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MAVEN observations of partially developed Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices at Mars

Abstract : We present preliminary results and interpretations for Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) observations of magnetosheath-ionospheric boundary oscillations at Mars. Using centrifugal force arguments, we first predict that a signature of fully rolled up Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices at Mars is sheath ions that have a bulk motion toward the Sun. The sheath ions adjacent to a vortex should also accelerate to speeds higher than the mean sheath velocity. We also predict that while the ionospheric ions that are in the vortex accelerate antisunward, they never attain speeds exceeding that of the sheath ions, in stark contrast to KH vortices that arise at the Earth's magnetopause. We observe accelerated sheath and ionospheric ions, but we do not observe sheath ions that have a bulk motion toward the Sun. Thus, we interpret these observations as KH vortices that have not fully rolled up.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 12:12:50 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 9:29:58 AM

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Suranga Ruhunusiri, J. S. Halekas, J. P. Mcfadden, J. E. P. Connerney, J. R. Espley, et al.. MAVEN observations of partially developed Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices at Mars. Geophysical Research Letters, 2016, 43, pp.4763-4773. ⟨10.1002/2016GL068926⟩. ⟨insu-03670240⟩

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