Foreshock transients, including hot flow anomalies (HFAs) and foreshock bubbles (FBs), are frequently observed in the ion foreshock. Their significant dynamic pressure perturbations can disturb the bow shock, resulting in disturbances in the magnetosphere and ionosphere. They can also contribute to particle acceleration at their parent bow shock. These disturbances and particle acceleration caused by the foreshock transients are not yet predictable, however. In this study, we take the first step in establishing a first‐order predictive expansion speed model for FBs (which are simpler than HFAs). Starting with energy conversion from foreshock ions to solar wind ions, we derive the FB expansion speed in the FB's early formation stage and late expansion stage as a function of foreshock and solar wind parameters. We use local hybrid simulations with varying parameters to fit and improve the early stage model and 1D particle‐in‐cell simulations to test the late‐stage model. By comparing model results with Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) observations, we adjust the late‐stage model and show that it can predict the FB expansion speed. Our study provides a foundation for predictive models of foreshock transient formation and expansion, so that we can eventually forecast their space weather effects and particle acceleration at shocks.
This content will become publicly available on April 6, 2024
When a solar wind discontinuity interacts with foreshock ions, foreshock transients such as hot flow anomalies and foreshock bubbles can form. These create significant dynamic pressure perturbations disturbing the bow shock, magnetopause, and magnetosphere‐ionosphere system. However, presently these phenomena are not predictable. In the accompanying paper, we derived analytical equations of foreshock ion partial gyration around a discontinuity and the resultant current density. In this study, we utilize the derived current density strength to model the energy conversion from the foreshock ions, which drives the outward motion or expansion of the solar wind plasma away from the discontinuity. We show that the model expansion speeds match those from local hybrid simulations for varying foreshock ion parameters. Using MMS, we conduct a statistical study showing that the model expansion speeds are moderately correlated with the magnetic field strength variations and the dynamic pressure decreases around discontinuities with correlation coefficients larger than 0.5. We use conjunctions between ARTEMIS and MMS to show that the model expansion speeds are typically large for those already‐formed foreshock transients. Our results show that our model can be reasonably successful in predicting significant dynamic pressure disturbances caused by foreshock ion‐discontinuity interactions. We discuss ways to improve the model in the future.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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In the ion foreshock, hot flow anomalies (HFAs) and foreshock bubbles (FBs) are two types of foreshock transients that have the strongest fluctuations, which can disturb the magnetosphere‐ionosphere system and increase shock acceleration efficiency. They form due to interaction between the foreshock ions and solar wind discontinuities: the direction of the foreshock ion‐driven current and whether it decreases or increases the magnetic field strength behind the discontinuity determine whether the transient's formation can be promoted or suppressed. Thus, to predict the HFA and FB formation and forecast their space weather effects, it is necessary to predict the foreshock ion‐driven current direction. In this study, we derive analytical equations of foreshock ion velocities within discontinuities to estimate foreshock ion‐driven current direction, which provides a quantitative criterion of HFA and FB formation. To validate the criterion, we use Acceleration Reconnection Turbulence & Electrodynamics of Moon's Interaction with the Sun to observe pristine solar wind discontinuities and calculate discontinuity parameters. We use Magnetospheric Multiscale to observe the foreshock ion motion around the discontinuities and show that the data support our model. This study is another step toward a predictive model of HFA and FB formation so that we can forecast their space weather effects at Earth using solar wind observations at lunar orbit or L1.
Foreshock transients can result in significant dynamic pressure perturbations downstream, causing the magnetopause to move locally outward and inward. These near‐magnetopause phenomena in turn generate magnetospheric field‐aligned currents (FACs). FACs driven by solar wind impulses are commonly found to be due to flow vortices, but it remains unclear whether the FACs driven by those localized foreshock transients are contributed by flow vortices or pressure gradients. We report on a fortuitous conjunction between the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, which was observing a foreshock transient at the flank of the bow shock, and the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) mission, immediately downstream of MMS, which was observing magnetopause disturbances arising from that transient. Using observations from the three THEMIS spacecraft to calculate local current density perturbations within the outward motion region of the magnetosphere, we find that flow vortices play a dominant role in generating the current there; the contribution from pressure gradients is one order of magnitude smaller. Using a global hybrid simulation that reproduces the observed foreshock transient perturbations, we traced the simulated FACs generated by the transient's interaction with the magnetopause. We find that in the outward magnetopause motion region the simulated FACs are driven by flow vortices, in agreement with THEMIS observations. Deeper inside the magnetosphere, the faster convection of bipolar flow vortices than the local magnetospheric flow leads to reversal of the simulated FACs. Our results improve our understanding of how foreshock transients disturb and energize the magnetosphere‐ionosphere system.
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