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In-situ observations of compressible turbulence in planetary magnetosheaths and solar wind

Abstract : Among the different astrophysical plasmas, the solar wind and the planetary magnetosheathsrepresent the best laboratories for studying the properties of fully developed plasma turbulence.Because of the relatively weak density fluctuations (∼ 10%) in the solar wind, the low frequencyfluctuations are usually described using the incompressible MHD theory. Nevertheless, the effectof the compressibility (in particular in the fast wind) has been a subject of active research withinthe space physics community over the last three decades.My thesis is essentially dedicated to the study of compressible turbulence in different plasma environments,the planetary magnetosheaths (of Saturn and Earth) and the fast and slow solar wind.This was done using in-situ spacecraft data from the Cassini, Cluster and THEMIS/ARTEMISsatellites.I first investigated the properties of MHD and kinetic scale turbulence in the magnetosheathof Saturn using Cassini data at the MHD scales and compared them to known features of thesolar wind turbulence. This work was completed with a more detailed analysis performed in themagnetosheath of Earth using the Cluster data. Then, by applying the recently derived exactlaw of compressible isothermal MHD turbulence to the in-situ observations from THEMIS andCLUSTER spacecrafts, a detailed study regarding the effect of the compressibility on the energycascade (dissipation) rate in the fast and the slow wind is presented. Several new empirical lawsare obtained, which include the power-law scaling of the energy cascade rate as function of theturbulent Mach number. Eventually, an application of this exact model to a more compressiblemedium, the magnetosheath of Earth, using the Cluster data provides the first estimation of theenergy dissipation rate in the magnetosheath, which is found to be up to two orders of magnitudehigher than that observed in the solar wind.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 3, 2017 - 2:55:08 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 4:05:22 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01425307, version 1


Lina Hadid. In-situ observations of compressible turbulence in planetary magnetosheaths and solar wind. Astrophysics [astro-ph]. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLS255⟩. ⟨tel-01425307⟩



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