The Martian Space Plasma Environment

We present a snapshot of the Martian plasma environment resulting from the solar wind (a stream of supersonic energetic particles from the Sun) interacting directly with the Martian upper atmosphere. The solar wind flows in from the left, whereupon it is rapidly slowed, heated, and redirected around Mars (yellow bow shaped region).

The cavity inside of this presents a region in which the Martian atmosphere is protected from the solar wind. Over time, the already thin Martian atmosphere is eroded by the solar wind. Understanding this interaction is paramount to evaluating the plausibility of an ancient eden on Mars.

Benjamin Hall Physics and Astronomy

Benjamin Hall 1065

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