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.
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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.more » « less
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- DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
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- Journal Name:
- Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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