Whittaker I.,Aberystwyth University |
Guymer G.,Aberystwyth University |
Grande M.,Aberystwyth University |
Pinter B.,Aberystwyth University |
And 40 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics | Year: 2010
The Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-4) instrument on Venus Express is used to determine bow shock position at Venus using ion data alone, using data recorded during a solar minimum from the Ion Mass Analyzer (IMA) which is part of the ASPERA-4 package. Previous models constructed from solar minimum data using Venus Express, Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) and Venera 9 and 10 are also compared to the current fit. An important feature of this new fit is a statistical accuracy introduced in the form of a probability weighting function for the data points, based on the time spent in particular locations. The bow shock curve is then compared to two-dimensional ion maps. These verify the accuracy of this and previous solar minimum fit curves based on PVO and Venus Express magnetic data. Comparing all bow shock models to the 2D ion maps shows that a combination of models produces the best fit. Since all the fitted curves show differences in position they are investigated relative to the solar conditions pertaining at the times when the individual data sets were measured. The sub solar point and terminator distance were thus found to vary linearly with sunspot number and hence with solar activity. This relationship, which was already known to exist between solar maximum and solar minimum, is now shown to exist between different solar minima and even within the same minimum. This indicates a need for the mechanisms for bow shock maintenance and variance to be more closely modeled. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union. Source