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Effects of the solar wind and the solar EUV flux on O+ escape rates from Venus

Abstract : We investigate dependences of O+ escape rates from Venus both on the solar wind and the solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) flux by using the 8.5-year dataset (May 2006 to December 2014) of the Ion Mass Analyzer and the magnetometer aboard Venus Express. We examine the O+ escape rates for 8 different conditions depending on the solar wind's dynamic pressure, the magnitude of the motional electric field, and the solar F10.7 index which is a good indicator for the solar EUV flux. We find that the O+ escape rates are mainly controlled by the motional electric field and the solar EUV flux in the magnetosheath. We suggest that the ion pickup by the motional electric field is the main ion escape process in the magnetosheath. On the other hand, in the induced magnetosphere, the O+ escape rates are controlled by not only the solar wind and the solar EUV flux but also return flows. We find that the return flows become dominant in the magnetotail in the solar maximum period, which results in reducing the net escape rates in the induced magnetosphere. As a result, net escape rates tend to become larger in the solar minimum period than those in the solar maximum period. Further analysis of the magnetic field shows that the return flows are preferably observed when the magnetic field component along the Venus-Sun line reverses multiple times in the magnetotail. We suggest that ionospheric irregular structures or IMF sector boundary crossings form the fine scale anti-parallel draping pattern of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), and this causes ion acceleration towards Venus due to the magnetic tension force or magnetic reconnections. Another possibility is precipitations of O+ pickup ions on the nightside of Venus under the fine structure of IMF. Since the return flows significantly affect the O+ escape rates from Venus, it is important to study not only long-term transition of ion outflow from Venus but also return flows to estimate the net ion loss from Venus over the long history of the solar system.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 20, 2022 - 3:33:36 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 9:16:51 AM

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K. Masunaga, Y. Futaana, M. Persson, S. Barabash, T. L. Zhang, et al.. Effects of the solar wind and the solar EUV flux on O+ escape rates from Venus. Icarus, 2019, 321, pp.379-387. ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2018.11.017⟩. ⟨insu-03674453⟩

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