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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 24, issue 12
Ann. Geophys., 24, 3403–3410, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-24-3403-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 24, 3403–3410, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-24-3403-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  21 Dec 2006

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 R. Modolo et al.
  • 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.

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