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Author Gratton, F. T. ♦ Farrugia, C. J. ♦ Cowley, S. W. H.
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword PHYSICS ♦ MAGNETOPAUSE ♦ RAYLEIGH-TAYLOR INSTABILITY ♦ INTERPLANETARY MAGNETIC FIELDS ♦ SOLAR WIND
Abstract The authors examine the question of whether the magnetopause is Rayleigh-Taylor stable. The magnetopause tends to be in continuous motion because of the effect of the dyanmic pressure from the solar wind. When there is a sudden drop in solar wind pressure, and the magnetopause tends to accelerate sunward, a situation is created where the magnetopause may go unstable. The authors look at two possible stabilizing effects, first the magnetic shear which exists across the magnetopause, and then the viscous nature of the magnetosheath plasma. They find that large shear leads to stability for the Rayleigh-Taylor mode. When there is a strong northward component in the magnetosheath field, they find that the magnetopause may be unstable to this mode for both global and internal modes. They also discuss the effect of such instabilities on observations.
ISSN 01480227
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1996-03-01
Publisher Place United States
Journal Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume Number 101
Issue Number A3


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