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Journal Articles Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Year : 2021

Observations of Energized Electrons in the Martian Magnetosheath

K. Horaites
  • Function : Author
L. Andersson
  • Function : Author
S. J. Schwartz
  • Function : Author
S. Xu
  • Function : Author
D. L. Mitchell
  • Function : Author
J. Halekas
J. Gruesbeck
  • Function : Author


This observational study demonstrates that the magnitude and location of energization of electrons in the Martian magnetosheath is more complex than previous studies suggest. Electrons in Mars's magnetosheath originate in the solar wind and are accelerated by an electric field when they cross the bow shock. Assuming that this acceleration is localized solely to the shock, the field aligned electron distributions in the sheath are expected to be highly asymmetric. However, such an asymmetry is not observed in this study. Based on the analysis here, it is suggested that an additional parallel acceleration takes place downstream of the Martian bow shock. This additional acceleration suppresses the expected asymmetry of the electron distribution. Consequently, along a flux tube in the magnetosheath that is tied on both ends to the bow shock the difference in energization between parallel and anti parallel electrons is less than about 20 eV. Where this energization difference is expected to be maximal, we find the energization difference to be at most ≲25% of the predicted value.
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Dates and versions

insu-03672444 , version 1 (23-06-2022)





K. Horaites, L. Andersson, S. J. Schwartz, S. Xu, D. L. Mitchell, et al.. Observations of Energized Electrons in the Martian Magnetosheath. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 2021, 126, ⟨10.1029/2020JA028984⟩. ⟨insu-03672444⟩
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