Oxygen ion escape from Venus in a global hybrid simulation: role of the ionospheric O+ ions
Abstract. We study the solar wind induced oxygen ion escape from Venus' upper atmosphere and the Venus Express observations of the Venus-solar wind interaction by the HYB-Venus hybrid simulation code. We compare the simulation to the magnetic field and ion observations during an orbit of nominal upstream conditions. Further, we study the response of the induced magnetosphere to the emission of planetary ions. The hybrid simulation is found to be able to reproduce the main observed regions of the Venusian plasma environment: the bow shock (both perpendicular and parallel regions), the magnetic barrier, the central tail current sheet, the magnetic tail lobes, the magnetosheath and the planetary wake. The simulation is found to best fit the observations when the planetary \oxy~escape rate is in the range from 3×1024 s−1 to 1.5×1025 s−1. This range was also found to be a limit for a test particle-like behaviour of the planetary ions: the higher escape rates manifest themselves in a different global configuration of the Venusian induced magnetosphere.