Evidence for crustal magnetic field control of ions precipitating into the upper atmosphere of Mars

Abstract : We present the effects of the local magnetic field configurations on ions precipitating into the upper atmosphere of Mars using MAVEN observations. Precipitating pickup planetary heavy ions (O+, O2+, and CO2+) are of particular interest in the Martian plasma environment because they potentially enhance the sputtering loss of ambient neutral particles. In addition, solar wind protons (and H+ pickup ions) penetrate into the dayside atmosphere due to the direct interaction with the Martian obstacle. We present a statistical study showing that precipitating ion fluxes are typically enhanced by a factor of 2‐3 under radial field configurations. We also show that the crustal fields have a shielding effect; the precipitating fluxes are significantly reduced by ∼50 % under the strong crustal fields (≳ 100 nT), where the local magnetic field is oriented with a more horizontal component to the surface. These trends are seen consistently regardless of ion species, as well as the observed locations including dayside/nightside, subsolar longitudes, and ±E hemispheres in the Mars‐centered Solar Electric (MSE) coordinates. In particular, the local magnetic field configurations control precipitating ions with energies lower than a few keV, while precipitating high‐energy ion fluxes are likely independent of the local magnetic field configurations. Precipitating ion fluxes are known to vary by at least an order of magnitude depending on the upstream solar wind. Therefore, the local magnetic field configurations turn out to be the secondary factor in modulating precipitating ion fluxes at Mars.
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Journal of Geophysical Research : Space Physics, American Geophysical Union/Wiley, 2018, (in press). 〈10.1029/2017JA024798〉
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-01799126
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Soumis le : jeudi 24 mai 2018 - 13:43:30
Dernière modification le : dimanche 7 octobre 2018 - 01:12:10

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Takuya Hara, Janet Luhmann, François Leblanc, Shannon Curry, Jasper Halekas, et al.. Evidence for crustal magnetic field control of ions precipitating into the upper atmosphere of Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research : Space Physics, American Geophysical Union/Wiley, 2018, (in press). 〈10.1029/2017JA024798〉. 〈insu-01799126〉

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