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On the possibility of identifying heavy ion acceleration processes in the magnetotail of Mars


The dependence of the energy of ions on their mass could be a useful tool for the identification of possible acceleration processes in the Martian plasma sheet. The study is based on a few cases when heavier ions and protons were registered simultaneously in the plasma sheet by the TAUS energy spectrometer, and on published data of the ASPERA instrument. The analysis of mass dependence of the ion energy in the plasma sheet suggests that frictional preacceleration of ions probably in the pole regions of the Martian magnetosphere can be responsible for not more than 40% of the energy gain of heavy ions in the plasma sheet, the cross-tail current sheet acceleration yields up to 70%, and from 30 to 70% of the heavy ion energy is provided by the acceleration due to magnetic field line stresses (and/or electric field aligned acceleration).


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Kotova, G.A., Verigin, M.I., Remizov, A.P. et al. On the possibility of identifying heavy ion acceleration processes in the magnetotail of Mars. Earth Planet Sp 52, 561–565 (2000).

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  • Current Sheet
  • Plasma Sheet
  • Acceleration Process
  • Relative Input
  • Plasma Sheet Boundary Layer