SM44A-07: Science Objectives for a Soft X-ray Mission
Thursday, 15 December 2016 17:12 – 17:24
Moscone West – 2003
When high charge state solar wind ions exchange electrons with exospheric neutrals, soft X-rays are emitted. In conjunction with flight-proven wide field-of-view soft X-ray imagers employing lobster-eye optics, recent simulations demonstrate the feasibility of imaging magnetospheric density structures such as the bow shock, magnetopause, and cusps. This presentation examines the Heliospheric scientific objectives that such imagers can address. Principal amongst these is the nature of reconnection at the dayside magnetopause: steady or transient, widespread or localized, component or antiparallel as a function of solar wind conditions. However, amongst many other objectives, soft X-ray imagers can provide crucial information concerning the structure of the bow shock as a function of solar wind Mach number and IMF orientation, the presence or absence of a depletion layer, the occurrence of Kelvin-Helmholtz or pressure-pulse driven magnetopause boundary waves, and the effects of radial IMF orientations and the foreshock upon bow shock and magnetopause location.