Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2021-24
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2021-24

  04 May 2021

04 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Venus's induced magnetosphere during active solar wind conditions at BepiColombo's Venus 1 flyby

Martin Volwerk1, Beatriz Sánchez-Cano2, Daniel Heyner3, Sae Aizawa4, Nicolas André4, Ali Varsani1, Johannes Mieth3, Wolfgang Baumjohann1, Richard Harrison8, Harald Jeszenszky1, David Fischer1, Yoshifumi Futaana9, Iwai Kazumasa5, Gunter Laky1, Yoshizumi Miyoshi5, Rumi Nakamura1, Ferdinand Plaschke1, Ingo Richter3, Sebastián Rojas Mata9, Yoshifumi Saito7, Daniel Schmid1, Daikou Shiota6, and Cyril Simon Wedlund1 Martin Volwerk et al.
  • 1Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, AT
  • 2School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 3Institute for Geophyscs and Extraterrestrial Physics, Braunschweig Institute of Technology, DE
  • 4IRAP, CNRS-UPS-CNES, Toulouse, France
  • 5Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Japan
  • 6National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan
  • 7Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Kanagawa, Japan
  • 8RAL Space, UKRI-STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire, UK
  • 9Swedish Insitute of Space Physics, Kiruna, Sweden

Abstract. Out of the two Venus flybys that BepiColombo uses as a gravity assist manoeuvre to finally arrive at Mercury, the first took place on 15 October 2020. After passing the bow shock, the spacecraft travelled along the induced magnetotail, crossing it mainly in the YVSO-direction. In this paper, the BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter Magnetometer (MPO-MAG) data are discussed, with support from three other plasma instruments: the Planetary Ion Camera (PICAM), the Mercury Electron Analyser (MEA) and the radiation monitor (BERM). Behind the bow shock crossing, the magnetic field showed a draping pattern consistent with field lines connected to the interplanetary magnetic field wrapping around the planet. This flyby showed a highly active magnetotail, with, e.g., strong flapping motions at a period of ~7 min. This activity was driven by solar wind conditions. Just before this flyby, Venus's induced magnetosphere was impacted by a stealth coronal mass ejection, of which the trailing side was still interacting with it during the flyby. This flyby is a unique opportunity to study the full length and structure of the induced magnetotail of Venus, indicating that the tail was most likely still present at about 48 Venus radii.

Martin Volwerk et al.

Status: open (until 16 Jun 2021)

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Martin Volwerk et al.

Martin Volwerk et al.

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Short summary
On 15 October 2020, BepiColombo used Venus as a gravity assist to change its orbit to reach Mercury in late 2021. During this passage of Venus, the spacecraft entered into Venus's magnetotail at a distance of 70 Venus radii from the planet. We have studied the magnetic field and plasma data and find that Venus's magnetotail is highly active. This is caused by strong activity in the solar wind, where just before the flyby a coronal mass ejection interacted with the magnetophere of Venus.