By Goetz Paschmann (Editor), S.J. Schwartz (Editor), C.P. Escoubet (Editor), S. Haaland (Editor)
While the circulate of plasma emitted from the sunlight (the sunlight wind) encounters Earth's magnetic box, it slows down and flows round it, abandoning a hollow space, the magnetosphere. The magnetopause is the skin that separates the sun wind at the open air from the Earth's magnetic box at the within. as the sunlight wind strikes at supersonic pace, a bow surprise needs to shape sooner than the magnetopause that acts to sluggish the sun wind to subsonic speeds. Magnetopause, bow surprise and their environs are wealthy in fascinating methods in collisionless plasmas, akin to surprise formation, magnetic reconnection, particle acceleration and wave-particle interactions. they're fascinating of their personal correct, as a part of Earth's setting, but in addition simply because they're prototypes of comparable constructions and phenomena which are ubiquitous within the universe, having the original virtue that they're obtainable to in situ measurements. the limits of the magnetosphere were the objective of direct in-situ measurements because the starting of the distance age. yet simply because they're consistently relocating, altering their orientation, and present process evolution, the translation of single-spacecraft measurements has been tormented by the basic lack of ability of a unmarried observer to unambiguously distinguish spatial from temporal alterations. the limits are therefore a first-rate goal for the examine via a heavily spaced fleet of spacecraft. hence the Cluster undertaking, with its 4 spacecraft in a third-dimensional configuration at variable separation distances, represents an enormous breakthrough. This twentieth quantity of the ISSI area technological know-how sequence represents the 1st synthesis of the intriguing new effects got within the first few years of the Cluster undertaking.
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Extra info for Outer Magnetospheric Boundaries: Cluster Results (Space Sciences Series of ISSI)
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When at large separations, (>1 RE ), it will be possible to use the Cluster spacecraft to study the properties of the plasma either side of these boundaries simultaneously. This will, for example, allow the deceleration of the solar wind in the foreshock to be characterised more accurately. ULF wave properties To establish the properties of the waves in the solar wind rest frame, multipoint observations are required. The ISEE mission used two spacecraft to investigate upstream waves. , Sonnerup and Scheible, 1998), which is restricted to the analysis of circularly/elliptically polarised waves, and is also constrained geometrically; if the spacecraft separation vector is perpendicular to the wave fronts, then the speed of the waves cannot be established.
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