October 14, 2014

The magnetic field near Mars: A comparison between a hybrid model, Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Express observations

Frilund H., Kallio E., Yamauchi M., Fedorov A., Janhunen P., Lundin R., Sauvaud J.-A., Barabash S.
Planetary and Space Science, 56,6,828-831

Summary: Mars Express (MEX) does not carry its own magnetometer which complicates interpretation of ASPERA-3/MEX ion measurements. The direction of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is especially important because it, among other things, determines the direction of the convective electric field and orientation of the cross tail current sheet and tail lobes. In this paper we present a case study to show the properties of the magnetic field near Mars in a quasi-neutral hybrid (QNH) model at the orbits where the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) has made measurements, present a method to derive the IMF clock angle by comparing fields in a hybrid model and the direction of the magnetic field measured by MGS by deriving the IMF clock angle. We also use H+ ring velocity distribution observations upstream of the bow shock measured by the IMA/ASPERA-3 instrument on board MEX spacecraft. These observations are used to indirectly provide the orientation of the IMF. We use a QNH model (HYB-Mars) where ions are modeled as particles while electrons form a mass-less charge neutralizing fluid. We found that the direct MGS and non-direct IMA observations of the orientation magnetic field vectors in non-crustal magnetic field regions are consistent with the global magnetic field draping pattern predicted by the global model. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.