Giant flux ropes observed in the magnetized ionosphere at Venus
0019-1035/$ see front matter 2009 Elsevier Inc. A doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2009.03.014 * Corresponding author. Address: 6862 Slichter Hal Angeles, 595 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (H.Y. Wei). Magnetic flux ropes are created in the ionosphere of Venus and Mars during the interaction of the solar wind with their ionospheres and also at Titan during the interaction of the Saturnian magnetospheric plasma flow with Titan’s ionosphere. The flux ropes at Venus and Mars were extensively studied from Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Mars Global Surveyor observations respectively during solar maximum. Based on the statistical properties of the observed flux ropes at Venus and Mars, the formation of a flux rope in the ionosphere is thought first to arise near the boundary between the magnetic barrier and the ionosphere and later to sink into the lower ionosphere. Venus flux ropes are also observed during solar minimum by Venus Express and the observations of developing and mature flux ropes are consistent with the proposed mechanism. With the knowledge of flux rope structure in the Venus ionosphere, the twisted fields in the lower ionosphere of Titan from Cassini observations are studied and are found to resemble the Venus flux ropes. 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.