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ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Franco, A. M.S., Echer, E., Bolzan, M. J. A., and Fraenz, M., 2022: Study of Mars Magnetosheath Fluctuations using the Kurtosis Technique: Mars Express Observations, Earth and Planetary Physics.

doi: 10.26464/epp2022006

Study of Mars Magnetosheath Fluctuations using the Kurtosis Technique: Mars Express Observations

1 National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil;

2 Federal University of Jatai, Jatai, Brazil;

3 Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research;

Corresponding author: Franco,

Fund Project: A.M.S.F thanks to FAPESP for PhD fellowship (projects 2016/10794-2 and 2017/00516-8) and CNPq agency (projects PQ-300969/2020-1, PQ-301542/2021-0) for the support. EE would like to thank to the Brazilian FAPESP (2018/21657-1) and CNPq (PQ-301883/2019-0) agencies for financial supports. The M. J. A. Bolzan was supported by CNPq agency contract number (PQ-305692/2018-6) and FAPEG agency contract number 2012.1026.7000905. The processing of Mars Express electron data was supported by German Space Agency grant 50QM1703.

Planetary magnetosheaths are characterized by a high plasma wave and turbulence activity. This is also observed for the induced magnetosphere of Mars where both upstream and locally generated plasma waves have been observed in the region between its bow shock and magnetic boundary layer, the magnetosheath. In this work, 12 years (2005-2016) of Mars Express (MEX) magnetosheath crossings have been used in order to conduct a statistical study of wave activity in the magnetosheath of Mars. Electron density and temperature measured by the electron spectrometer (ELS) of the plasma analyzer (ASPERA-3) experiment on board of MEX spacecraft were used in this study. The kurtosis parameter has been calculated for these plasma parameters. This value indicates intermittent behavior in the data when it is higher than 3 (the value for a normal or Gaussian distribution). The variation of wave activity occurrence has been analyzed in relation to solar cycle, Martian orbit and distance to the bow shock. It was observed non-Gaussian properties in the magnetosheath of Mars on all analyzed scales, especially in those near the proton gyrofrequency in the upstream region of the Martian magnetosphere. We also observed that it is higher on smaller scales (higher frequencies). A significant influence of the solar cycle was also observed, where the kurtosis parameter is higher during declining and solar maximum phases, where the presence of disturbed solar wind conditions, caused by large scale solar wind structures, increases. The kurtosis decreases with increasing distance from the bow shock, which indicates that the intermittence level is higher near the bow shock. In the electron temperature data the kurtosis is higher near the perihelion due to the higher incidence of EUV when the planet is closer to the Sun, which causes a more extended exosphere, and consequently increases the wave activity in the magnetosheath and its upstream region. The extended exosphere seems to play a lower effect in the electron density data.

Key words:

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Study of Mars Magnetosheath Fluctuations using the Kurtosis Technique: Mars Express Observations

Franco, A. M.S., Echer, E., Bolzan, M. J. A., and Fraenz, M.