October 14, 2014

Analysis of the H+ ring velocity distribution function near the Martian and Venusian bow shocks by an analytical model

Kallio, E. et Al.
Planetary and Space Science, 56,6,818-822

Summary: We have studied the H+ velocity distribution function at Mars and Venus near the bow shock both in the solar wind and in the magnetosheath by a simple analytical one-dimensional model. We found that over half of the ions in the ring velocity distribution which moved towards the magnetosheath were scattered back into the bow shock. The original ring distribution is destroyed in less than an ion gyro period. Ions contained in the magnetosphere which hit the bow shock bounce back into the solar wind with a maximum energy exceeding twice the energy of solar wind protons. The ions finite gyroradius causes an asymmetric flow in the magnetosheath with respect to the direction of the convective electric field, which can be observed already a few ion gyroradius downstream of the bow shock.