About this Research Topic
Most of the visible matter in the Universe is in the form of highly turbulent plasmas. However, for a long time, the turbulent character of astrophysical and space plasmas has not been well understood. One reason for this is the extremely complicated physics involved in processes governing the dynamics of space and astrophysical objects such as the interstellar medium, stars, solar and stellar winds, magnetospheres, etc. Another reason is that the description of turbulence itself at different scales is a difficult task even in ordinary fluids. Contrary to astrophysical plasmas, more than 60 years of space exploration has generated an extensive set of measurements of the main properties of space plasmas, allowing us to study the turbulence in situ using single and multi-point satellite missions. This converts the heliosphere into the world’s largest laboratory for the study of plasma turbulence, allowing us to obtain results that are relevant not only for space physics but also for other astrophysical objects having similar turbulent processes.
However, despite significant advances made in this field during the last six decades, there are many key questions waiting to be solved. This Research Topic calls for both Review and Original Research articles focusing on the role that the turbulence plays in the solar wind, magnetosphere, and ionosphere dynamics, and their interaction. In particular we are interested in but not limited to the following topics:
- The role of turbulence in the interaction processes of the solar wind with the terrestrial magnetosphere, and with other planetary magnetospheres.
- Turbulent energy transfer between scales in the solar wind at 1 AU and at different heliocentric distances and in planetary magnetospheres.
- The impact of turbulence on the dynamical processes in the terrestrial and planetary magnetospheres, e.g. substorm dynamics.
- The interrelations between a turbulent cascade, waves and coherent structures. What are the similarities and differences of turbulent behavior for different heliospheric objects?
- Turbulent plasma heating and particle acceleration and their role in the formation of turbulent cascade.
- The influence of turbulence on the transport properties of energetic particles, considering both the quasi-linear, the non-linear and the anomalous regimes.
Keywords: Turbulence, Space plasmas, Heliosphere, Solar wind, Magnetosphere
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