Articles | Volume 27, issue 6
08 Jun 2009
 | 08 Jun 2009

Rosetta swing-by at Mars – an analysis of the ROMAP measurements in comparison with results of 3-D multi-ion hybrid simulations and MEX/ASPERA-3 data

A. Boesswetter, U. Auster, I. Richter, M. Fränz, B. Langlais, S. McKenna-Lawlor, S. Simon, U. Motschmann, K. H. Glassmeier, N. J. T. Edberg, and R Lundin

Abstract. The Rosetta spacecraft flew by Mars at a distance of 260 km on 25 February 2007 during a gravity assist manoeuvre. During the closest approach (CA) the lander magnetometer ROMAP was switched on. The dataset taken during this swingby provides insight into the plasma environment around Mars: in addition to a pronounced bow shock crossing Rosetta recorded the signature of the pile up region of draped magnetic field. Also the Rosetta measurements showed signatures of crustal magnetic field anomalies which can be verified by results of a crustal magnetic field model. In order to understand the measured field morphology, multi-ion hybrid simulations were performed. Some of the input parameters for the simulations were obtained from Mars Express (MEX) data which were contemporaneously collected during the Rosetta swingby. These simulations reproduces ROMAP magnetic field measurements and show that the interplanetary magnetic field pointed northward during the encounter. A spectral analysis shows upstream waves ahead of the bow shock and indicates the presence of the magnetic pile-up boundary (MPB). The multi-ion model reproduces the ion fluxes measured by MEX/ASPERA-3 and is in agreement with the measurements to within one order of magnitude.