NAOC Open IR
A Survey of Photoelectrons on the Nightside of Mars
Cao, Y. -T.1; Cui, J.1,2; Wu, X. -S.2,3; Niu, D. -D.4; Lai, H. -R.1; Ni, B. -B.2,5; Luo, Q.5; Yu, J.1; Wei, Y.6
2021-01-28
Source PublicationGEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS
ISSN0094-8276
Volume48Issue:2Pages:8
AbstractDespite produced exclusively on the dayside, photoelectrons, as an important population of the Martian ionosphere, have also been observed on the nightside. Here we present a statistical survey of nightside photoelectrons using the suprathermal electron measurements, made by the Solar Wind Electron Analyzer onboard the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution. We find that nearly 30% of the available nightside suprathermal electron spectra show clear photoelectron signatures. Nightside photoelectrons have an occurrence rate that decreases with increasing solar zenith angle and they are characterized by a preferentially field-aligned pitch angle distribution. Our analysis also suggests that nightside photoelectrons are less likely observed under the high solar wind condition. These observations are favorably interpreted by the scenario of photoelectron transport along cross-terminator magnetic field lines, as supported by a simplified test particle model. Our study highlights a complex plasma environment near Mars modulated by both internal and external conditions. Plain Language Summary Photoelectrons are an important population of a planetary upper atmosphere that plays a crucial role in ionization, heating, radiation, and escape. Despite that photoelectrons are ideally produced by solar radiation on the dayside only, they have also been observed on the nightside of a planet such as Mars. This study is devoted to a statistical survey of photoelectrons in the nightside Martian upper atmosphere, based on the state-of-the-art measurements made by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft. A surprisingly large fraction of photoelectron energy spectra is identified on the nightside of Mars, occupying nearly 30% of the available nightside measurements. Meanwhile, substantial variations in the observations of nightside photoelectrons are suggested by the data, revealing that (1) their occurrence rate declines rapidly near and beyond the terminator; (2) their velocities are more likely parallel to the ambient magnetic field lines; and (3) they are less likely observed under high solar wind dynamic pressures. These observations could be interpreted by photoelectron transport along large-scale magnetic field lines from their dayside source regions to the nightside, a scenario that is controlled by both internal and external conditions and thus provides a useful diagnostic of the ambient magnetic field configuration. Key Points . The photoelectron occurrence rate in the nightside Martian ionosphere decreases with increasing solar zenith angle Nightside photoelectrons are observed to be preferentially field-aligned, as a natural result of cross-terminator transport Nightside photoelectrons are more likely observed under low solar wind dynamical pressures
KeywordMartian ionosphere MAVEN Photoelectrons
Funding OrganizationB-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; National Science Foundation of China ; National Science Foundation of China ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; National Science Foundation of China ; National Science Foundation of China ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; National Science Foundation of China ; National Science Foundation of China ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; National Science Foundation of China ; National Science Foundation of China ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics
DOI10.1029/2020GL089998
WOS KeywordMAGNETIC-FIELD ; ENERGY PEAKS ; ELECTRONS ; MODEL
Language英语
Funding ProjectB-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)[XDB41000000] ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration[D020105] ; National Science Foundation of China[41525015] ; National Science Foundation of China[41525016] ; National Science Foundation of China[41774186] ; National Science Foundation of China[41904154] ; National Science Foundation of China[42030201] ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics[IGGCAS-201904]
Funding OrganizationB-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; National Science Foundation of China ; National Science Foundation of China ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; National Science Foundation of China ; National Science Foundation of China ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; National Science Foundation of China ; National Science Foundation of China ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; B-type Strategic Priority Program - Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; preresearch project on Civil Aerospace Technologies - China's National Space Administration ; National Science Foundation of China ; National Science Foundation of China ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics ; CAS Institute of Geology Geophysics
WOS Research AreaGeology
WOS SubjectGeosciences, Multidisciplinary
WOS IDWOS:000613648800054
PublisherAMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION
Citation statistics
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.bao.ac.cn/handle/114a11/79444
Collection中国科学院国家天文台
Corresponding AuthorCui, J.
Affiliation1.Sun Yat Sen Univ, Sch Atmospher Sci, Zhuhai, Guangdong, Peoples R China
2.Chinese Acad Sci, Ctr Excellence Comparat Planetol, Hefei, Anhui, Peoples R China
3.Chinese Acad Sci, Natl Astron Observ, Beijing, Peoples R China
4.Harbin Inst Technol, Inst Space Sci & Appl Technol, Shenzhen, Guangdong, Peoples R China
5.Wuhan Univ, Sch Elect Informat, Dept Space Phys, Wuhan, Hubei, Peoples R China
6.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Geol & Geophys, Beijing, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Cao, Y. -T.,Cui, J.,Wu, X. -S.,et al. A Survey of Photoelectrons on the Nightside of Mars[J]. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS,2021,48(2):8.
APA Cao, Y. -T..,Cui, J..,Wu, X. -S..,Niu, D. -D..,Lai, H. -R..,...&Wei, Y..(2021).A Survey of Photoelectrons on the Nightside of Mars.GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS,48(2),8.
MLA Cao, Y. -T.,et al."A Survey of Photoelectrons on the Nightside of Mars".GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS 48.2(2021):8.
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