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Slow Magnetosonic Solitons Detected by the Cluster Spacecraft

Slow Magnetosonic Solitons Detected by the Cluster Spacecraft

Publication date: 27 February 2003

Authors: Stasiewicz, K. et al.

Journal: Physical Review Letters
Volume: 90
Issue: 8
ID: 085002
Year: 2003

Copyright: The American Physical Society

Experimental evidence is provided for the existence of slow-mode magnetosonic solitons in the collisionless plasma at the magnetopause boundary layer. The solitons were detected by the fleet of Cluster spacecraft at the dusk flank of the magnetosphere as magnetic field depressions (up to 85%) accompanied with enhancement of the plasma density and temperature by a factor of 2. The solitons propagate 250 km/s with respect to the satellites and have perpendicular size of 1000-2000 km, which is a few ion inertial scale lengths. The comparison with numerical solutions of a theoretical model shows quantitative agreement between the model and observations.

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