DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 14. Mars Atmosphere II
Poster, Highlighted on, Wednesday, September 3, 2003, 3:00-5:30pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[14.08] The Impact of Coronal Mass Ejections on the Radiation Environment at Mars

C. Gorguinpour (UC, Berkeley, Dept. of Bioengineering), G. Delory, J. Luhmann (UC, Berkeley, Space Sciences Lab.)

Using the MAG/ER instrument on Mars Global Surveyor, time profiles of particle flux due to CME onset have been characterized. While the MGS ER instrument is not designed to detect solar energetic particles, it is believed that SEPs are energetic enough to penetrate the instrument shielding and register particle counts for protons with energies greater than 1 MeV. These data have been correlated with observations made by the MARIE instrument on Mars Odyssey, which detects protons with energies greater than 15 MeV. Observations at Mars closely resemble time profiles observed near Earth that distinguish between the arrival of the SEPs and the CME shock. Other instruments at Mars and near Earth have also been employed to generate a broad energy spectrum due to CME onset. Particle enhancements at Mars have also been traced to specific solar events, using the LASCO instrument on SOHO. Empirical models that terminate the acceleration of CMEs at approximately .75 AU seem to be in good agreement with observations at Mars, but further quantitative modeling is required to resolve ambiguities in the observations. Combined, Earth- and Mars-based observations provide insight into the enhancement of the radiation environment at Mars due to solar particle events. Further modeling is required to assess the impact of this radiation on Mars itself.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: camron@ssoar.org

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.