Physics - Space Physics Publications (50)

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Physics - Space Physics Publications

We develop a general approach to analytically calculate the shift $\Delta\mathcal{O}$ that observable quantities $\mathcal{O}$ pertaining binary systems experience because of the orbital perturbations affecting the motion around their center of mass. In particular, we deal with the disturbance $\Delta\delta\tau_\textrm{p}$ suffered by the otherwise periodic change $\delta\tau_\textrm{p}$ of the ratio of the projection $z_\textrm{p}$ of the barycentric orbital motion of the binary's visible member p along the line of sight $\boldsymbol{\hat{e}}_3$ to the speed of light $c$ because of some Newtonian and post-Newtonian (pN) non-central accelerations (mass quadrupole $Q_2$, 1pN static and stationary field). We apply our results to the double pulsar system PSR J0737-3039A/B and to the hypothetic scenario involving a pulsar orbiting the Supermassive Black Hole in in the Galactic Center at Sgr A$^\ast$. Read More


Thanks to multi-spacecraft mission, it has recently been possible to directly estimate the current density in space plasmas, by using magnetic field time series from four satellites flying in a quasi perfect tetrahedron configuration. The technique developed, commonly called 'curlometer' permits a good estimation of the current density when the magnetic field time series vary linearly in space. This approximation is generally valid for small spacecraft separation. Read More


We propose a method to account for the Earth oblateness effect in preliminary orbit determination of satellites in low orbits with radar observations. This method is an improvement of the one described in (Gronchi et al 2015), which uses a pure Keplerian dynamical model. Since the effect of the Earth oblateness is strong at low altitudes, its inclusion in the model can sensibly improve the initial orbit, giving a better starting guess for differential corrections and increasing the chances to obtain their convergence. Read More


A set of 50,000 artificial Earth impacting asteroids was used to obtain, for the first time, information about the dominance of individual impact effects such as wind blast, overpressure shock, thermal radiation, cratering, seismic shaking, ejecta deposition and tsunami for the loss of human life during an impact event for impactor sizes between 15 to 400 m and how the dominance of impact effects changes over size. Information about the dominance of each impact effect can enable disaster managers to plan for the most relevant effects in the event of an asteroid impact. Furthermore, the analysis of average casualty numbers per impactor shows that there is a significant difference in expected loss for airburst and surface impacts and that the average impact over land is an order of magnitude more dangerous than one over water. Read More


Solar $\gamma$ ray events measured near Earth can last several hours during so-called Long Duration Gamma Ray Flares (LDGRFs). LDGRFs suggest that a particle-acceleration mechanism operates over many hours to produce energetic protons that stream continually towards the solar surface. Coronal shocks, driven by the expansion of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), could be the source of these energetic particles. Read More


According to magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), the encounter of two collisional magnetized plasmas at high velocity gives rise to shock waves. Investigations conducted so far have found that the same conclusion still holds in the case of collisionless plasmas. For the case of a flow-aligned field, MHD stipulates that the field and the fluid are disconnected, so that the shock produced is independent of the field. Read More


The Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre produces 24/7/365 space weather guidance, alerts, and forecasts to a wide range of government and commercial end users across the United Kingdom. Solar flare forecasts are one of its products, which are issued multiple times a day in two forms; forecasts for each active region on the solar disk over the next 24 hours, and full-disk forecasts for the next four days. Here the forecasting process is described in detail, as well as first verification of archived forecasts using methods commonly used in operational weather prediction. Read More


In this review, an overview of the recent history of stochastic differential equations (SDEs) in application to particle transport problems in space physics and astrophysics is given. The aim is to present a helpful working guide to the literature and at the same time introduce key principles of the SDE approach via "toy models". Using these examples, we hope to provide an easy way for newcomers to the field to use such methods in their own research. Read More


The relationship between a decaying strong turbulence and the mirror instability in a slowly expanding plasma is investigated using two-dimensional hybrid expanding box simulations. We impose an initial ambient magnetic field perpendicular to the simulation box, and we start with a spectrum of large-scale, linearly-polarized, random-phase Alfvenic fluctuations which have energy equipartition between kinetic and magnetic fluctuations and vanishing correlation between the two fields. A turbulent cascade rapidly develops, magnetic field fluctuations exhibit a Kolmogorov-like power-law spectrum at large scales and a steeper spectrum at sub-ion scales. Read More


