October 14, 2014

Simultaneous measurements of Martian plasma boundaries by Rosetta and Mars Express

Edberg et Al.
Planetary and Space Science

Summary: We present the first two-spacecraft near-simultaneous observations of the Martian bow shock (BS), magnetic pileup boundary (MPB) and photo-electron boundary (PEB) obtained by the plasma instruments onboard Rosetta and Mars Express during the Rosetta Mars flyby on February 25, 2007. Our observations are compared with shape models for the BS and MPB derived from previous statistical studies. The MPB is found at its expected position but the BS for this event is found significantly closer to the planet than expected for the rather slow and moderately dense solar wind. Cross-calibration of the density measurements on the two spacecraft gives a density profile through the magnetosheath, indicating an increasing solar wind flux during the Rosetta passage which is consistent with the multiple BS crossings at the Rosetta exit.