Articles | Volume 34, issue 11
Regular paper
23 Nov 2016
Regular paper |  | 23 Nov 2016

Mirror mode waves in Venus's magnetosheath: solar minimum vs. solar maximum

Martin Volwerk, Daniel Schmid, Bruce T. Tsurutani, Magda Delva, Ferdinand Plaschke, Yasuhito Narita, Tielong Zhang, and Karl-Heinz Glassmeier

Abstract. The observational rate of mirror mode waves in Venus's magnetosheath for solar maximum conditions is studied and compared with previous results for solar minimum conditions. It is found that the number of mirror mode events is approximately 14 % higher for solar maximum than for solar minimum. A possible cause is the increase in solar UV radiation, ionizing more neutrals from Venus's exosphere and the outward displacement of the bow shock during solar maximum. Also, the solar wind properties (speed, density) differ for solar minimum and maximum. The maximum observational rate, however, over Venus's magnetosheath remains almost the same, with only differences in the distribution along the flow line. This may be caused by the interplay of a decreasing solar wind density and a slightly higher solar wind velocity for this solar maximum. The distribution of strengths of the mirror mode waves is shown to be exponentially falling off, with (almost) the same coefficient for solar maximum and minimum. The plasma conditions in Venus's magnetosheath are different for solar minimum as compared to solar maximum. For solar minimum, mirror mode waves are created directly behind where the bow shock will decay, whereas for solar maximum all created mirror modes can grow.

Short summary
The behaviour of mirror mode waves in Venus's magnetosheath is investigated for solar minimum and maximum conditions. It is shown that the total observational rate of these waves does not change much; however, the distribution over the magnetosheath is significantly different, as well as the growth and decay of the waves during these different solar activity conditions.