The precipitation of keV energetic oxygen ions at Mars and their effects during the comet Siding Spring approach

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2014
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
4844-4850
Series
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, Volume 41, issue 14
Abstract
Comet Siding Spring C/2013 A1 will pass Mars on 19 October 2014, entailing particle and dust precipitation in the Martian upper atmosphere and a potential dust hazard for orbiters. An estimate of the flux of energetic O+ ions picked up by the solar wind from the cometary coma is shown, with an increase of the O+ flux above 50 keV by 2 orders of magnitude. While the ionization of Mars’ upper atmosphere by precipitating O+ ions is expected to be negligible compared to solar EUV-XUV ionization, it is of the same order of magnitude at 110 km altitude during the cometary passage, leading to detectable increases in ionospheric densities. Cometary O+ pickup ion precipitation is expected to be the major nightside ionization source, creating a temporary ionosphere and a global airglow. These effects are dependent on the solar and cometary activities at the time of the encounter.
Description
Keywords
comet, Mars, O+, pickup
Other note
Citation
Gronoff , G , Rahmati , A , Simon Wedlund , C , Mertens , C J , Cravens , T E & Kallio , E 2014 , ' The precipitation of keV energetic oxygen ions at Mars and their effects during the comet Siding Spring approach ' , Geophysical Research Letters , vol. 41 , no. 14 , pp. 4844-4850 . https://doi.org/10.1002/2014GL060902