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Coronal mass ejection hits mercury: A.I.K.E.F. hybrid-code results compared to MESSENGER data

Exner, Willi and Heyner, D. and Liuzzo, L. and Motschmann, U. and Shiota, D. and Kusano, K. and Shibayama, T. (2018) Coronal mass ejection hits mercury: A.I.K.E.F. hybrid-code results compared to MESSENGER data. Planetary and Space Science, 153, pp. 89-99. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2017.12.016 ISSN 0032-0633

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0032063317303501

Abstract

Mercury is the closest orbiting planet around the sun and is therefore embedded in an intensive and highly varying solar wind. In-situ data from the MESSENGER spacecraft of the plasma environment near Mercury indicates that a coronal mass ejection (CME) passed the planet on 23 November 2011 over the span of the 12 h MESSENGER orbit. Slavin et al. (2014) derived the upstream parameters of the solar wind at the time of that orbit, and were able to explain the observed MESSENGER data in the cusp and magnetopause segments of MESSENGER's trajectory. These upstream parameters will be used for our first simulation run. We use the hybrid code A.I.K.E.F. which treats ions as individual particles and electrons as a mass-less fluid, to conduct hybrid simulations of Mercury's magnetospheric response to the impact of the CME on ion gyro time scales. Results from the simulation are in agreement with magnetic field measurements from the inner day-side magnetosphere and the bow-shock region. However, at the planet's nightside, Mercury's plasma environment seemed to be governed by different solar wind conditions, in conclusion, Mercury's interaction with the CME is not sufficiently describable by only one set of upstream parameters. Therefore, to simulate the magnetospheric response while MESSENGER was located in the tail region, we use parameters obtained from the MHD solar wind simulation code SUSANOO (Shiota et al. (2014)) for our second simulation run. The parameters of the SUSANOO model achieve a good agreement of the data concerning the plasma tail crossing and the night-side approach to Mercury. However, the polar and closest approach are hardly described by both upstream parameters, namely, neither upstream dataset is able to reproduce the MESSENGER crossing of Mercury's magnetospheric cusp. We conclude that the respective CME was too variable on the timescale of the MESSENGER orbit to be described by only two sets of upstream conditions. Our results suggest locally strong and highly variable dynamics of the CME on timescales of 15 min while MESSENGER was near closest approach.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/124709/
Document Type:Article
Title:Coronal mass ejection hits mercury: A.I.K.E.F. hybrid-code results compared to MESSENGER data
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Exner, WilliInstitute for Geophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics, TU Braunschweig, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Heyner, D.Institut für Geophysik und Extraterrestrische Physik, TU Braunschweig, 38106 Braunschweig, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Liuzzo, L.School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USAUNSPECIFIED
Motschmann, U.uwe.motschmann (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Shiota, D.Institute for Space-Earth Environment Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi, JapanUNSPECIFIED
Kusano, K.Institute for Space-Earth Environment Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi, JapanUNSPECIFIED
Shibayama, T.Institute for Space-Earth Environment Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi, JapanUNSPECIFIED
Date:2018
Journal or Publication Title:Planetary and Space Science
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:153
DOI :10.1016/j.pss.2017.12.016
Page Range:pp. 89-99
Publisher:Elsevier
Series Name:Elsevier
ISSN:0032-0633
Status:Published
Keywords:Plasma interaction; Mercury; Hybrid; Simulation; CME
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Exploration des Sonnensystems
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Asteroids and Comets
Deposited By: Stiebeler, Ulrike
Deposited On:10 Dec 2018 14:59
Last Modified:27 Feb 2019 11:28

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