Earth, Planets and Space

, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 445–452 | Cite as

Model calculations of the planetary ion distribution in the Martian tail

  • Herbert Lichtenegger
  • Eduard Dubinin
Open Access


Based on a recent model of the Martian atmosphere/exosphere and a model of the magnetic field and solar wind flow around Mars, the distribution of different planetary ion species in the near tail is calculated. Three main regions are identified: 1) “clouds” of pickup ions with distinct mass separation travel along cycloidal trajectories; 2) another group of ions forms a distinct plasma mantle in the magnetosphere; 3) a third population fills up the plasma sheet. Further, the energy of ions in different locations is also analyzed. Finally, comparison of observations made onboard the Phobos-2 spacecraft shows a reasonable agreement with simulation results.


Solar Wind Interplanetary Magnetic Field Plasma Sheet Solar Wind Flow Ambipolar Electric Field 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences (SGEPSS); The Seismological Society of Japan; The Volcanological Society of Japan; The Geodetic Society of Japan; The Japanese Society for Planetary Sciences. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Space Research InstituteAustrian Academy of SciencesGrazAustria
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für AeronomieKatlenburg-LindauGermany
  3. 3.Space Research InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  4. 4.International Space Science Institute (ISSI)BernSwitzerland

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