We study the temporal intensity profile, or pulse shape, of cosmic ray ground level enhancements (GLEs) by calculating the rise $(\tau_\mathrm{r})$ and decay $(\tau_\mathrm{d})$ times for a small subset of all available events. Although these quantities show very large inter-event variability, a linear dependence of $\tau_\mathrm{d} \approx 3.5 \tau_\mathrm{r}$ is found. Read More


Residual accelerations due to thermal effects are estimated through a model of the New Horizons spacecraft and a Monte Carlo simulation. We also discuss and estimate the thermal effects on the attitude of the spacecraft. The work is based on a method previously used for the Pioneer and Cassini probes, which solve the Pioneer anomaly problem. Read More


2017Mar

We provide a synthesis model demonstrating the "fast dynamo" action of the Sun. The latter is essentially accomplished via two toroidal structures presumably formed in the tachocline and placed symmetrically with respect to the equatorial plane. The two tori are characterized by several prominent key-properties as follows: First, in each "Torus" a surplus of negative charge is entrapped for approximately the 11-year sunspot cycle. Read More


Whistler-mode waves are generated within and can propagate upstream of collisionless shocks. They are known to play a role in electron thermodynamics/acceleration and, under certain conditions, are markedly observed as wave trains preceding the shock ramp. In this paper, we take advantage of Cassini's presence at ~10 AU to explore the importance of whistler-mode waves in a parameter regime typically characterized by higher Mach number (median of ~14) shocks, as well as a significantly different IMF structure, compared to near Earth. Read More


Two-Line Elements (TLEs) continue to be the sole public source of orbiter observations. The accuracy of TLE propagations through the Simplified General Perturbations-4 (SGP4) software decreases dramatically as the propagation horizon increases, and thus the period of validity of TLEs is very limited. As a result, TLEs are gradually becoming insufficient for the growing demands of Space Situational Awareness (SSA). Read More


In magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence, the large-scale magnetic field sets a preferred local direction for the small-scale dynamics, altering the statistics of turbulence from the isotropic case. This happens even in the absence of a total magnetic flux, since MHD turbulence forms randomly oriented large-scale domains of strong magnetic field. It is therefore customary to study small-scale magnetic plasma turbulence by assuming a strong background magnetic field relative to the turbulent fluctuations. Read More


Observations in the solar wind suggest that the compressive component of inertial-range solar-wind turbulence is dominated by slow modes. The low collisionality of the solar wind allows for non-thermal features to survive, which suggests the requirement of a kinetic plasma description. The least-damped kinetic slow mode is associated with the ion-acoustic (IA) wave and a non-propagating (NP) mode. Read More


Advanced diffractive films may afford advantages over passive reflective surfaces for a variety space missions that use solar or laser in-space propulsion. Three cases are compared: Sun-facing diffractive sails, Littrow diffraction configurations, and conventional reflective sails. A simple Earth-to-Mars orbit transfer at a constant attitude with respect to the sun-line finds no penalty for transparent diffractive sails. Read More


Kinetic-range turbulence in magnetized plasmas and, in particular, in the context of solar-wind turbulence has been extensively investigated over the past decades via numerical simulations. Among others, one of the widely adopted reduced plasma model is the so-called hybrid-kinetic model, where the ions are fully kinetic and the electrons are treated as a neutralizing (inertial or massless) fluid. Within the same model, different numerical methods and/or approaches to turbulence development have been employed. Read More


The energy released in solar flares derives from a reconfiguration of magnetic fields to a lower energy state, and is manifested in several forms, including bulk kinetic energy of the coronal mass ejection, acceleration of electrons and ions, and enhanced thermal energy that is ultimately radiated away across the electromagnetic spectrum from optical to X-rays. Using an unprecedented set of coordinated observations, from a suite of instruments, we here report on a hitherto largely overlooked energy component -- the kinetic energy associated with small-scale turbulent mass motions. We show that the spatial location of, and timing of the peak in, turbulent kinetic energy together provide persuasive evidence that turbulent energy may play a key role in the transfer of energy in solar flares. Read More


We show that the rather tentative application of the ultrarelativistic generalized Lorentzian energy distribution to the spectrum of cosmic ray fluxes may provide evidence for either high TeV chemical potentials generated in the acceleration source region of the observed cosmic rays, or the presence of hypothetical particles of TeV rest mass. Such particles are not known in our accessible Universe at any accessible energies. If true they should have been produced in cosmic ray sources prior to acceleration. Read More


