Planetary Bow Shocks


Our present knowledge of the properties of the various planetary bow shocks is briefly reviewed. We do not follow the astronomical ordering of the planets. We rather distinguish between magnetised and unmagnetised planets which groups Mercury and Earth with the outer giant planets of the solar system, Mars and Moon in a separate group lacking magnetic fields and dense atmospheres, and Venus together with the comets as the atmospheric celestial objects exposed to the solar wind. Asteroids would, in this classification, fall into the group together with the Moon and should behave similarly though being much smaller. Extrasolar planets are not considered as we have only remote information about their behaviour. The presentation is brief in the sense that our in situ knowledge is rather sporadic yet, depending on just a countable number of bow shock crossings from which just some basic conclusions can be drawn about size, stationarity, shape and nature of the respective shock. The only bow shock of which we have sufficient information to deal in sufficient depth with its physics is Earth's bow shock. This has been reviewed in other places in this volume and therefore is mentioned here only as the bow shock paradigm in passing.

  author = {Treumann, R. A. and Jaroschek, C. H.},
  journal = {ArXIV [astro-ph]},
  language = {en},
  note = {Review paper on the planetary bow shocks},
  pages = {34},
  title = {Planetary Bow Shocks},
  volume = {0808.1701},
  year = {2008},
%O Journal Article
%A Treumann, R. A.
%A Jaroschek, C. H.
%J ArXIV [astro-ph]
%G en
%O Review paper on the planetary bow shocks
%P 34
%T Planetary Bow Shocks
%V 0808.1701
%D 2008