Magnetosphere on May 11, 1999, the day the solar wind almost disappeared: II. Magnetic pulsations in space and on the ground

G. Le, P. J. Chi, W. Goedecke, C. T. Russell, A. Szabo, S. M. Petrinec, V. Angelopoulos, G. D. Reeves, F. K. Chun

University of California Los Angeles, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Los Angeles, CA


Simultaneous observation's by Wind and IMP-8 in the upstream region on May 11, 1999, when the solar wind density was well below its usual values and the IMF was generally weakly northward, indicate there were upstream waves present in the foreshock, but wave power was an order of magnitude weaker than usual due to an extremely weak bow shock and tenuous solar wind plasma. Magnetic pulsations in the magnetosphere have been observed in the magnetic field data from Polar and at mid-latitude ground stations. By comparing May 11 with a control day under normal solar wind conditions and with a similar foreshock geometry, we find that the magnetosphere was much quieter than usual. The Pc 3-4 waves were nearly absent in the dayside magnetosphere both at Polar and as seen at midlatitude ground stations even through the foreshock geometry was favorable for the generation of these waves. Since the solar wind speed was not unusual on this day, these observations suggest that it is the Mach number of the solar wind flow relative to the magnetosphere that controls the amplitude of Pc 3-4 waves in the magnetosphere.

Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, No. 14, 2165-2168, 2000