We present a novel three-dimensional (3D) model of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that unifies all key evolutionary aspects of CMEs and encapsulates their 3D magnetic field configuration. This fully analytic model is capable of reproducing the global geometrical shape of a CME with all major deformations taken into account, i.e. Read More


On the morning of the August 11th 1999, a total eclipse of the sun plunged Cornwall and parts of Devon into darkness. The event of the eclipse was bound to attract a great deal of scientific and media attention. Realizing that the differences in day-time/night-time propagation of VLF/LF/MF to HF bands would also apply during the darkness of the eclipse, the eclipse offered a rare PR opportunity to promote radio to the general public. Read More


We study magnetic reconnection events in a turbulent plasma within the two-fluid theory. By identifying the diffusive regions, we measure the reconnection rates as function of the conductivity and current sheet thickness. We have found that the reconnection rate scales as the squared of the inverse of the current sheet's thickness and is independent of the aspect ratio of the diffusive region, in contrast to other analytical, e. Read More


We present a major step forward towards accurately predicting the arrivals of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on the terrestrial planets, including the Earth. For the first time, we are able to assess a CME prediction model using data over almost a full solar cycle of observations with the Heliophysics System Observatory. We validate modeling results on 1337 CMEs observed with the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) heliospheric imagers (HI) with data from 8 years of observations by 5 spacecraft in situ in the solar wind, thereby gathering over 600 independent in situ CME detections. Read More


It is widely assumed that human exploration beyond Earth's orbit will require vehicles capable of providing long-duration habitats that simulate an Earthlike environment: consistent artificial gravity, breathable atmosphere, and sufficient living space- while requiring the minimum possible launch mass. This paper examines how the qualities of digital cellular solids - high-performance, repairability, reconfigurability, tunable mechanical response - allow the accomplishment of long-duration habitat objectives at a fraction of the mass required for traditional structural technologies. To illustrate the impact digital cellular solids could make as a replacement to conventional habitat subsystems, we compare recent proposed deep space habitat structural systems with a digital cellular solids pressure vessel design that consists of a carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) digital cellular solid cylindrical framework that is lined with an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) skin. Read More


Fast interplanetary coronal mass ejections (interplanetary CMEs, or ICMEs) are the drivers of strongest space weather storms such as solar energetic particle events and geomagnetic storms. The connection between space weather impacting solar wind disturbances associated with fast ICMEs at Earth and the characteristics of causative energetic CMEs observed near the Sun is a key question in the study of space weather storms as well as in the development of practical space weather prediction. Such shock-driving fast ICMEs usually expand at supersonic speed during the propagation, resulting in the continuous accumulation of shocked sheath plasma ahead. Read More


Electron dynamics surrounding the X-line in magnetopause-type asymmetric reconnection is investigated using a two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation. We study electron properties of three characteristic regions in the vicinity of the X-line. The fluid properties, velocity distribution functions (VDFs), and orbits are studied and cross-compared. Read More


We have presented a compact MOSFET model, which allows us to describe the I-V characteristics of irradiated long-channel and short-channel transistors in all operation modes at different measurement temperatures and interface trap densities. The model allows simulating of the off-state and the on-state drain currents of irradiated MOSFETs based on an equal footing. Particularly, a novel compact model of the rebound effect in n-MOSFETs was employed for simulation of the total dose dependencies of drain currents in the highly scaled 60 nm node circuits irradiated up to 1Grad. Read More


Based on the difference between the orientation of the interstellar $B_{ISM}$ and the solar magnetic fields, there was an expectation that the magnetic field direction would rotate dramatically across the heliopause (HP). However, the Voyager 1 spacecraft measured very little rotation across the HP. Previously we showed that the $B_{ISM}$ twists as it approaches the HP and acquires a strong T component (East-West). Read More


Whether Turbulence-induced anomalous resistivity (AR) can facilitate a fast magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasma is a subject of active debate for decades. A particularly difficult problem in experimental and numerical simulation studies of the problem is how to distinguish the effects of AR from those originating from Hall-effect and other non-turbulent processes in the generalized Ohm's. In this paper, using particle-in-cell simulations, we present a case study of how AR produced by Buneman Instability accelerates magnetic reconnection. Read More


