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On the evolution of the solar wind between 1 and 5 AU at the time of the Cassini Jupiter flyby: Multispacecraft observations of interplanetary coronal mass ejections including the formation of a merged interaction region

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Hanlon, P. G., Dougherty, M. K., Forsyth, R. J., Owens, M. J., Hansen, K. C., Toth, G., Crary, F. J. and Young, D. T. (2004) On the evolution of the solar wind between 1 and 5 AU at the time of the Cassini Jupiter flyby: Multispacecraft observations of interplanetary coronal mass ejections including the formation of a merged interaction region. Journal of Geophysical Research, 109 (A9). A09S03. ISSN 0148-0227

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2003JA010112

Abstract/Summary

The Cassini flyby of Jupiter occurred at a time near solar maximum. Consequently, the pre-Jupiter data set reveals clear and numerous transient perturbations to the Parker Spiral solar wind structure. Limited plasma data are available at Cassini for this period due to pointing restrictions imposed on the instrument. This renders the identification of the nature of such structures ambiguous, as determinations based on the magnetic field data alone are unreliable. However, a fortuitous alignment of the planets during this encounter allowed us to trace these structures back to those observed previously by the Wind spacecraft near the Earth. Of the phenomena that we are satisfactorily able to trace back to their manifestation at 1 AU, two are identified as being due to interplanetary coronal mass ejections. One event at Cassini is shown to be a merged interaction region, which is formed from the compression of a magnetic cloud by two anomalously fast solar wind streams. The flux-rope structure associated with this magnetic cloud is not as apparent at Cassini and has most likely been compressed and deformed. Confirmation of the validity of the ballistic projections used here is provided by results obtained from a one-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic projection of solar wind parameters measured upstream near the Earth. It is found that when the Earth and Cassini are within a few tens of degrees in heliospheric longitude, the results of this one-dimensional model predict the actual conditions measured at 5 AU to an impressive degree. Finally, the validity of the use of such one-dimensional projections in obtaining quasi-solar wind parameters at the outer planets is discussed.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:5836
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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