Proton cyclotron waves occurrence rate upstream from Mars observed by MAVEN: associated variability of the Martian upper atmosphere

Abstract : Measurements provided by the Magnetometer and the Extreme Ultraviolet Monitor (EUVM) onboard the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft together with atomic H exospheric densities derived from numerical simulations are studied for the time interval from October 2014 up to March 2016. We determine the proton cyclotron waves (PCWs) occurrence rate observed upstream from Mars at different times. We also study the relationship with temporal variabilities of the high altitude Martian hydrogen exosphere and the solar EUV flux reaching the Martian environment. We find that the abundance of PCWs is higher when Mars is close to perihelion, and decreases to lower and approximately constant values after the Martian Northern Spring Equinox. We also conclude that these variabilities cannot be associated with biases in MAVEN's spatial coverage or changes in the background magnetic field orientation. Higher H exospheric densities on the Martian day side are also found when Mars is closer to perihelion, as a result of changes in the thermospheric response to variability in the ultraviolet flux reaching Mars at different orbital distances. A consistent behavior is also observed in the analyzed daily irradiances measured by the MAVEN EUVM. The latter trends point towards an increase in the planetary proton densities upstream from the Martian bow shock near perihelion. These results then suggest a method to indirectly monitor the variability of the H exosphere up to very high altitudes during large time intervals (compared to direct measurements of neutral particles), based on the observed abundance of PCWs.
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Contributor : Catherine Cardon <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 10:55:15 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 4, 2019 - 2:22:04 PM

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Norberto Romanelli, Christian Mazelle, Jean-Yves Chaufray, Karim Meziane, Lican Shan, et al.. Proton cyclotron waves occurrence rate upstream from Mars observed by MAVEN: associated variability of the Martian upper atmosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research Space Physics, American Geophysical Union/Wiley, 2016, 121 (11), pp.11,113-11,128. ⟨10.1002/2016JA023270⟩. ⟨insu-01397677⟩

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