VLF Waves in the Foreshock

R. J. Strangeway* and G. W. Crawford**

*Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics,
University of California at Los Angeles

**Radio Atmosphere Science Center
Kyoto University at Kyoko 611, Japan
Now at SRI International, Menlo Park,
California 94025, U. S. A.

Adv. Space Res., vol 15, (8/9)29-(8/9)42, 1995
Copyright 1995 by COSPAR


      Plasma waves observed in the VLF range upstream of planetary bow shocks not only modify the particle distributions, but also provide important information about the acceleration processes that occur at the bow shock. Electron plasma oscillations observed near the tangent field line in the electron foreshock are generated by electrons reflected at the bow shock through a process that has been referred to as Fast Fermi acceleration. Fast Fermi acceleration is the same as shock-drift acceleration, which is one of the mechanisms by which ions are energized at the shock. We have generated maps of the VLF emissions upstream of the Venus bow shock, using these maps to infer properties of the shock energization processes. We find that the plasma oscillations extend along the field line up to a distance that appears to be controlled by the shock scale size, implying that shock curvature restricts the flux and energy of reflected electrons. We also find that the ion acoustic waves are observed in the ion foreshock, but at Venus these emissions are not detected near the ULF foreshock boundary. Through analogy with terrestrial ion observations, this implies that the ion acoustic waves are not generated by ion beams, but are instead generated by diffuse ion distributions found deep within the ion foreshock. However, since the shock is much smaller at Venus, and there is no magnetosphere, we might expect ion distributions within the ion foreshock to be different than at the Earth. Mapping studies of the terrestrial foreshock similar to those carried out at Venus appear to be necessary to determine if the inferences drawn from Venus data are applicable to other foreshocks.


Title and Abstract
Electron Acceleration
VLF Emissions at Venus: Examples
VLF Emissions at Venus: Mappings
Down-shifted Plasma Oscillations
Summary and Conclusions
Figure Captions

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