Released on December 11, 2007
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.
This movie opens with a view of the five THEMIS satellites (the color dots) moving along their orbits. We then fade in the 2-D data from the Omidi simulation and zoom in to view the turbulence in the region of the bow shock.
Push in to a view of the satellites in the turbulent region near the bow shock. The 'bubbles' of violet and white surrounded by green and black illustrate broad the range of particle densities in this turbulence.
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: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/3478
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 220.127.116.11.0