DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 50P. Mercury
Contributed Poster Session, Thursday, October 15, 1998, 5:00-6:30pm, Hall of Ideas

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[50P.09] Interaction of Mercury with the solar wind.

K. Kabin, T.I. Gombosi, D.L. DeZeeuw, K.G. Powell (U. Michigan)

The results of our 3D MHD simulation of the solar wind flow around Mercury are presented. Mercury is a planet with a highly eccentric orbit which leads to a high variability of the parameters of the solar wind impinging on the planet. Mariner 10 fly-bys detected an intrinsic magnetic field of Mercury. This intrinsic magnetic moment is responsible for the formation of a bow shock and magnetopause. The location of the bow shock and the structure of the magnetosphere of Mercury are shown to depend on the parameters of the solar wind. The magnetosphere is found to have a complicated three-dimensional non-axisymmetric structure. We present results for several directions of the IMF (northward, southward, parallel to the solar wind and the nominal Parker's spiral). The results of the model can be applied to the calculation of the distribution of energetic particles and pick-up ions in the vicinity of Mercury and can be used for planning future Mercury missions.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: kabin@engin.umich.edu

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