Two-dimensional MHD simulation of the Earth’s magnetosphere

Siska Filawati*, Bambang Setiahadi, Bintoro A. Subagyo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The magnetosphere is the outermost part of the Earth, formed by the interaction of the Earth’s dipole magnetic field and the solar wind. Solar wind conditions depend on solar activity, which can affect space weather. One of the solar activities that significantly impact space weather is Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The magnetosphere is observed using satellites in space-based and using a magnetometer on earth-based. However, these observations are limited to a specific location and time. In this work, we are interested in employing magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) to investigate the interaction of solar wind in the magnetosphere. The MHD has four equations: transfer of mass, momentum, magnetic, and thermal energy, which explain the four main parameters of the solar wind: density, velocity, magnetic field, and pressure, respectively. From these four parameters, the response of Earth’s magnetosphere can be identified. Here, we used both analytical and numerical calculation via the SHASTA-FCT. The results show that the positive interplanetary magnetic field merges to Earth’s magnetic field. However, the negative interplanetary magnetic field does not merge with Earth’s magnetic field. We also observed that the higher solar wind speed results in the shorter simulation time. The bow shock as a result of the interaction of the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetic field is formed at a distance of ∼50,000km , and the magnetopause as a result of the equilibrium of the solar wind pressure and the pressure of the Earth’s magnetic field has a thickness of ∼5000km . In addition, we also discuss Alfvén velocity represents the motion of the magnetic field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103
JournalAstrophysics and Space Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Coronal mass ejection
  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Magnetosphere


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