Dayside response of the magnetosphere to a small shock compression: Van Allen Probes, Magnetospheric MultiScale, and GOES-13

Observations from Magnetospheric MultiScale (~8 Re) and Van Allen Probes (~5 and 4 Re) show that the initial dayside response to a small interplanetary shock is a double-peaked dawnward electric field, which is distinctly different from the usual bipolar (dawnward and then duskward) signature reported for large shocks. The associated ExB flow is radially inward. The shock compressed the magnetopause to inside 8 Re, as observed by MMS, with a speed that is comparable to the ExB flow. The magnetopause speed and the ExB speeds were significantly less than the propagation speed of the pulse from MMS to the Van Allen Probes and GOES-13, which is consistent with the MHD fast mode. There were increased fluxes of energetic electrons up to several MeV. Signatures of drift echoes and response to ULF waves also were seen. These observations demonstrate that even very weak shocks can have significant impact on the radiation belts.
Year of Publication
Geophysical Research Letters
Date Published