Pumping out the atmosphere of Mars through solar wind pressure pulses
2010 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, Vol. 37, L03107- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We study atmospheric escape from Mars during solar wind pressure pulses. During the solar minimum of 2007 08 we have observed 41 high pressure events, which are predominantly identified as corotating interaction regions (CIR) while a few are coronal mass ejections (CME), in data from the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) upstream of the Earth. 36 of these events are also identified using Mars Express (MEX) data at Mars. We use MEX measurements at Mars to compare the antisunward fluxes of heavy planetary ions during the passage of these pulses to the fluxes during quiet solar wind conditions. The ion fluxes are observed to increase by a factor of similar to 2.5, on average. Hence, a third of the total outflow from Mars takes place during similar to 15% of the time, when a solar wind pressure pulse impacts on the planet. This can have important consequences for the total time-integrated outflow of plasma from Mars.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 37, L03107- p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-147705DOI: 10.1029/2009GL041814ISI: 000274463300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-147705DiVA: diva2:400747