The Kelvin-Helmholtz instability at Mercury: An assessment
2010 (English)In: Planetary and Space Science, ISSN 0032-0633, E-ISSN 1873-5088, Vol. 58, no 11, 1434-1441 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is believed to be an important means for the transfer of energy, plasma, and momentum from the solar wind into planetary magnetospheres, with in situ measurements reported from Earth, Saturn, and Venus. During the first MESSENGER flyby of Mercury, three periodic rotations were observed in the magnetic field data possibly related to a Kelvin-Helmholtz wave on the dusk side magnetopause. We present an analysis of the event, along with comparisons to previous Kelvin-Helmholtz observations and an investigation of what influence finite ion gyro radius effects, believed to be of importance in the Hermean magnetosphere, may have on the instability. The wave signature does not correspond to that of typical Kelvin-Helmholtz events, and the magnetopause direction does not show any signs of major deviation from the unperturbed case. There is thus no indication of any high amplitude surface waves. On the other hand, the wave period corresponds to that expected for a Kelvin-Helmholtz wave, and as the dusk side is shown to be more stable than the dawn side, we judge the observed waves not to be fully developed Kelvin-Helmholtz waves, but they may be an initial perturbation that could cause Kelvin-Helmholtz waves further down the tail. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 58, no 11, 1434-1441 p.
Mercury, Kelvin-Helmholtz, Finite Larmor radius, Magnetopause
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26806DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2010.06.008ISI: 000281368500002ScopusID: 2-s2.0-77955550841OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-26806DiVA: diva2:375822
QC 201012092010-12-092010-11-292011-04-05Bibliographically approved