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The Structure of the Martian Quasi-Perpendicular Supercritical Shock as Seen by MAVEN

Abstract : The Martian bow shock is a rich example of a supercritical, mass-loaded collisionless shock that coexists with ultra-low frequency upstream waves that are generated by the pick-up of exospheric ions. The small size of the bow shock stand-off distance (comparable with the solar wind ion convective gyroradius) raises questions about the nature of the particle acceleration and energy dissipation mechanism at work. The study of the Martian shock structure is crucial to understand its microphysics and is of special interest to understand the solar wind—planet interaction with a virtually unmagnetized body. We report on a complete identification and first characterization of the supercritical substructures of the Martian quasi-perpendicular shock, under the assumption of a moving shock layer, using MAVEN magnetic field and solar wind plasma observations for two examples of shock crossings. We obtained substructures length-scales comparable to those of the Terrestrial shock, with a narrow shock ramp of the order of a few electron inertial lengths. We also observed a well defined foot (smaller than the proton convected gyroradius) and overshoot that confirm the importance of ion dynamics for dissipative effects.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 24, 2022 - 8:12:37 AM
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S. Burne, C. Bertucci, C. Mazelle, L. F. Morales, K. Meziane, et al.. The Structure of the Martian Quasi-Perpendicular Supercritical Shock as Seen by MAVEN. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 2021, 126, ⟨10.1029/2020JA028938⟩. ⟨insu-03672396⟩

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