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The role of the magnetosonic Mach number on the evolution of Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 February 2013

F. Palermo
Affiliation:
Institut Jean Lamour, UMR 7198 CNRS – Nancy University, Nancy, France
M. Faganello
Affiliation:
Laboratoire de Physique des Interactions Ioniques et Moléculaires, UMR 6633 CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France
F. Califano
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
F. Pegoraro
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
O. Le Contel
Affiliation:
Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, CNRS, École Polytechnique, UPMC, Université Paris Sud-11, Saint Maur-des-Fossés, France

Abstract

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We review the main results of our previous works, in which we have investigated the development of the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability in the transitional regime from sub-magnetosonic to super-magnetosonic by varying the solar wind velocity, in conditions typical of those observed at the Earth’s magnetopause flanks. In super-magnetosonic regimes, we show that the vortices produced by the development of the KH instability act as an obstacle in the plasma flow and may generate quasi-perpendicular magnetosonic shock structures extending well outside the region of velocity shear.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2013

References

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