Full-kinetic global simulations of the plasma environment at Mercury: a model from planetary to electrons scales to support BepiColombo - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2022

Full-kinetic global simulations of the plasma environment at Mercury: a model from planetary to electrons scales to support BepiColombo

Abstract

Mercury is the only telluric planet of the solar system, other than Earth, with an intrinsic magnetic field. Thus, the Hermean surface is shielded from the impinging solar wind via the presence of an "Earth-like" magnetosphere. However, this cavity is twenty times smaller than its alike at the Earth. The relatively small extension of the Hermean magnetosphere enables us to model it using global full-kinetic simulation with the aid of modern supercomputers. Such modeling is crucial to interpret, and prepare, the future observations of the ongoing joint ESA-JAXA mission BepiColombo.The model used in this work is based on three-dimensional, implicit full-PIC simulations of the interaction between the solar wind and Mercury's magnetosphere (i.e. at 0.3-0.47 AU). This model includes self-consistently the ion and electron physics down to kinetic electron scales. On top of that, we show comparisons between in-situ observations by Mariner-X and BepiColombo space missions. This comparison allows us (i) to validate our model and (ii) to gain insights into the electron dynamics in the Hermean environment, thought to be governed by kinetic-scale processes.First, we validate our model through a qualitative comparison between three-dimensional outcomes of our global simulations and the ones of reduced fluid/hybrid simulations (in the context of the SHOTS collaboration). Moreover, comparison with in-situ Mariner-X observations during its first Mercury flyby complete the validation of our model. Second, we study the global dynamics of electrons showing regions where strongest particle acceleration/energization occurs, giving quantitative estimate of electron temperature anisotropy in the Hermean environment. Such results are used to interpret past, and plan future, BepiColombo in-situ observations.
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Dates and versions

insu-04089920 , version 1 (05-05-2023)

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Federico Lavorenti, P. Henri, Francesco Califano, Jan Deca, Sae Aizawa, et al.. Full-kinetic global simulations of the plasma environment at Mercury: a model from planetary to electrons scales to support BepiColombo. EGU22, 2022, à renseigner, Unknown Region. ⟨10.5194/egusphere-egu22-62⟩. ⟨insu-04089920⟩
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