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Journal Articles Advances in Space Research Year : 2010

Study of hot flow anomalies using Cluster multi-spacecraft measurements


Hot flow anomalies (HFAs) were first discovered in the early 1980s at the bow shock of the Earth. In the 1990s these features were studied, observed and simulated very intensively and many new missions (Cluster, THEMIS, Cassini and Venus Express) focused the attention to this phenomenon again. Many basic features and the HFA formation mechanism were clarified observationally and using hybrid simulation techniques. We described previous observational, theoretical and simulation results in the research field of HFAs. We introduced HFA observations performed at the Earth, Mars, Venus and Saturn in this paper. We share different observation results of space mission to give an overview to the reader. Cluster multi-spacecraft measurements gave us more observed HFA events and finer, more sophisticated methods to understand them better. In this study, HFAs were studied using observations of the Cluster magnetometer and the Cluster plasma detector aboard the four Cluster spacecraft. Energetic particle measurements (28.2-68.9 keV) were also used to detect and select HFAs. We studied several specific features of tangential discontinuities generating HFAs on the basis of Cluster measurements in the period February-April 2003, December 2005-April 2006 and January-April, 2007, when the separation of spacecraft was large and the Cluster fleet reached the bow shock. We have confirmed the condition for forming HFAs, that the solar wind speed is higher than the average. This condition was also confirmed by simultaneous ACE magnetic field and solar wind plasma observations at the L1 point 1.4 million km upstream of the Earth. The measured and calculated features of HFA events were compared with the results of different previous hybrid simulations. During the whole spring season of 2003, the solar wind speed was higher than the average. Here we checked whether the higher solar wind speed is a real condition of HFA formation also in 2006 and 2007. At the end we gave an outlook and suggested several desirable direction of the further research of HFAs using the measurements of Cluster, THEMIS, incoming Cross Scale and other space missions.

Dates and versions

insu-03611748 , version 1 (17-03-2022)



G. Facskó, J. G. Trotignon, I. Dandouras, E. A. Lucek, P. W. Daly. Study of hot flow anomalies using Cluster multi-spacecraft measurements. Advances in Space Research, 2010, 45, pp.541-552. ⟨10.1016/j.asr.2009.08.011⟩. ⟨insu-03611748⟩
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