Collisionless Electron Dynamics in the Magnetosheath of Mars - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Geophysical Research Letters Year : 2019

Collisionless Electron Dynamics in the Magnetosheath of Mars

S. J. Schwartz
  • Function : Author
L. Andersson
  • Function : Author
S. Xu
  • Function : Author
D. L. Mitchell
  • Function : Author
H. Akbari
  • Function : Author
R. E. Ergun
  • Function : Author
S. A. Thaller
  • Function : Author
A. R. N. Sales
  • Function : Author
K. Horaites
  • Function : Author
G. A. Dibraccio
  • Function : Author


Electron velocity distributions in Mars's magnetosheath show a systematic erosion of the energy spectrum with distance downstream from the bow shock. Previous attempts to model this erosion invoked assumptions to promote electron ionization impact collisions with Mars's neutral hydrogen exosphere. We show that the near collision-free magnetosheath requires a kinetic description; the population of electrons at any location is a convolution of electrons arriving from more distant regions that ultimately map directly to the solar wind. We construct a simple model that captures all the essential physics. The model demonstrates how the erosion of the electron distributions is the result of the trapping, escape, and replacement of electrons that traverse the global bow shock; some are temporarily confined to the expanding cavity formed by the cross-shock electrostatic potential. The model also has implications for the ability of solar wind electrons to reach altitudes below the pileup boundary.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
Geophysical Research Letters - 2019 - Schwartz - Collisionless Electron Dynamics in the Magnetosheath of Mars.pdf (1.83 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Dates and versions

insu-03674390 , version 1 (20-05-2022)





S. J. Schwartz, L. Andersson, S. Xu, D. L. Mitchell, H. Akbari, et al.. Collisionless Electron Dynamics in the Magnetosheath of Mars. Geophysical Research Letters, 2019, 46, pp.11,679-11,688. ⟨10.1029/2019GL085037⟩. ⟨insu-03674390⟩
42 View
30 Download



Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More