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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics

Upstream hydromagnetic waves and their association with backstreaming ion populations: ISEE 1 and 2 observations


  • M. M. Hoppe,

  • C. T. Russell,

  • L. A. Frank,

  • T. E. Eastman,

  • E. W. Greenstadt


Measurements from the Lepedea plasma instruments and the flux gate magnetometers on ISEE 1 and 2 are used to examine the nature of the hydromagnetic waves associated with the various classes of ions backstreaming from the earth's bow shock. The reflected ions, which are confined to a narrow energy and angular range, are accompanied by small amplitude (≲½γ peak to peak) left-handed waves at frequencies close to 1 Hz in the spacecraft frame. Diffuse backstreaming particles with a broad energy spectrum are associated with low frequency (∼ 30-s period) large amplitude (∼5γ peak to peak) waves. Intermediate particles are associated with a mixture of these two wave types. Often the waves associated with the diffuse beams steepen as if they were mini shocks. The leading edge (trailing edge in the spacecraft frame) frequently appears to break up into a whistler mode wave packet. These discrete wave packets are right-hand polarized and have frequencies from below the proton gyrofrequency to well above it in the plasma frame and are blown back towards the earth by the solar wind.

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