34th Solar Physics Division Meeting, June 2003
Session 6 Solar Wind and Heliosphere
Poster, Monday, June 16, 2003, 3:30-5:00pm, Mezzanine

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[6.04] The Formation of an Unstable Jet-Sheet at the Edge of the Solar System

M. Opher, P. Liewer, M. Velli (JPL), T. Gombosi, W. Manchester, D. DeZeeuw, I. Sokolov, G. Toth (University of Michigan)

We find that the boundary between the solar system and the interstellar medium an unstable jet-sheet forms. The jet is unstable and oscillates up and down due to Kelvin-Helmholtz type instability. We use a state-of-art 3D MHD code art with an adaptive grid mesh especially designed to refine the region at the current sheet and in the region between the termination shock and the heliopause. In the present study we assume as a first approximation that the solar magnetic field and rotation axis are aligned. We include in the model self-consistently magnetic field effects in the interaction between the solar and interstellar winds. Previous studies of this interaction had poorer spatial resolution and did not include the solar magnetic field. We present results from three different resolutions (ranging from 0.5AU to 6AU at the current sheet) and discuss the effect of resolution on the characteristics of the jet such as strength and width. We show that in order to resolve the jet, there is a need of a resolution higher than 3-4AU, the resolution used in previous studies. The neutrals interacting with the plasma component by charge-exchange interactions can affect the formation of the jet and we present results discussing their effect.


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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #3
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.