POLAR magnetosheath observations on May 4, 1998


The unusually high solar wind pressure and strongly southward IMF on May 4, 1998, pushed the magnetopause well into the geosynchronous orbit which exposed the POLAR satellite to the magnetosheath and solar wind. We use the gasdynamic convected field model to predict the magnetosheath quantities and then compare them with the in situ observations. The model prediction helps to reduce the uncertainty in the timing of the solar wind arrival time and provides a reference value for each physical parameter. It also helps to resolve the location of the satellite during strong magnetic fluctuations near the magnetopause. The plasma measurements from the TIDE instrument, in conjunction with the magnetometer measurements, indicate that there is a magnetospheric boundary layer during the event. There are also transient signatures near the magnetopause which may be caused by magnetospheric flux transfer events.