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Interaction between Multiple Current Sheets and a Shock Wave: 2D Hybrid Kinetic Simulations

AuthorNakanotani, M.; Zank, G.~P.; Zhao, L.;
KeywordsParker Data Used; 1544; 1504; 829
AbstractParticle acceleration behind a shock wave due to interactions between magnetic islands in the heliosphere has attracted attention in recent years. The downstream acceleration may yield a continuous increase of particle flux downstream of the shock wave. Although it is not obvious how the downstream magnetic islands are produced, it has been suggested that current sheets are involved in the generation of magnetic islands due to their interaction with a shock wave. We perform 2D hybrid kinetic simulations to investigate the interaction between multiple current sheets and a shock wave. In the simulation, current sheets are compressed by the shock wave and a tearing instability develops at the compressed current sheets downstream of the shock. As the result of this instability, the electromagnetic fields become turbulent and magnetic islands form well downstream of the shock wave. We find a post-cursor region in which the downstream flow speed normal to the shock wave in the downstream rest frame is decelerated to \raisebox-0.5ex\textasciitilde 1V $_A$ immediately behind the shock wave, where V $_A$ is the upstream Alfv\ en speed. The flow speed then gradually decelerates to 0 accompanied by the development of the tearing instability. We also observe an efficient production of energetic particles above 100 E $_0$ during the development of the instability some distance downstream of the shock wave, where $E_0=m_pV_\rmA^2$ and m $_ p $ is the proton mass. This feature corresponds to Voyager observations showing that the anomalous cosmic-ray intensity increase begins some distance downstream of the heliospheric termination shock.
Year of Publication2021
Number of Pages219
Date Publisheddec