Magnetosheath plasma flow model around Mercury

Schmid, Daniel; Narita, Yasuhito; Plaschke, Ferdinand; Volwerk, Martin; Nakamura, Rumi; Baumjohann, Wolfgang

The magnetosheath is defined as the plasma region between the bow shock, where the super-magnetosonic solar wind plasma is decelerated and heated, and the outer boundary of the intrinsic planetary magnetic field, the so-called magnetopause. Based on the Soucek–Escoubet magnetosheath flow model at the Earth, we present an analytical magnetosheath plasma flow model around Mercury. The model can be used to estimate the plasma flow magnitude and direction at any given point in the magnetosheath exclusively on the basis of the plasma parameters of the upstream solar wind. The model serves as a useful tool to trace the magnetosheath plasma along the streamline both in a forward sense (away from the shock) and a backward sense (toward the shock), offering the opportunity of studying the growth or damping rate of a particular wave mode or evolution of turbulence energy spectra along the streamline in view of upcoming arrival of BepiColombo at Mercury.

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Schmid, Daniel / Narita, Yasuhito / Plaschke, Ferdinand / et al: Magnetosheath plasma flow model around Mercury. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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