Correlation length of magnetosheath fluctuations: Cluster statistics
- Charles University, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, V Holesovickach 2, 180 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic
Abstract. Magnetosheath parameters are usually described by gasdynamic or magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) models but these models cannot account for one of the most important sources of magnetosheath fluctuations – the foreshock. Earlier statistical processing of a large amount of magnetosheath observations has shown that the magnetosheath magnetic field and plasma flow fluctuations downstream of the quasiparallel shock are much larger than those at the opposite flank. These studies were based on the observations of a single spacecraft and thus they could not provide full information on propagation of the fluctuations through the magnetosheath.
We present the results of a statistical survey of the magnetosheath magnetic field fluctuations using two years of Cluster observations. We discuss the dependence of the cross-correlation coefficients between different spacecraft pairs on the orientation of the separation vector with respect to the average magnetic field and plasma flow vectors and other parameters. We have found that the correlation length does not exceed ~1 RE in the analyzed frequency range (0.001–0.125 Hz) and does not depend significantly on the magnetic field or plasma flow direction. A close connection of cross-correlation coefficients computed in the magnetosheath with the cross-correlation coefficients between a solar wind monitor and a magnetosheath spacecraft suggests that solar wind structures persist on the background of magnetosheath fluctuations.