Acceleration of solar wind ions to 1 MeV by electromagnetic structures upstream of the Earth's bow shock

Kristof Stasiewicz, Stefano Markidis, Bengt Eliasson, M. Strumik, M. Yamauchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present measurements from the ESA/NASA Cluster mission that show in situ acceleration of ions to energies of 1 MeV outside the bow shock. The observed heating can be associated with the presence of electromagnetic structures with strong spatial gradients of the electric field that lead to ion gyro-phase breaking and to the onset of chaos in ion trajectories. It results in rapid, stochastic acceleration of ions in the direction perpendicular to the ambient magnetic field. The electric potential of the structures can be compared to a field of moguls on a ski slope, capable of accelerating and ejecting the fast running skiers out of piste. This mechanism may represent the universal mechanism for perpendicular acceleration and heating of ions in the magnetosphere, the solar corona and in astrophysical plasmas. This is also a basic mechanism that can limit steepening of nonlinear electromagnetic structures at shocks and foreshocks in collisionless plasmas.
LanguageEnglish
Article number49001
Number of pages5
JournalEPL: A Letters Journal Exploring the Frontiers of Physics
Volume102
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2013

Fingerprint

bows
upstream
solar wind
shock
electromagnetism
ions
Cluster Mission
skis
heating
collisionless plasmas
solar corona
European Space Agency
magnetospheres
chaos
astrophysics
trajectories
slopes
gradients
electric fields
electric potential

Keywords

  • ion acceleration
  • solitary waves
  • magnetohydrodynamics
  • acceleration
  • 1 MeV
  • electromagnetic structures

Cite this

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title = "Acceleration of solar wind ions to 1 MeV by electromagnetic structures upstream of the Earth's bow shock",
abstract = "We present measurements from the ESA/NASA Cluster mission that show in situ acceleration of ions to energies of 1 MeV outside the bow shock. The observed heating can be associated with the presence of electromagnetic structures with strong spatial gradients of the electric field that lead to ion gyro-phase breaking and to the onset of chaos in ion trajectories. It results in rapid, stochastic acceleration of ions in the direction perpendicular to the ambient magnetic field. The electric potential of the structures can be compared to a field of moguls on a ski slope, capable of accelerating and ejecting the fast running skiers out of piste. This mechanism may represent the universal mechanism for perpendicular acceleration and heating of ions in the magnetosphere, the solar corona and in astrophysical plasmas. This is also a basic mechanism that can limit steepening of nonlinear electromagnetic structures at shocks and foreshocks in collisionless plasmas.",
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Acceleration of solar wind ions to 1 MeV by electromagnetic structures upstream of the Earth's bow shock. / Stasiewicz, Kristof; Markidis, Stefano; Eliasson, Bengt; Strumik, M.; Yamauchi, M.

In: EPL: A Letters Journal Exploring the Frontiers of Physics, Vol. 102, No. 4, 49001, 21.05.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Acceleration of solar wind ions to 1 MeV by electromagnetic structures upstream of the Earth's bow shock

AU - Stasiewicz, Kristof

AU - Markidis, Stefano

AU - Eliasson, Bengt

AU - Strumik, M.

AU - Yamauchi, M.

PY - 2013/5/21

Y1 - 2013/5/21

N2 - We present measurements from the ESA/NASA Cluster mission that show in situ acceleration of ions to energies of 1 MeV outside the bow shock. The observed heating can be associated with the presence of electromagnetic structures with strong spatial gradients of the electric field that lead to ion gyro-phase breaking and to the onset of chaos in ion trajectories. It results in rapid, stochastic acceleration of ions in the direction perpendicular to the ambient magnetic field. The electric potential of the structures can be compared to a field of moguls on a ski slope, capable of accelerating and ejecting the fast running skiers out of piste. This mechanism may represent the universal mechanism for perpendicular acceleration and heating of ions in the magnetosphere, the solar corona and in astrophysical plasmas. This is also a basic mechanism that can limit steepening of nonlinear electromagnetic structures at shocks and foreshocks in collisionless plasmas.

AB - We present measurements from the ESA/NASA Cluster mission that show in situ acceleration of ions to energies of 1 MeV outside the bow shock. The observed heating can be associated with the presence of electromagnetic structures with strong spatial gradients of the electric field that lead to ion gyro-phase breaking and to the onset of chaos in ion trajectories. It results in rapid, stochastic acceleration of ions in the direction perpendicular to the ambient magnetic field. The electric potential of the structures can be compared to a field of moguls on a ski slope, capable of accelerating and ejecting the fast running skiers out of piste. This mechanism may represent the universal mechanism for perpendicular acceleration and heating of ions in the magnetosphere, the solar corona and in astrophysical plasmas. This is also a basic mechanism that can limit steepening of nonlinear electromagnetic structures at shocks and foreshocks in collisionless plasmas.

KW - ion acceleration

KW - solitary waves

KW - magnetohydrodynamics

KW - acceleration

KW - 1 MeV

KW - electromagnetic structures

UR - http://iopscience.iop.org/0295-5075/102/4/49001/

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DO - 10.1209/0295-5075/102/49001

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JO - EPL: A Letters Journal Exploring the Frontiers of Physics

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