Estimating the solar wind pressure at comet 67P from Rosetta magnetic field measurements

Timár, Anikó and Németh, Zoltán and Szegő, Károly and Dósa, Melinda and Opitz, Andrea (2019) Estimating the solar wind pressure at comet 67P from Rosetta magnetic field measurements. JOURNAL OF SPACE WEATHER AND SPACE CLIMATE, 9. pp. 1-11. ISSN 2115-7251

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Aims: The solar wind pressure is an important parameter of space weather, which plays a crucial role in the interaction of the solar wind with the planetary plasma environment. Here we investigate the possibility of determining a solar wind pressure proxy from Rosetta magnetic field data, measured deep inside the induced magnetosphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This pressure proxy would be useful not only for other Rosetta related studies but could also serve as a new, independent input database for space weather propagation to other locations in the Solar System. Method: For the induced magnetospheres of comets the magnetic pressure in the innermost part of the pile-up region is balanced by the solar wind dynamic pressure. Recent investigations of Rosetta data have revealed that the maximum magnetic field in the pile-up region can be approximated by magnetic field measurements performed in the inner regions of the cometary magnetosphere, close to the boundary of the diamagnetic cavity, from which the external solar wind pressure can be estimated. Results: We were able to determine a solar wind pressure proxy for the time interval when the Rosetta spacecraft was located near the diamagnetic cavity boundary, between late April 2015 and January 2016. We then compared our Rosetta pressure proxy to solar wind pressure extrapolated to comet 67P from near-Earth. After the exclusion of disturbances caused by transient events, we found a strong correlation between the two datasets.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QB Astronomy, Astrophysics / csillagászat, asztrofizika
Q Science / természettudomány > QE Geology / földtudományok > QE01 Geophysics / geofizika
Depositing User: Dr. Zoltán Németh
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2019 10:01
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2019 10:01

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