An asteroid impact is a low probability event with potentially devastating consequences. The Asteroid Risk Mitigation Optimization and Research (ARMOR) software tool calculates whether a colliding asteroid experiences an airburst or surface impact and calculates effect severity as well as reach on the global map. To calculate the consequences of an impact in terms of loss of human life, new vulnerability models are derived that connect the severity of seven impact effects (strong winds, overpressure shockwave, thermal radiation, seismic shaking, ejecta deposition, cratering and tsunamis) with lethality to human populations. Read More


The Principle of Maximum Entropy, a powerful and general method for inferring the distribution function given a set of constraints, is applied to deduce the overall distribution of plasmoids (flux ropes/tubes). The analysis is undertaken for the general 3D case, with mass, total flux and (3D) velocity serving as the variables of interest, on account of their physical and observational relevance. The distribution functions for the mass, width, total flux and helicity exhibit a power-law behavior with exponents of $-4/3$, $-2$, $-3$ and $-2$ respectively for small values, whilst all of them display an exponential falloff for large values. Read More


The escape dynamics around the triangular Lagrangian point L5 in the real Sun-Earth-Moon-Spacecraft system is investigated. Appearance of the finite time chaotic behaviour suggests that widely used methods and concepts of dynamical system theory can be useful in constructing a desired mission design. Existing chaos control methods are modified in such a way that we are able to protect a test particle from escape. Read More


A simple physical model for calculation of the ion-induced soft error rate in space environment has been proposed, based on the phenomenological cross section notion. Proposed numerical procedure is adapted to the multiple cell upset characterization in highly scaled memories. Nonlocality of the ion impact has been revealed as the key concept determining the difference between physical processes in low scaled and highly scaled memories. Read More


2017Feb
Authors: T. Laitinen1
Affiliations: 1Jeremiah Horrocks Institute, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK

Solar and heliospheric cosmic rays provide a unique perspective in cosmic ray research: we can observe not only the particles, but also the properties of the plasmas in which the they are accelerated and propagate, using in situ and high-resolution remote sensing instruments. The heliospheric cosmic ray observations typically require space missions, which face stern competition against planetary and astrophysics missions, and it can take up to decades from the initial concept proposal until the actual observing of the cosmic rays can commence. Therefore it is important to have continuity in the cosmic ray mission timeline. Read More


Shock acceleration is considered one of the most important mechanisms of astrophysical energetic particles' acceleration. In this work, we calculate large amount of test charged particles' trajectories accurately in a parallel shock with magnetic turbulence. We investigate energetic particles' acceleration mechanisms by calculating particles' energy and flux evolution with time. Read More


Propagation of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the Sun far into interplanetary space is not well understood due to limited observations. In this study we examine the propagation characteristics of two geo-effective CMEs, which occurred on 2005 May 6 and 13, respectively. Significant heliospheric consequences associated with the two CMEs are observed, including interplanetary CMEs (ICMEs) at the Earth and Ulysses, interplanetary shocks, a long-duration type II radio burst, and intense geomagnetic storms. Read More


We address the important question of whether the newly discovered exoplanet, Proxima Centauri b (PCb), is capable of retaining an atmosphere over long periods of time. This is done by adapting a sophisticated multi-species MHD model originally developed for Venus and Mars, and computing the ion escape losses from PCb. The results suggest that the ion escape rates are about two orders of magnitude higher than the terrestrial planets of our Solar system if PCb is unmagnetized. Read More


Many magnetic structures in the solar atmosphere evolve rather slowly so that they can be assumed as (quasi-)static or (quasi-)stationary and represented via magneto-hydrostatic (MHS) or stationary magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) equilibria, respectively. While exact 3D solutions would be desired, they are extremely difficult to find in stationary MHD. We construct solutions with magnetic and flow vector fields that have three components depending on all three coordinates. Read More


High speed solar wind streams (HSSs) are very efficient drivers of geomagnetic activity at high latitudes. In this paper we use a recently developed $\Delta{H}$ parameter of geomagnetic activity, calculated from the night-side hourly magnetic field measurements of the Sodankyl\"a observatory, as a proxy for solar wind (SW) speed at monthly time resolution in 1914-2014 (solar cycles 15-24). The seasonal variation in the relation between monthly $\Delta{H}$ and solar wind speed is taken into account by calculating separate regressions between $\Delta{H}$ and SW speed for each month. Read More


MMS observations recently confirmed that crescent-shaped electron velocity distributions in the plane perpendicular to the magnetic field occur in the electron diffusion region near reconnection sites at Earth's magnetopause. In this paper, we re-examine the origin of the crescent-shaped distributions in the light of our new finding that ions and electrons are drifting in opposite directions when displayed in magnetopause boundary-normal coordinates. Therefore, ExB drifts cannot cause the crescent shapes. Read More


