function : Author
Adam Szabo
  • Function : Author
Michael Stevens
Justin Kasper
Cynthia Cattell
  • Function : Author

Abstract

A study of the structure of 145 low Mach number (M <= 3), low beta (β <= 1), quasi-perpendicular interplanetary collisionless shock waves observed by the Wind spacecraft has provided strong evidence that these shocks have large amplitude whistler precursors. The common occurrence and large amplitudes of the precursors raise doubts about the standard assumption that such shocks can be classified as laminar structures. This directly contradicts standard models. In 113 of the 145 shocks ( 78%), we observe clear evidence of magnetosonic-whistler precursor fluctuations with frequencies 0.1-7 Hz. The presence or absence of precursors showed no dependence on any shock parameter. The majority ( 66%) of the precursors propagate at <=45° with respect to the upstream average magnetic field, most (87%) propagate >=30° from the shock normal vector, and most ( 79%) propagate at least 20° from the coplanarity plane. The peak-to-peak wave amplitudes are large with a range of maximum values of 0.2-13 nT with an average of 3 nT. When we normalize the wave amplitudes to the upstream averaged magnetic field and the shock ramp amplitude, we find average values of 50% and 80%, respectively.
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Dates and versions

insu-03568074 , version 1 (12-02-2022)

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Lynn Wilson, Andriy Koval, Adam Szabo, Michael Stevens, Justin Kasper, et al.. The structure of low Mach number, low beta, quasi-perpendicular collisionless shocks. APS Division of Plasma Physics Meeting 201, Oct 2017, Milwaukee, United States. ⟨insu-03568074⟩
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