Multi-Spacecraft Observations of Magnetosheath High Speed Jets

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Ferdinand Plaschke1, Heli Hietala2, Vassilis Angelopoulos3 and Rumi Nakamura1, (1)Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria, (2)Imperial College London, London, SW7, United Kingdom, (3)University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States
The dynamic pressure of the plasma in the dayside magnetosheath is typically much lower than in the solar wind, just upstream of the bow shock. Sometimes, however, transient enhancements in dynamic pressure (called high speed jets) can be observed. Recently, we performed a statistical study of potentially geo-effective jets in the noon sector sheath. These jets exhibit a major velocity component in anti-sunward direction, toward the magnetopause. The study was based on four years (2008-2011) of THEMIS magnetosheath and OMNI solar wind measurements, and resulted in a set of 2859 single-spacecraft-based jet identifications.

During those years, by orbit design, the three inner THEMIS spacecraft (THA, THD, and THE) were flying in close configuration near their respective apogees. Hence, dayside magnetosheath jet observations by one of the spacecraft are often complemented by context-providing measurements from the other two spacecraft. The multi-point information enables us to infer the spatial structure and extend of jets. In particular, we are able to compute a distribution of scale sizes (based on a model of probability for simultaneous multi-spacecraft jet observations), due to the high number of jets in our set and the relatively large spread in corresponding distances between the spacecraft. Furthermore, we present statistical results of the plasma flow pattern within jets and in their environment, showing how the magnetosheath plasma flow is modified on jet passage.