Earth  Sun  ID: 3478

THEMIS Explores the Earth's Bow Shock

The solar wind's first contact with the Earth's magnetic field creates a region known as the bow shock, much like the bow wave of a boat moving through the water. This region can also create additional turbulence which generates bursts of explosion-like currents. In this visualization, the orbits of the THEMIS fleet are combined with a 2-D slice from a hybrid magnetosphere simulation which illustrates these turbulent regions in the bow shock. This hybrid magnetosphere simulation treats the slow-moving ions by particle-in-cell computational methods and the faster electrons as a massless fluid. These simulations more accurately represent the magnetospheric physics, enabling a view of turbulent non-linear processes not visible in the simpler magnetohydrodynamic models. In this simulation, the color table is somewhat unusual. In order of increasing density, the colors run from white through violet, blue, green to black.

For More Information

Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Animator
Nick Omidi (Solana Scientific, Inc.): Scientist
David G. Sibeck (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Vassilis Angelopoulos (University of California at Berkeley): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Science Paper:
Omidi, N., 'Formation of cavities in the foreshock' in 'Turbulence and nonlinear processes in astrophysical plasmas'. Editors D. Shaikh and G. Zank. AIP Conference Proceedings 932, 2007.

Short URL to share this page:


Data Used:
SSCweb also referred to as: SSCweb ephemerides
Ephemeris - NASA/GSFC Space Physics Data Facility - 2007-06-25T00:00:00 to 2007-06-27T10:01:54
Satellite ephemerides
Omidi Magnetospheric Model
Model - 2007-06-25T00:00:00 to 2007-06-27T10:01:54
2.5-D Magnetospheric simuation
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
THEMIS Dayside Science

SVS >> Geomagnetic Field
SVS >> Magnetosphere
SVS >> Simulation
SVS >> Solar Wind
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles >> Electron Flux
GCMD >> Location >> Bow Shock
SVS >> iPod
SVS >> For Educators
NASA Science >> Earth
NASA Science >> Sun

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version