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Statistical analysis of cluster crossing the magnetopause during northward IMF
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The magnetopause is a dividing boundary preventing the magnetosphere from being directly affected by the shocked solar wind (magnetosheath plasma). But it is not a layer fully shielding the influence of the solar wind, whereas it acts as a filter layer letting some mass, moment and energy in the magnetosheath enter into the magnetosphere. The transportation through the magnetopause from magnetosheath to the magnetosphere is a complex process, which depends on various physics situations on both sides of magnetopause. The magnetopause is a complicated layer with many possible mixed regions existing around it. Therefore, studying the physics around the magnetopause is crucial to understand the non-linear coupling between the solar wind and the magnetosphere as well as to help improve the space weather prediction of magnetospheric activity. For northward IMF any coupling processes are believed to be much less efficient and also much less studied. Cluster consisting of four satellites is flying in the polar orbit around the Earth, and it crosses through the high-latitude magnetopause during the spring orbits. Therefore, it is a good opportunity to study the agnetopause crossing by Cluster when IMF is northward. In this thesis, we did a statistical analysis of the magnetopause crossings as encountered by Cluster during northward IMF, in order to give more insights to the regions around the magnetopause on northward IMF condition. We used plasma data and magnetic field data from CIS and FGM in 3 years (2001–2003) of spring orbits (January to May) for our study. AUX data is also used to investigate the Cluster position and trajectory section in the interesting time ranges. The main results of this thesis are as follows. A criterion algorithm for finding such cases automatically is established and works well on the dataset. Different types of crossing cases (Front-side and Flank) are studied. Some known regions such as magnetosheath transition layer and magnetopause boundary layer are observed and identified. The magnetopause oscillation is also observed. The magnetosheath-like flow which is inside the magnetopause with almost all magnetosheath plasma characteristics is also found. All the results in this thesis give some new insights into what the magnetopause region looks like in different positions, e.g. the front-side and the flank, and how magnetosheath and magnetospheric plasma may mix in the interaction region. This open a beginning story for a larger study of magnetopause physics during northward IMF based on more Cluster data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, Northward IMF, Magnetopause crossing, Boundary layer, Magnetosheath-like flow, Magnetopause motion
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-43662ISRN: LTU-PB-EX--08/109--SELocal ID: 1810782a-fc59-405d-83ed-940b7279793bOAI: diva2:1016902
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Space Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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