Anomalous magnetosheath flows and distorted subsolar magnetopause for radial interplanetary magnetic fields

J. H. Shue, J. K. Chao, P. Song, J. P. McFadden, A. Suvorova, V. Angelopoulos, K. H. Glassmeier, F. Plaschke

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Abstract

On 12 August 2007 from 1436 to 1441 UT, when the five THEMIS probes (THA, THB, THC, THD, and THE) were located near the subsolar magnetopause, a sunward flow was observed in the magnetosheath. A fast antisunward flow (-280 km/s) was observed in the magnetosheath before the sunward flow. Although THA observed this fast anti-sunward flow, THC and THD, which were also in the magnetosheath, instead observed a slow flow, indicating that the fast flow was small in scale. With the observed flow vectors and the magnetopause normal directions estimated from tangential discontinuity analysis, we conclude that this fast flow creates an indentation on the magnetopause, 1 RE deep and 2 RE wide. The magnetopause subsequently rebounds, rotating the flow direction sunward along the surface of the magnetopause. The fast flow is likely related to the radial interplanetary magnetic field.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL18112
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume36
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2009

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