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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  08 Jul 2020

08 Jul 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Statistical study of linear magnetic hole structures near Earth

Martin Volwerk1, David Mautner1, Cyril Simon Wedlund1, Charlotte Goetz2, Ferdinand Plaschke1, Tomas Karlsson3, Daniel Schmid1, and Diana Rojas-Castillo1,4 Martin Volwerk et al.
  • 1Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria
  • 2ESTEC, European Space Agency, Keplerlaan 1, 2201AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands
  • 3Department of Space and Plasma Physics, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 4Instituto de Geofísica, UNAM, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, Ciudad de México, México

Abstract. The MMS1 data for 8 months in the winter periods of 2017–2018 and 2018–2019, when MMS had its apogee in the upstream solar wind of the Earth's bow shock, are used to study Linear Magnetic Holes (LMHs). These LMHs are characterized by a magnetic depression of more than 50 % and a rotation of the background magnetic field of less then 10°. 426 LMHs are found and, based on their magnetoplasma characteristics, are split into three categories: cold (increase in density, little change in ion temperature), hot (increase in ion temperature, decrease in density) and sign change (at least one magnetic field component changes sign). The occurrence rate of LMHs is 2.3 per day. All LMHs are basically in pressure balance with the ambient plasma. Most of the linear magnetic holes are found in ambient plasmas that are stable against the mirror-mode generation, but only half of the holes are mirror-mode stable inside.

Martin Volwerk et al.

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Martin Volwerk et al.

Martin Volwerk et al.


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Latest update: 24 Oct 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The magnetic field in the solar wind is not constant, but varies in direction and strength. One of these variations shows a strong local reduction of the magnetic field strength and is called magnetic hole. These holes are usually an indication that there is, or has been, a temperature difference in the plasma of the solar wind, with the temperature along the magnetic field lower than perpendicular. The MMS spacecraft data have been used to study the characteristics of these holes near Earth.
The magnetic field in the solar wind is not constant, but varies in direction and strength. One...