O+ ion flow below the magnetic barrier at Venus post terminator

K. Szego, Z. Bebesi, Z. Dobe, M. Fränz, A. Fedorov, S. Barabash, A. J. Coates, T. L. Zhang

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Venus forms an obstacle in the streaming solar wind; inside the obstacle boundary (that is below the magnetic barrier) the ions of planetary origin dominate the plasma. The objective of this study is to investigate the properties of the O+ ions inside the obstacle boundary of Venus in the wake; we are especially interested in the characterization of the different plasma regions the O+ ions occupy. The study is based on the data collected by the ASPERA 4 plasma analyzer flying onboard of the Venus Express mission in a region never explored before experimentally. The obstacle boundary was approximately identified from the dropout of magnetospheric electrons and the sharp decrease of the proton speed; the entry point correlated well with the location of the magnetic barrier derived by eyes from magnetometer data. The most characteristic structures seen during the various flybys were (1) the tailward continuation of the mantle was evident; (2) in the mantle near Venus the O+ ion flow was significantly intense in low-energy counts; (3) the inbound and outbound crossings of the tailward boundary were sharp, characterized by less intense but higher-energy O+ beams; (4) the crossing of the central tail region (current sheet) was marked by the change of the sign of Bx and by an intense low-energy O+ ion flux; (5) it is remarkable that the O+ ion outflow was not confined to the central tail region; the intensity elsewhere was highly variable, resulting in a ray-like outflow pattern in most of the cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE00B26
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 20 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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    Szego, K., Bebesi, Z., Dobe, Z., Fränz, M., Fedorov, A., Barabash, S., Coates, A. J., & Zhang, T. L. (2009). O+ ion flow below the magnetic barrier at Venus post terminator. Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, 114(1), [E00B26]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2008JE003170