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Publication . Article . 2005

Interaction of the solar wind with Mars from Mars Global Surveyor MAG/ER observations

Cesar Bertucci; Christian Mazelle; Mario H. Acuña;
Closed Access
Published: 01 Dec 2005 Journal: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, volume 67, pages 1,797-1,808 (issn: 1364-6826, Copyright policy )
Publisher: Elsevier BV

The observations of the magnetometer/electron reflectometer (MAG/ER) investigation onboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) have greatly contributed to improve our understanding of the interaction of the solar wind with Mars. These observations established conclusively that a global dynamo-generated magnetic field does not exist at Mars, and that the interaction with solar wind is of the atmospheric type. This article reviews the most important results obtained from MGS MAG/ER on the study of two major features in the Mars solar wind interaction. The first feature is the occurrence of large-amplitude, highly coherent waves at the proton cyclotron frequency in the region upstream from the Martian bow shock. The second feature is the magnetic pileup boundary (MPB), a well-defined plasma boundary inside of which the planetary exospheric ions outnumber the solar wind ions. The study of these two elements is crucial to characterize the properties of the Martian exosphere. In addition, the occurrence of an MPB at comets and Venus reveals common processes to all these unmagnetized atmospheric bodies in spite of their different physical nature and characteristic scales.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Physics Magnetometer law.invention law Mars Exploration Program Venus biology.organism_classification biology Astrobiology Solar wind Exosphere Plasma Martian Bow shocks in astrophysics

arXiv: Physics::Space Physics Astrophysics::Earth and Planetary Astrophysics Astrophysics::Solar and Stellar Astrophysics Astrophysics::High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena


Space and Planetary Science, Atmospheric Science, Geophysics

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