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Modelling the solar wind forced Martian environment

Basak, Arnab; Nandy, Dibyendu

Wolk, Scott

Since the halting of the Martian dynamo, the constant bombardment of solar wind particles on the planet led to the erosion of a significant portion of its atmosphere due to the lack of proper magnetic shielding. Several missions devoted to the exploration of the “red planet”, such as Phobos, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, InSight, etc., provide vital information about the Martian environment which is important from the aspect of planetary habitability. We present results of three dimensional compressible magnetohydrodynamic simulations of solar wind and Mars interaction, using the Star Planet Interaction Module (CESSI-SPIM) developed at CESSI, IISER Kolkata. We elucidate mechanisms that lead to the formation of an imposed magnetosphere around Mars and provide a theoretical viewpoint on the interaction of stellar winds with non-magnetized planets with/without atmospheres. The results are found to be in agreement with observational data from various missions. The above study is not only relevant for planets and moons in our solar system but also provides important insight for the exploration of habitable planets in extrasolar systems.

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  • Das, S.B., Basak, A., Nandy, D. and Vaidya, B., 2019. Modeling Star–Planet Interactions in Far-out Planetary and Exoplanetary Systems. The Astrophysical Journal, 877(2), p.80.

  • Basak, A. and Nandy, D., 2021. Modelling the imposed magnetospheres of Mars-like exoplanets: Star-planet interactions and atmospheric losses. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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