J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 9, 2019
Planetary Space Weather
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Published online||14 January 2019|
Estimating the solar wind pressure at comet 67P from Rosetta magnetic field measurements
Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics, Konkoly-Thege M. Rd. 29–33, 1121 Budapest, Hungary
2 Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Science, Pázmány Péter stny. 1, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
3 University of Kansas, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1082 Malott Hall, 1251 Wescoe Dr, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 17 December 2018
Aims: The solar wind pressure is an important parameter of space weather, which plays a crucial role in the interaction of the solar wind with the planetary plasma environment. Here we investigate the possibility of determining a solar wind pressure proxy from Rosetta magnetic field data, measured deep inside the induced magnetosphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This pressure proxy would be useful not only for other Rosetta related studies but could also serve as a new, independent input database for space weather propagation to other locations in the Solar System.
Method: For the induced magnetospheres of comets the magnetic pressure in the innermost part of the pile-up region is balanced by the solar wind dynamic pressure. Recent investigations of Rosetta data have revealed that the maximum magnetic field in the pile-up region can be approximated by magnetic field measurements performed in the inner regions of the cometary magnetosphere, close to the boundary of the diamagnetic cavity, from which the external solar wind pressure can be estimated.
Results: We were able to determine a solar wind pressure proxy for the time interval when the Rosetta spacecraft was located near the diamagnetic cavity boundary, between late April 2015 and January 2016. We then compared our Rosetta pressure proxy to solar wind pressure extrapolated to comet 67P from near-Earth. After the exclusion of disturbances caused by transient events, we found a strong correlation between the two datasets.
Key words: solar wind / unmagnetized body / magnetic field / space weather / pressure
© A. Timar et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2019
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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