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Influence of time-variable solar wind on the response of Mercury's magnetosphere

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Abstract

BepiColombo is going to conduct its first Mercury flyby in October 2021. During this flyby, plasma measurement will be obtained and bring new insights on the Hermean magnetosphere and its interaction with the Sun despite the limited field of view of the instruments during the cruise phase. Unlike Mariner-10 ion measurements will be obtained, and unlike MESSENGER, low energy electrons and ions will be measured simultaneously. In this study, we have revisited Mariner 10 and MESSENGER observations with the help of the global hybrid model LatHyS in order to understand the influence of time-variable solar wind and to constraint the plasma environment. We are able to reproduce the magnetic field observations of Mariner 10 along its trajectory with in particular two distinct signatures consisting of a quiet and disturbed state of the magnetosphere. In addition, the plasma spectrogram is also collected in the model and this enables us to detail the properties of the charged particles observed during the flyby. We will discuss all these signatures both in term of an interaction with a time-variable solar wind and localized processes occurring in the magnetosphere. We will then present the virtual sampling of both the magnetic field and plasma spectrogram along BepiColombo’s first Mercury flyby trajectory and discuss the possible signatures to be observed at that time.
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Dates and versions

insu-03324591 , version 1 (23-08-2021)

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Sae Aizawa, Nicolas André, Ronan Modolo, Elisabeth Werner, Jim Slavin, et al.. Influence of time-variable solar wind on the response of Mercury's magnetosphere. European Planetary Science Congress. EPSC 2021, Sep 2021, Virtual Meeting, France. ⟨10.5194/epsc2021-531⟩. ⟨insu-03324591⟩
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