Ion motion in a collisionless shock front is affected by macroscopic large-scale weakly varying and microscopic small-scale fast varying magnetic and electric fields. With the increase of the Mach number the role of the microscopic field is expected to become progressively more important. Using a combination of hybrid simulations and test particle analysis, we show that in moderately supercritical shocks macroscopic fields play the main role in ion motion across the shock. Pressure balance across the shock is only weakly broken and non-stationarity is related to the deviations from the total pressure from the constant value.
- Space plasma physics