Observations of magnetic signatures and structure in the dayside ionosphere of Venus
Law, Colin Christian
Cloutier, Paul A.
Master of Science
Present models of the Venus solar wind interaction do not allow for changes in the orientation of the field as you approach the planet. Analysis of high resolution magnetic field data from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter spacecraft has revealed two distinct field rotations that are observed to occur in conjunction with the dayside ionosphere and ionopause. These rotations are a result of the velocity shear at the ionopause and indicate an alignment of the magnetic field with the day to night ionospheric plasma flow. From these results a new configuration of the dayside field draping has been determined. In addition, the field diagnostics discovered here can be used to probe the ionosphere of Mars which may otherwise go unobserved due to a lack of ion instrumentation onboard the Mars Observer spacecraft.
Plasma physics; Astronomy; Astrophysics