Solar wind magnetic holes can cross the bow shock and enter the magnetosheath Public Deposited

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  • Solar wind magnetic holes are localized depressions of the magnetic field strength, on timescales of seconds to minutes. We use Cluster multipoint measurements to identify 26 magnetic holes which are observed just upstream of the bow shock and, a short time later, downstream in the magnetosheath, thus showing that they can penetrate the bow shock and enter the magnetosheath. For two magnetic holes, we show that the relation between upstream and downstream properties of the magnetic holes are well described by the MHD (magnetohydrodynamic) Rankine–Hugoniot (RH) jump conditions. We also present a small statistical investigation of the correlation between upstream and downstream observations of some properties of the magnetic holes. The temporal scale size and magnetic field rotation across the magnetic holes are very similar for the upstream and downstream observations, while the depth of the magnetic holes varies more. The results are consistent with the interpretation that magnetic holes in Earth's and Mercury's magnetosheath are of solar wind origin, as has previously been suggested. Since the solar wind magnetic holes can enter the magnetosheath, they may also interact with the magnetopause, representing a new type of localized solar wind–magnetosphere interaction.


Date Issued
  • 2022
Academic Affiliation
Journal Title
Journal Issue/Number
  • 6
Journal Volume
  • 40
Last Modified
  • 2023-09-20
Resource Type
Rights Statement
  • 1432-0576