The role pickup ions play in the termination shock

D. Ariad, M. Gedalin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The termination shock (TS) is a quasi-perpendicular shock with broad regions on both sides that are populated by high energy ions. These energetic particles play an important role in the formation of the TS structure, which distinguishes it from planetary bow shocks. The pressure of the pickup ions is calculated by solving numerically the Vlasov equation in a time-stationary one-dimensional model shock with the parameters taken from the TS observations. The solution is obtained by backward tracing of the ion trajectories in the shock front. It is found that, in order to maintain the shock stationarity, the upstream density of the pickup ions should be comparable to the density of the solar wind protons. Key Points Most of the incident ions energy is transferred to the PUI. PUI contribute significantly to the pressure balance. The PUI density is comparable to that of the SW protons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2854-2862
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • pickup ions
  • termination shock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


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