Journal cover Journal topic
Annales Geophysicae An open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Ann. Geophys., 24, 3403-3410, 2006
http://www.ann-geophys.net/24/3403/2006/
doi:10.5194/angeo-24-3403-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
 
21 Dec 2006
Simulated solar wind plasma interaction with the Martian exosphere: influence of the solar EUV flux on the bow shock and the magnetic pile-up boundary
R. Modolo1, G. M. Chanteur1, E. Dubinin2, and A. P. Matthews3 1CETP-IPSL, 10-12 avenue de l'Europe, 78140 Vélizy, France
2Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
3School of Pure and Applied Physics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa
Abstract. The solar wind plasma interaction with the Martian exosphere is investigated by means of 3-D multi-species hybrid simulations. The influence of the solar EUV flux on the bow shock and the magnetic pile-up boundary is examined by comparing two simulations describing the two extreme states of the solar cycle. The hybrid formalism allows a kinetic description of each ions species and a fluid description of electrons. The ionization processes (photoionization, electron impact and charge exchange) are included self-consistently in the model where the production rate is computed locally, separately for each ionization act and for each neutral species. The results of simulations are in a reasonable agreement with the observations made by Phobos 2 and Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. The position of the bow shock and the magnetic pile-up boundary is weakly dependent of the solar EUV flux. The motional electric field creates strong asymmetries for the two plasma boundaries.

Citation: Modolo, R., Chanteur, G. M., Dubinin, E., and Matthews, A. P.: Simulated solar wind plasma interaction with the Martian exosphere: influence of the solar EUV flux on the bow shock and the magnetic pile-up boundary, Ann. Geophys., 24, 3403-3410, doi:10.5194/angeo-24-3403-2006, 2006.
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