Global Ten-Moment Multifluid Simulations of the Solar Wind Interaction with Mercury: From the Planetary Conducting Core to the Dynamic Magnetosphere

Chuanfei Dong, Liang Wang, Ammar Hakim, Amitava Bhattacharjee, James A. Slavin, Gina A. DiBraccio, Kai Germaschewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

For the first time, we explore the tightly coupled interior-magnetosphere system of Mercury by employing a three-dimensional ten-moment multifluid model. This novel fluid model incorporates the nonideal effects including the Hall effect, electron inertia, and tensorial pressures that are critical for collisionless magnetic reconnection; therefore, it is particularly well suited for investigating collisionless magnetic reconnection in Mercury's magnetotail and at the planet's magnetopause. The model is able to reproduce the observed magnetic field vectors, field-aligned currents, and cross-tail current sheet asymmetry (beyond magnetohydrodynamic approach), and the simulation results are in good agreement with spacecraft observations. We also study the magnetospheric response of Mercury to a hypothetical extreme event with an enhanced solar wind dynamic pressure, which demonstrates the significance of induction effects resulting from the electromagnetically coupled interior. More interestingly, plasmoids (or flux ropes) are formed in Mercury's magnetotail during the event, indicating the highly dynamic nature of Mercury's magnetosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11584-11596
Number of pages13
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume46
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 16 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Keywords

  • Mercury's dynamic magnetosphere
  • collisionless magnetic reconnection and flux ropes
  • field-aligned current
  • induction response from Mercury's conducting core
  • magnetotail asymmetry
  • ten-moment multifluid model

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