Entry of Solar Cosmic Rays into the Earth’s Magnetosphere
If the solar wind flowed past the magnetosphere smoothly with no instabilities and no tension force the pressure of the wind would close off the geomagnetic field at some distance behind the earth. The angle of closing would be the Mach angle which is equal to the reciprocal of the Mach number. Since M ∼p 6 the length of the tail would be ∼ 6 times the radius of the magnetosphere or about 100 RnE. A well developed neutral sheet would not be found in this magnetosphere since the normal component is not very much different from the horizontal component (see Figure 1 a from Johnson, 1960).
KeywordsSolar Wind Field Line Plasma Sheet Solar Proton Proton Flux
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