Observing nearby galaxies would facilitate the search for artificial radio signals by sampling many billions of stars simultaneously, but few efforts have been made to exploit this opportunity. An added attraction is that the Milky Way is the second-largest member of the Local Group, so our galaxy might be a probable target for hypothetical broadcasters in nearby galaxies. We present the first relatively high spectral resolution (<1 kHz) 21 cm band search for intelligent radio signals of complete galaxies in the Local Group with the Jansky VLA, observing the galaxies M31 (Andromeda) and M33 (Triangulum) - the first and third largest members of the group respectively - sampling more stars than any prior search of this kind. Read More


Alfv\'enic fluctuations in the solar wind display many properties reflecting an ongoing nonlinear cascade, e.g. a well-defined spectrum in frequency, together with some characteristics more commonly associated with the linear propagation of waves from the Sun, such as the variation of fluctuation amplitude with distance, dominated by solar wind expansion effects. Read More


We present the results of three-dimensional (3D) ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations on the dynamics of a perpendicularly inhomogeneous plasma disturbed by propagating Alfv\'enic waves. Simpler versions of this scenario have been extensively studied as the phenomenon of phase mixing. We show that, by generalizing the textbook version of phase mixing, interesting phenomena are obtained, such as turbulence-like behavior and complex current-sheet structure, a novelty in longitudinally homogeneous plasma excited by unidirectionally propagating waves. Read More


2017Feb
Affiliations: 1Yu. G. Shafer Institute of Cosmophysical Research and Aeronomy, SB RAS, Yakutsk, Russia, 2Yu. G. Shafer Institute of Cosmophysical Research and Aeronomy, SB RAS, Yakutsk, Russia, 3Yu. G. Shafer Institute of Cosmophysical Research and Aeronomy, SB RAS, Yakutsk, Russia, 4Yu. G. Shafer Institute of Cosmophysical Research and Aeronomy, SB RAS, Yakutsk, Russia

Solar energetic particles acceleration by a shock wave accompanying a coronal mass ejection (CME) is studied. The description of the accelerated particle spectrum evolution is based on the numerical calculation of the diffusive transport equation with a set of realistic parameters. The relation between the CME and the shock speeds, which depend on the initial CME radius, is determined. Read More


We present results of observation of Cygnus-A radiosource scintillation in the Earth's ionosphere in quiet and disturbed geomagnetic condition at Irkutsk incoherent scattering radar (IISR). Scintillation method applied for ionosphere testing at IISR confidently defines Fresnel frequency and power cutoff - the spectral characteristics usually related to the velocities and spatial spectra of ionospheric plasma irregularities. We also use IGFR magnetic field model in order to show relation between shape of discrete radio source scintillation spectra and direction to the radio source with respect to geomagnetic field. Read More


The misalignment of the solar rotation axis and the magnetic axis of the Sun produces a periodic reversal of the Parker spiral magnetic field and the sectored solar wind. The compression of the sectors is expected to lead to reconnection in the heliosheath (HS). We present particle-in-cell simulations of the sectored HS that reflect the plasma environment along the Voyager 1 and 2 trajectories, specifically including unequal positive and negative azimuthal magnetic flux as seen in the Voyager data \citep{Burlaga03}. Read More


The analysis of the Parker-Moffatt problem, recently revisited in Pezzi et al. (2016), is here extended by including the Hall magnetohydrodynamics and two hybrid kinetic Vlasov-Maxwell numerical models. The presence of dispersive and kinetic features is studied in detail and a comparison between the two kinetic codes is also reported. Read More


Continuous plasma coherent emission is maintained by repetitive Langmuir collapse driven by the nonlinear evolution of a strong electron two-stream instability. The Langmuir waves are modulated by solitary waves in the linear stage, and by electrostatic whistler waves in the nonlinear stage. Modulational instability leads to Langmuir collapse and electron heating that fills in cavitons. Read More


We simulate decaying turbulence in a homogeneous pair plasma using three dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell (PIC) method. A uniform background magnetic field permeates the plasma such that the magnetic pressure is three times larger than the thermal pressure and the turbulence is generated by counter-propagating shear Alfv\'en waves. The energy predominately cascades transverse to the background magnetic field, rendering the turbulence anisotropic at smaller scales. Read More