Meteor impact perturbation in the lower ionosphere of Mars: MGS observations

Pandya, B. M. ; Haider, S. A. (2012) Meteor impact perturbation in the lower ionosphere of Mars: MGS observations Planetary and Space Science, 63-64 . pp. 105-109. ISSN 0032-0633

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We have analyzed 1500 electron density profiles obtained from radio occultation experiment onboard Mars Global Surveyor to study the physical characteristics of meteoric plasma layers over Mars during the months of January–June, 2005. It is found that 65 electron density profiles were strongly perturbed with peak densities ∼0.5–1.4×1010 m−3 at altitude between 80 km and 105 km probably due to ablation of meteoroids and subsequent ionization of meteoric atoms. These profiles are used to estimate Total Electron Content (TEC) in the lower atmosphere of Mars. Our analysis suggests that meteoroids ablation caused enhancements in TEC by a factor of ∼1.5–3.0. We also report that maximum TEC were observed on 21 January and 23 May, 2005, when comets 2007 PL42 and 4015 Wilson-Harrington intersected the orbit of Mars from a close distance 1.49 AU and 1.17 AU, respectively. TEC were increased by a factor of ∼5–7 on these days. This is a significant increase in TEC, which might be associated with the meteor showers that were produced when Mars crossed the dust stream left along the orbit of these comets.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords:Martian Ionosphere; Meteor Showers on Mars; Lower Ionosphere of Mars
ID Code:95969
Deposited On:30 Nov 2012 10:19
Last Modified:30 Nov 2012 10:19

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