Large Amplitude MHD Waves Upstream of the Jovian Bow Shock

M. L. Goldstein, C. W. Smith and W. H. Matthaeus

Journal of Geophysical Research, A88, 9989-9999 (1983)


Observations of large amplitude MHD waves upstream of Jupiter's bow shock are analyzed. The waves are found to be right circularly polarized in the solar wind frame, which suggests that they are propagating in the fast magnetosonic mode. A complete spectral and minimum variance eigenvalue analysis of the data was performed. The power spectrum of the magnetic fluctuations contains several peaks. The fluctuations at 2.3 MHz have a direction of minimum variance anti-parallel to the direction of the average magnetic field. Several harmonics at 6, 9, and 12 MHz are also present. The direction of minimum variance of these fluctuations lies at approximately 40 deg to the magnetic field. It is argued that these fluctuations are waves excited by protons reflected off the Jovian bow shock. The inferred speed of the reflected protons is about two times the solar wind speed in the solar wind frame. A linear instability analysis is presented that suggests an explanation for many of the observed features of the observations. The fluctuations apparently contain a significant fraction of magnetic energy that is linearly polarized and in the Alfven mode.

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