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The Effects of Solar Wind Dynamic Pressure on the Structure of the Topside Ionosphere of Mars

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Z. Girazian, J. Halekas, D. D. Morgan, A. J. Kopf, D. A. Gurnett, F. Chu

(Submitted on 28 May 2019)

We use Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN observations of the upstream solar wind, and Mars Express observations of ionospheric electron densities and magnetic fields, to study how the topside ionosphere (> 320 km) of Mars is affected by variations in solar wind dynamic pressure. We find that high solar wind dynamic pressures result in the topside ionosphere being depleted of plasma at all solar zenith angles, coincident with increased induced magnetic field strengths. The depletion of topside plasma in response to high solar wind dynamic pressures is observed in both weak and strong crustal magnetic field regions. Taken together, our results suggest that high solar wind dynamic pressures lead to ionospheric compression, increased ion escape, and reduced plasma production in the high-altitude nightside ionosphere.

Subjects: Space Physics (physics.space-ph); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1905.12011 [physics.space-ph] (or arXiv:1905.12011v1 [physics.space-ph] for this version)

Submission history

From: Zachary Girazian 

[v1] Tue, 28 May 2019 18:17:25 UTC (771 KB)

https://arxiv.org/abs/1905.12011

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