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Termination shock response to large-scale solar wind fluctuationsThe analysis of data recorded by the Voyager 2 spacecraft indicates the presence of large-scale fluctuations in the solar wind ram pressure on the time scale of tens of days. The amplitude of the fluctuations is highly variable but often lies within a factor of 5 to 10 change from an average or mean value of the ram pressure. Since the spacecraft has presumably not encountered the termination shock yet, these fluctuations should eventually interact with the shock and thereby play a role in determining the shock location. Numerical solutions of the time-dependent gas dynamic equations are used to simulate the response of the termination shock to fluctuations in the solar wind ram pressure comparable to those observed. The primary result of this study is that the maximum shock excursion due to the fluctuations is of the order of 1 AU, which is much smaller than that predicted by other studies. Additional simulations show that the limited movement is due to the fact that the time scale for the termination shock response is substantially larger than the time scale of the fluctuations. It is also shown that the heliopause acts as a barrier for the fluctuations and confines them to the heliosphere.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Steinolfson, R. S. (Southwest Research Inst. San Antonio, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:199348
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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NameType 19960000803.pdf STI