Astronomy and astrophysics vol:343 issue:2 pages:641-649
A parameter study is undertaken for steady symmetrical planar field-aligned MHD bow shock flows around a perfectly conducting cylinder. For sets of values of the inflow plasma beta and Alfvenic Mach number (M-A) which allow for switch-on shocks, a numerical solution is obtained which exhibits a complex bow shock shape and topology with multiple shock fronts and a dimpled leading front. For parameter values outside the switch-on domain, a classical single-front bow shock flow is obtained. These results show that the beta and M-A parameter regime for which the complex bow shock topology occurs, corresponds closely to the parameter regime for which switch-on shocks are possible.