EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

On the scale sizes of magnetic holes

Ferdinand Plaschke1, Martin Volwerk2, Tomas Karlsson3, Charlotte Götz4, Daniel Heyner1, Heli Hietala5, Johannes Z. D. Mieth1, Daniel Schmid2, Cyril Simon-Wedlund2, and Zoltan Vörös2
Ferdinand Plaschke et al.
  • 1Institute of Geophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany (
  • 2Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria
  • 3Department of Space and Plasma Physics, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 4Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering, Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
  • 5School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom

Magnetic holes are significant depressions of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) that can be found embedded in the solar wind everywhere within the heliosphere. They resemble mirror mode magnetic structures that form as a response to excess perpendicular temperatures. Magnetic holes situated at IMF discontinuities (current sheets) may also be the result of reconnection. Magnetic holes occur more often under fast solar wind conditions, and their scale sizes are known to be on the order of thousands to tens of thousands of km, determined essentially from temporal width and plasma velocity observations. So far, the scale sizes have only been estimated for the directions parallel to the respective solar wind plasma flows. In this study, we attempt to calculate the first distributions of the scale sizes for the orthogonal, flow-perpendicular directions. Therefore, we use multi-point observations of magnetic holes by the ARTEMIS spacecraft in lunar orbit. The method we use has been previously applied to plasma jets present in the magnetosheath of Earth. The knowledge of the flow-perpendicular scale sizes is important to assess the holes’ impact on planetary magnetospheres and cometary environments.

How to cite: Plaschke, F., Volwerk, M., Karlsson, T., Götz, C., Heyner, D., Hietala, H., Mieth, J. Z. D., Schmid, D., Simon-Wedlund, C., and Vörös, Z.: On the scale sizes of magnetic holes, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-4366,, 2023.