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J.G. Luhmann, D.L. Mitchell (University of California, Berkeley), M.H. Acuna (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), C.T. Russell (University of California, Los Angeles), S.H. Brecht (Bay Area Research Corp.), J.G. Lyon (Dartmouth College)
Comparisons of the magnetosheaths of Venus and Mars contrast the relative simplicity of the Venus solar wind interaction and the ``Jekyll and Hyde" nature of the Mars interaction. Magnetometer observations from Mars Global Surveyor during the elliptical science phasing orbits and Pioneer Venus Orbiter in its normally elliptical orbit are compared, with various models used to compensate for the different near-polar periapsis of MGS and near-equator periapsis of PVO. Gasdynamic or MHD fluid models of flow around a conducting sphere provide a remarkably good desciption of the Venus case, and the Mars case when the strong Martian crustal magnetic anomalies are in the flow wake. In the case of Venus, large magnetosheath field fluctuations can be reliably tied to occurrence of a subsolar quasiparallel bow shock resulting from a small interplanetary field cone angle (angle between flow and field) upstream. At Mars one must also contend with such large fluctuations from the bow shock, but also from unstable solar wind proton distributions due to finite ion gyroradius effects, and from the complicated obstacle presented to the solar wind when the crustal magnetic anomalies are on the ram face or terminator. We attempt to distinguish between these factors at Mars, which are important for interpretation of the upcoming NOZOMI and Mars Express mission measurements. The results also provide more insights into a uniquely complex type of solar system solar wind interaction involving crustal fields akin to the Moon's, combined with a Venus-like ionospheric obstacle.