Altitude dependence of nightside Martian suprathermal electron depletions as revealed by MAVEN observations

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Title: Altitude dependence of nightside Martian suprathermal electron depletions as revealed by MAVEN observations
Author(s): Steckiewicz, M
Mazelle, C
Garnier, P
André, N
Penou, E
Beth, A
Sauvaud, J-A
Toublanc, D
Mitchell, DL
McFadden, JP
Luhmann, JG
Lillis, RJ
Connerney, JEP
Espley, JR
Andersson, L
Halekas, JS
Larson, DE
Jakosky, BM
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft is providing new detailed observations of the Martian ionosphere thanks to its unique orbital coverage and instrument suite. During most periapsis passages on the nightside ionosphere suprathermal electron depletions were detected. A simple criterion was implemented to identify the 1742 depletions observed from 16 November 2014 to 28 February 2015. A statistical analysis reveals that the main ion and electron populations within the depletions are surprisingly constant in time and altitude. Absorption by CO2 is the main loss process for suprathermal electrons, and electrons that strongly peaked around 6 eV are resulting from this interaction. The observation of depletions appears however highly dependent on altitude. Depletions are mainly located above strong crustal magnetic sources above 170 km, whereas the depletions observed for the first time below 170 km are globally scattered onto the Martian surface with no particular dependence on crustal fields.
Publication Date: 5-Nov-2015
Date of Acceptance: 18-Aug-2015
ISSN: 0094-8276
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Start Page: 8877
End Page: 8884
Journal / Book Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 42
Issue: 21
Copyright Statement: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Keywords: Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
MD Multidisciplinary
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Space and Atmospheric Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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