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Science. 2015 Nov 6;350(6261):aad0210. doi: 10.1126/science.aad0210.

MAVEN observations of the response of Mars to an interplanetary coronal mass ejection.

Author information

1
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA. bruce.jakosky@lasp.colorado.edu.
2
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA.
3
University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA.
4
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA.
5
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.
6
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA.
7
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
8
University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
9
CNRS-Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP), Toulouse, France. University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.
10
Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala, Sweden.
11
NASA/Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, USA.
12
National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, VA, USA.
13
Laboratoire atmosphères, milieux et observations spatiales (LATMOS)-CNRS, Paris, France.
14
Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.
15
University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA.
16
Computational Physics, Inc., Boulder, CO, USA.
17
Wright State University, Dayton, OH, USA.
18
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.
19
Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan.
20
Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, USA.
21
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Abstract

Coupling between the lower and upper atmosphere, combined with loss of gas from the upper atmosphere to space, likely contributed to the thin, cold, dry atmosphere of modern Mars. To help understand ongoing ion loss to space, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft made comprehensive measurements of the Mars upper atmosphere, ionosphere, and interactions with the Sun and solar wind during an interplanetary coronal mass ejection impact in March 2015. Responses include changes in the bow shock and magnetosheath, formation of widespread diffuse aurora, and enhancement of pick-up ions. Observations and models both show an enhancement in escape rate of ions to space during the event. Ion loss during solar events early in Mars history may have been a major contributor to the long-term evolution of the Mars atmosphere.

PMID:
26542576
DOI:
10.1126/science.aad0210
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