Mars pickup ion plume under different IMF conditions from MAVEN observations Journal Article uri icon



  • Ions originating from the upper atmosphere of Mars may be picked up by the impinging solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), which forms an energetic ion plume from the dayside of the planet as a key feature of the Martian induced magnetosphere and an important ion escape channel. Consisting of mostly ions in the beginning phase of the pickup process, the orientation and morphology of the plume are largely controlled by upstream IMF conditions.Using data from the NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission, we will perform a thorough investigation of the pickup ion plume under different upstream IMF conditions. Previous statistical ion flux maps by Dong et al. [2015; 2017] from MAVEN data show the plume as a more spatially spread-out feature than that in many simulation models [e.g. Jarvinen et al. 2016 and others], which is possibly due the effects of highly variable IMF conditions for the data used in those maps. We will investigate how the plume appears with selected data under quasi-steady IMF conditions. Furthermore, we will compare the plume under strong and weak IMF conditions, as well as the conditions with IMF approximately perpendicular or parallel to the solar wind direction. The morphology of the plume and characteristics of escaping pickup ions under different IMF conditions will be discussed and compared with available model results to better understand how IMF affects the formation of the plume and ion escape through this channel.

publication date

  • May 15, 2023

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • February 28, 2023 10:35 AM

Full Author List

  • Dong Y; Brain D; Ramstad R; Fang X; Ma Y; McFadden J; Halekas J; Espley J; Curry S

author count

  • 9

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