Waves in high-speed plasmoids in the magnetosheath and at the magnetopause
Abstract. Plasmoids, defined here as plasma entities with a higher anti-sunward velocity component than the surrounding plasma, have been observed in the magnetosheath in recent years. During the month of March 2007 the Cluster spacecraft crossed the magnetopause near the subsolar point 13 times. Plasmoids with larger velocities than the surrounding magnetosheath were found on seven of these 13 occasions. The plasmoids approach the magnetopause and interact with it. Both whistler mode waves and waves in the lower hybrid frequency range appear in these plasmoids, and the energy density of the waves inside the plasmoids is higher than the average wave energy density in the magnetosheath. When the spacecraft are in the magnetosphere, Alfvénic waves are observed. Cold ions of ionospheric origin are seen in connection with these waves, when the wave electric and magnetic fields combine with the Earth's dc magnetic field to yield an E × B/B2 drift speed that is large enough to give the ions energies above the detection threshold.