A Comparison of Particle-in-cell and Hybrid Simulations of the Heliospheric Termination Shock

M. Swisdak, J. Giacalone, J. F. Drake, M. Opher, G. P. Zank, B. Zieger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We compare hybrid (kinetic proton, fluid electron) and particle-in-cell (kinetic proton, kinetic electron) simulations of the solar wind termination shock with parameters similar to those observed by Voyager 2 during its crossing. The steady-state results show excellent agreement between the downstream variations in the density, plasma velocity, and magnetic field. The quasi-perpendicular shock accelerates interstellar pickup ions to a maximum energy limited by the size of the computational domain, with somewhat higher fluxes and maximal energies observed in the particle-in-cell simulation, likely due to differences in the cross-shock electric field arising from electron kinetic-scale effects. The higher fluxes may help address recent discrepancies noted between observations and large-scale hybrid simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume959
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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