October 14, 2014

Plasma morphology at mars. Aspera-3 observations

Dubinin E., Franz M., Woch J., Roussos E., Barabash S., Lundin R., Winningham J.D., Frahm R.A., Acuna M.
Space Science Reviews

Summary: Observations made by the ASPERA-3 experiment onboard the Mars Express spacecraft found within the martian magnetosphere beams of planetary ions. In the energy (E / q)-time spectrograms these beams are often displayed as dispersive-like, ascending or descending (whether the spacecraft moves away or approach the planet) structures. A linear dependence between energy gained by the beam ions and the altitude from the planet suggests their acceleration in the electric field. The values of the electric field evaluated from ion energization occur close to the typical values of the interplanetary motional electric field. This suggests an effective penetration of the solar wind electric field deep into the martian magnetosphere or generation of large fields within the magnetosphere. Two different classes of events are found. At the nominal solar wind conditions, a 'penetration' occurs near the terminator. At the extreme solar wind conditions, the boundary of the induced magnetosphere moves to a more dense upper atmosphere that leads to a strong scavenging of planetary ions from the dayside regions. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.