Mars ionospheric response to two ICME events during low and high solar activity
Beatriz Sanchez-Cano
University of Leicester, UK
B.E.S.Hall (1), M.Lester (1), O.Witasse (2), M.L.Mays (3,4), S.E.Milan (1), R.Ambrosi (1), D.G.Andrews (5), H.Opgenoorth (5), D.Odstrcil (6), S. Imber (1)
We assess the reaction of the ionosphere of Mars after the impact of two Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections (ICME) at different levels of solar activity. The first event is a small ICME transit that occurred in March 2008. During that time, the thermal pressure of the ionosphere was at the lowest level due to the relatively thin ionosphere caused by the very low level of EUV and X-ray solar photons. The Martian plasma system was in general very weak to compete to the solar wind and a large variability is observed in the plasma boundaries and in the level of induced magnetic field in the ionosphere. The second event reported here is one of the largest ICME that hit Mars during the high solar activity phase. The event occurred in October 2014, when the thermal pressure of the ionosphere was at the highest level of the solar cycle and the obstacle created by the Martian plasma system was the strongest to compete to the solar wind. Therefore, the reaction and variability of the ionosphere was rather different in both cases. This study will do an assessment of the effect of both ICMEs in the full Martian plasma system from the surface of the planet to the bow shock position which is the most external boundary where solar wind directly interact with the Martian system. For that, data from STEREO-B, Mars Express, MAVEN, Mars Odyssey and MSL missions are used, as well as solar wind propagation modelling through the WSA-ENLIL model.


09:00 - 10:30
BS - A26 (40)