Modelling of Planetary magnetospheres and atmospheres

Numerical simulations of encounters of solar wind plasma with different magnetosphere and atmosphere environments in our Solar system are the main subject of investigation of WP1510.

We study coupled Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) and tearing mode (TM) instabilities because of mixing layer dynamics formed when distinct solar wind-magnetosphere-atmosphere interactions occur. These studies can address magnetic reconnection phenomena that are believed to be one of the key drivers of plasma transport. Earth’s and other planetary magnetospheres are excellent laboratories to investigate them.

Magnetospheric simulations.

The Magnetospheric Instability Model (MIM) will be utilized for studying observed asymmetries and generally the coupling between external and internal layers after the impact of SWE events. MIM runs for different solar wind parameters (velocity, density and IMF) will be conducted to study KH and TM instabilities. In particular, the case of Earth’s and Mercury’s magnetopause will be investigated for chosen SWE events. The model will provide sets of physical parameters describing shearing boundaries and will be in favour of interpreting planetary magnetospheres data for predicting and describing magnetospheric and atmospheric responses to SWE events. In addition a reduced version of MIM (Ivanovski et al., 2011) will be available on the ASPIS server for running case studies on request with user-provided input parameters: external, i.e. magnetosheath, ones (such as impacting solar wind conditions) and internal , i.e. magnetospheric, ones (such as plasma density and velocity, and planetary magnetic field).

Atmospheric simulations.

The atmospheric studies include investigation on how the chemical composition of some planetary atmospheres had been changed over billions of years owing to the solar radiation and how CME altered mass loss and the chemical profiles of planetary atmospheres. Mixing ratio vs pressure for different atmospheric chemical compositions of Mars and Venus will be computed for 107 -109 years. For a subset of CME events, including the target SWE events, the mass loss and the change of atmosphere compositions will be provided.

An example of developed KH and TM instability simulation of one of the velocity component at the Earth magnetopause in dimensionless form (Ivanovski et al. 2011).