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Studying Dawn-Dusk Asymmetries of Mercury's Magnetotail Using MHD-EPIC Simulations
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, ISSN 2169-9380, E-ISSN 2169-9402, Vol. 124, no 11, p. 8954-8973Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

MESSENGER has observed a lot of dawn-dusk asymmetries in Mercury's magnetotail, such as the asymmetries of the cross-tail current sheet thickness and the occurrence of flux ropes, dipolarization events, and energetic electron injections. In order to obtain a global pictures of Mercury's magnetotail dynamics and the relationship between these asymmetries, we perform global simulations with the magnetohydrodynamics with embedded particle-in-cell (MHD-EPIC) model, where Mercury's magnetotail region is covered by a PIC code. Our simulations show that the dawnside current sheet is thicker, the plasma density is larger, and the electron pressure is higher than the duskside. Under a strong interplanetary magnetic field driver, the simulated reconnection sites prefer the dawnside. We also found the dipolarization events and the planetward electron jets are moving dawnward while they are moving toward the planet, so that almost all dipolarization events and high-speed plasma flows concentrate in the dawn sector. The simulation results are consistent with MESSENGER observations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Publishing Ltd , 2019. Vol. 124, no 11, p. 8954-8973
Keywords [en]
dawn-dusk asymmetry, kinetic simulation, Mercury, MHD-EPIC
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-272339DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026840ISI: 000498088100001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85075513523OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-272339DiVA, id: diva2:1426579
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QC 20200427

Available from: 2020-04-27 Created: 2020-04-27 Last updated: 2020-04-27Bibliographically approved

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Markidis, Stefano

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