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Multiple shocks near Mars


Mars presents us with an example of a magnetosheath in which the interaction of the solar wind with planetary plasma of heavy ions results in a generation of strong nonlinear bi-ion MHD waves. These waves provide oscillations in the momentum exchange between protons and heavy ions and may give rise to multiple shock-like structures. One-dimensional hybrid simulations of plasma flow interaction with a “heavy ion obstacle” were performed to study the generation of shock waves in bi-ion plasma. A differential motion of protons and heavy ions leads to bunching of heavy ion flow picked up by solar wind. Plasma bunching arises because of a resonant interaction between magnetosound waves excited by beam and “slow” waves of a spatial charge in the heavy ion flow. Both kinds of waves grow, steepen and gradually evolve to shocks.


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Correspondence to Eduard Dubinin.

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Dubinin, E., Sauer, K., Baumgärtel, K. et al. Multiple shocks near Mars. Earth Planet Sp 50, 279–287 (1998).

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  • Solar Wind
  • Hybrid Simulation
  • Solar Wind Interaction
  • Multiple Shock
  • Cometary Plasma