Dynamics of the Interaction of the Solar Wind With a Planetary Atmosphere


  • Paul A. Cloutier


Dynamics of the interaction of a magnetized supersonic plasma flow (solar wind) with a planetary ionosphere are examined. The flow behavior across a bow magnetohydrodynamic shock and in the post-shock region, where the flow interacts with the planetary ionosphere, is analyzed. It is argued that the pressure balance between the solar wind and the post-shock plasma is provided mainly by static gas pressure rather than by a large magnetic field ‘build-up.’