Articles | Volume 31, issue 1
Regular paper
07 Jan 2013
Regular paper |  | 07 Jan 2013

Dust dynamic pressure and magnetopause displacement: reasons for non-detection

I. Mann and M. Hamrin

Abstract. In a recent paper, Treumann and Baumjohann (2011) propose that the contribution of dust particles to the solar wind dynamic pressure can cause large compressions of the Earth's magnetopause and suggest that this occurs when Earth encounters meteoroid streams. In this paper we estimate the contribution from charged dust particles to the solar wind dynamical pressure, and we exclude that the dust associated to meteoroid streams can influence the extension of the magnetopause according to the proposed model. A sufficient coupling to the solar wind is only expected for so-called nanodust. However, the dynamic pressure of the nanodust is orders of magnitudes below that of the solar wind, making it unlikely that its variation can be observed in displacements of the magnetopause. We also discuss the equation that the authors use for estimating the extension of the Earth's magnetopause, and conclude that this is not applicable due to the large gyroradius of the nanodust. We finally note that an influence of dust on the extension of a magnetosphere might be quite possible in other astrophysical systems and based on other processes.