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Stability of the magnetopause

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The Magnetosphere-Solar Wind boundary is treated as a tangential discontinuity between collisionless plasma described by C.G.L. equations. An estimate is made, analytically, of the minimum shear speed required to render the interface unstable for propagation in any arbitrary direction. It is found that even systems, which are, for all shear speeds, stable towards propagation parallel to the field, are rendered unstable by propagation away from the field, in some velocity domain. Numerical evaluations for parameters characteristic of the Solar wind-Magnetosphere boundary show that the interface could be unstable even under relatively quiet conditions.

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Kalra, G.L., Tandon, J.N. & Rajaram, R. Stability of the magnetopause. Astrophys Space Sci 43, 433–448 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00640020

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  • Numerical Evaluation
  • Propagation Parallel
  • Arbitrary Direction
  • Quiet Condition
  • Collisionless Plasma