On the formation of a plasma pressure anisotropy in the dayside magnetosheath
Abstract. We present a numerical solution for the momentum equation of the magnetosheath particles that describes the distribution of the pressure anisotropy of the magnetosheath plasma in the midday meridian plane. The pressure anisotropy is a maximum near the magnetopause subsolar point (p⊥/p\Vert ≌ 10). The pressure anisotropy is caused by two factors: particles with small pitch angles (V\Vert>V⊥) which travel along the magnetic field lines away from the equatorial plane of the magnetosheath; and particles, after crossing the bowshock, which reach the bulk velocity component directed along the magnetic field lines again, away from the magnetosheath equatorial plane. This velocity increases with increasing distance from the subsolar point of the bowshock, and does not permit particles with large pitch angles (V⊥>V\Vert) to move toward the equatorial plane.