Structure of the martian wake

A. Fedorov*, E. Budnik, J. A. Sauvaud, C. Mazelle, S. Barabash, R. Lundin, M. Acuña, M. Holmström, A. Grigoriev, M. Yamauchi, H. Andersson, J. J. Thocaven, D. Winningham, R. Frahm, J. R. Sharber, J. Scherrer, A. J. Coates, D. R. Linder, D. O. Kataria, E. KallioH. Koskinen, T. Säles, P. Riihelä, W. Schmidt, J. Kozyra, J. Luhmann, E. Roelof, D. Williams, S. Livi, C. C. Curtis, K. C. Hsieh, B. R. Sandel, M. Grande, M. Carter, S. McKenna-Lawler, S. Orsini, R. Cerulli-Irelli, M. Maggi, P. Wurz, P. Bochsler, N. Krupp, J. Woch, M. Fränz, K. Asamura, C. Dierker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (SciVal)


We present the first results from the ion mass analyzer IMA of the ASPERA-3 instrument on-board of Mars Express. More than 200 orbits for May 2004-September 2004 time interval have been selected for the statistical study of the distribution of the atmospheric origin ions in the planetary wake. This study shows that the martian magnetotail consists of two different ion regimes. Planetary origin ions of the first regime form the layer adjacent to the magnetic pile-up boundary. These ions are accelerated to energy greater than 2000 eV and exhibit a gradual decreasing of energy down to the planetary tail. The second plasma regime is observed in the planetary shadow. The heavy ions (considered as planetary ones) are accelerated to the energy of the solar wind protons. Obviously the acceleration mechanism is different for the different plasma regimes. Study of two plasma regimes in the frame referred to the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) direction (we used MGS magnetometer data to obtain the IMF clock angle) clearly shows their spatial anisotropy. The monoenergetic plasma in the planetary shadow is observed only in the narrow angular sector around the positive direction of the interplanetary electric field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-336
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Magnetospheres
  • Mars


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