Alfvén waves, magnetic decreases, and dicontinuities in interplanetary space

B. T. Tsurutani, B. Buti, J. K. Arballo, T. Hada, E. J. Smith, A. Balogh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The Ulysses mission goes to the polar regions of the heliosphere and therefore is an ideal mission to study Alfvén waves and discontinuities. The polar region is dominated by a high speed solar wind with embedded outwardly propagating nonlinear (ΔB/B o ~ 1 to 2) Alfvén waves. Rotational discontinuities are detected at the edges of Alfvén waves and have been shown to be the phase-steepened edges of the waves. Dissipation at these phase-steepened Alfvén waves has been sought in the plasma and magnetic field data, but not found. Another phenomenon detected at high latitudes is magnetic field decreases (MDs) bounded by discontinuities. One-dimensional simulation results suggest that MDs may be a product of the evolution of nonlinear Alfvén waves. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd on behalf of COSPAR.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)765-769
    Number of pages5
    JournalAdvances in Space Research
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Geophysics
    • Atmospheric Science
    • Space and Planetary Science
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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