About this Research Topic
Since at least two decades, an increasing number of heliospheric and planetary space missions have been launched (e.g. Helios, Ulysses, Wind, ACE, MAVEN, Akatsuki/Venus Orbiter, Rosetta, Cassini, MEX, VEX) collecting a huge amount of data to characterize the interplanetary medium variability through the Heliosphere. Nowadays, the recently launched space missions (e.g. BepiColombo, Parker Solar Probe, Solar Orbiter) provide more accurate in situ measurements through high-resolution instruments for monitoring the evolution of solar wind parameters and for providing new insights into the physics of various plasma processes related to the Sun and the interplanetary medium.
The new era of spacecraft missions offers a unique opportunity to perform combined multi-point observations of the interplanetary medium variability, on one hand, to study different processes in the solar wind (and their radial evolution as at different Heliospheric distances), such as turbulence properties, small scales structures, instabilities, waves, and dust. On the other hand, it helps to characterize large scales structures and coupling between the solar wind plasma and the different planetary environments. These observations are important for testing pre-existing theoretical models and for advancing numerical simulations to investigate various aspects of both known and unknown physical processes, moving from past accomplishments to future challenges.
This Research Topic will address the interplanetary medium variability as observed in the new era of spacecraft missions. This Research Topic aims to collect Original Research, Brief Research Reports, Perspectives, Reviews, Data Reports as well Hypothesis and Theory manuscripts on new observational findings and their theoretical counterparts coming from both single- and multi-spacecraft investigations that will help in advancing our understanding of the interplanetary medium:
● Investigating scaling-law behaviors, turbulence, intermittency, large-scale/inertial/kinetic physics;
● Particle acceleration, shocks, waves, and dust;
● Wave-particle interactions, solar and in situ magnetic structures, propagation and acceleration of energetic particles;
● Solar wind - planetary coupling dynamics, localized processes (e.g., reconnection and instabilities, planetary boundaries formation and induced phenomena), cross-scale interactions and multiscale physics.
Keywords: Interplanetary medium, Planetary systems, Heliosphere, Multi-spacecraft observations, Plasma physics
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.