Articles | Volume 39, issue 4
Regular paper
02 Jul 2021
Regular paper |  | 02 Jul 2021

Evidence of the nonstationarity of the terrestrial bow shock from multi-spacecraft observations: methodology, results, and quantitative comparison with particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations

Christian Mazelle and Bertrand Lembège

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Cited articles

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Balikhin, M., Krasnosselskikh, V. V., and Gedalin, M.: The Scales in Quasi-perpendicular Shocks, Adv. Space Res., 15, 247–260,, 1995. 
Balogh, A., Carr, C. M., Acuña, M. H., Dunlop, M. W., Beek, T. J., Brown, P., Fornacon, K.-H., Georgescu, E., Glassmeier, K.-H., Harris, J., Musmann, G., Oddy, T., and Schwingenschuh, K.: The Cluster Magnetic Field Investigation: overview of in-flight performance and initial results, Ann. Geophys., 19, 1207–1217,, 2001. 
Biskamp, B. and Welter, H.: Numerical Studies of Magnetosonic Collisionless Shock Waves, Nucl. Fusion, 12, 663–666, 1972. 
Short summary
Nonstationarity of the quasi-perpendicular terrestrial bow shock is analyzed from magnetic field measurements, comparison with 2D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, and a careful and accurate methodology in the data processing. The results show evidence of a strong variability of the microstructures of the shock front (foot and ramp), confirming the importance of dissipative effects. These results indicate that these features can be signatures of the shock front self-reformation.