Unusual nonlinear waves in the Venusian magnetosheath Academic Article uri icon


  • [1] Within the Venusian magnetosheath, Venus Express has observed the existence of high-amplitude, nonlinear waves which have been interpreted as large-scale nonlinear rotational structures within the magnetic field. A number of mechanisms have been proposed that can be used to explain their origin. Venus Express data have been searched for other examples of the similar structures. It appears that such structures are quite rare, being observed during only 8 of the dayside magnetosheath crossings among 676 that took place between April 2006 and February 2008. All together, only 50 such waves have been identified during these 8 crossings. The properties of these structures were studied. After considering a number of possible generation mechanisms, it is concluded that the most probable generation mechanism is the Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability; however, other mechanisms such as shock-related processes cannot be completely discounted.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011