A pre-shock event at Jupiter on 30 January 2001

Karoly Szego, David T. Young, Thorsten Bagdonat, Bruce Barraclough, Jean Jacques Berthelier, Andrew J. Coates, Frank J. Crary, Michele K. Dougherty, Geza Erdos, Donald A. Gurnett, William S. Kurth, Andrea Opitz, Abi Rymer, Michelle F. Thomsen

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2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we analyze a pre-shock event that we observed in the foot region of the quasi-parallel bow shock (BS) that the Cassini spacecraft crossed on 30 January 2001, at about 1030 UT. Before crossing the BS, the incoming solar wind first decelerated, and then the bulk velocity both of the proton and α components increased, the flow accelerated and decelerated, heated and cooled several times. We characterize the plasma in the foot using the data measured by the magnetometer, the radio and plasma wave science (RPWS) instrument, and the Cassini plasma spectrometer (CAPS) being carried onboard the Cassini spacecraft, and analyze the observations. We argue that the velocity and temperature changes can be caused by firehose instabilities excited by ions reflected from the shock. We investigate another possibility, shocklet formation, to account for the observed features, but conclude that this explanation seems to be less likely. In the foot we also identified both backstreaming electrons and ions and electrostatic waves in the 100-1000 Hz range very likely excited by the backstreaming electrons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-211
Number of pages12
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2006



  • Bow shock
  • Firehose instability
  • Foot region
  • Planetary magnetospheres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Szego, K., Young, D. T., Bagdonat, T., Barraclough, B., Berthelier, J. J., Coates, A. J., Crary, F. J., Dougherty, M. K., Erdos, G., Gurnett, D. A., Kurth, W. S., Opitz, A., Rymer, A., & Thomsen, M. F. (2006). A pre-shock event at Jupiter on 30 January 2001. Planetary and Space Science, 54(2), 200-211. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2005.10.011