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Solar wind energy transfer to planetary magnetospheres and ionospheres is controlled by magnetic reconnection, a process that determines the degree of connectivity between the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and a planet's magnetic field. During MESSENGER's second flyby of Mercury, a steady southward IMF was observed and the magnetopause was threaded by(More)
Observations by MESSENGER show that Mercury's magnetosphere is immersed in a comet-like cloud of planetary ions. The most abundant, Na+, is broadly distributed but exhibits flux maxima in the magnetosheath, where the local plasma flow speed is high, and near the spacecraft's closest approach, where atmospheric density should peak. The magnetic field showed(More)
[1] We have carried out a self-consistent three dimensional global hybrid simulation study examining the interaction of the solar wind with Mercury's magnetosphere. We consider two cases: one with relatively high solar wind pressure, and another with relatively low solar wind pressure. With lower solar wind pressure, the subsolar magnetopause forms at about(More)
A self-consistent global three-dimensional kinetic study of Mercury's mag-netosphere is carried out examining waves and instabilities generated by ion temperature anisotropy and plasma flow. The overall structure of Mercury's upstream bow shock and magnetosheath are qualitatively very similar to those of Earth. Beam-generated long-wavelength oscillations(More)
During MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury, the magnetic field in the planet's magnetic tail increased by factors of 2 to 3.5 over intervals of 2 to 3 minutes. Magnetospheric substorms at Earth are powered by similar tail loading, but the amplitude is lower by a factor of approximately 10 and typical durations are approximately 1 hour. The extreme tail(More)
Global measurements by MESSENGER of the fluxes of heavy ions at Mercury, particularly sodium (Na(+)) and oxygen (O(+)), exhibit distinct maxima in the northern magnetic-cusp region, indicating that polar regions are important sources of Mercury's ionized exosphere, presumably through solar-wind sputtering near the poles. The observed fluxes of helium(More)
The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission to Mercury has provided a wealth of new data about energetic particle phenomena. With observations from MESSENGER's Energetic Particle Spectrometer, as well as data arising from energetic electrons recorded by the X-Ray Spectrometer and Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer(More)
We study the structure and properties of the lunar wake with these solar wind parameters: the angle θsw between directions of the solar wind velocity vsw and the ambient interplan-etary magnetic field (IMF) B θsw = 45 • and 90 • and vsw = 6vA (where vA denotes solar wind Alfvén velocity). We examine the structure of the wake-tail formed behind the obstacle.(More)
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