Heliospheric and astrophysical shocks: Common features and differences Academic Article uri icon


  • Heliospheric shocks are low-Mach number magnetized shocks. Astrophysical shocks are very high-Mach number shocks, either relativistic (SNR shocks) or ultrarelativistic (GRB shocks), which form in a low-magnetized or unmagnetized plasmas. Respectively, the internal structure of these shocks should be very different. While in the heliospheric shocks the ion convective gy-roradius determines the main scale of the transition layer, the filamentary instability is believed to produce an extended foreshock in relativistic unmagnetized shocks. Yet, the basic processes of the ion deceleration and heating, as well as electron energization, occur similarly, due to the development of the cross-shock electric fields and subsequent non-adiabatic dynamics of the ions in the shock front.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012