Sun  ID: 9

Topological Features of a Compressible Plasma Vortex Sheet - a Model of the Outer Heliospheric Wind

The Voyager and Pioneer Spacecraft have detected large-scale quasi-periodic plasma fluctuations in the outer heliosphere beyond 20 AU. A plasma vortex sheet model can explain these fluctuations and the observed correlations between various physical variables. The large scale outer heliosphere is modeled by solving the 3-D compressible magnetohydrodynamic equations involving three interacting shear layers.
Computations were done on a Cray computer at the NASA Center for Computational Sciences.
Six cases are animated: Weak magnetic field and strong magnetic field, each at three values of tau, the vortex street characteristic time. Contours of density
are shown as dark transparent 'tubes'. Critical points of the velocity field are represented by 'Glyphs'. Vortex cores are shown in orange and blue.

Visualization Credits

Cindy Starr (GST): Lead Visualizer
Edouard Siregar (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Sanjoy Ghosh (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Science Paper:
Siregar, E., D. A. Roberts, and M. L. Goldstein, Quasi-periodic transverse plasma flow associated with an evolving MHD vortex street in the outer heliosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 98, 13, 233, 1993.

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This item is part of this series:
Vortex Street

SVS >> Heliosphere
SVS >> Instability
SVS >> Plasma
DLESE >> Space science
NASA Science >> Sun