11:39 AM - 11:57 AM
[PCG24-09] Solar energetic electron penetration into the Martian upper atmosphere observed by MAVEN
Keywords:SEP, aurora, Mars, CME, MAVEN
In this study, we investigated three SEP events observed by MAVEN from December 2014 to March 2015. The pitch angle (PA) distributions of the high-energy (30-210 keV) electrons observed in the Martian ionosphere are analyzed in details. In order to achieve a good coverage in the 2-D (PA-energy) phase space, data obtained during a SEP event is accumulated and binned. Using the elevation angle of the local magnetic field, we also sorted the data so as to investigate the SEP electron loss below the MAVEN periapsis (~150 km altitude). The obtained PA distributions in the ionosphere are compared with the distributions of the source electrons in the magnetosheath. The results show that the field-aligned component is pronounced for the penetrating electrons and it does not significantly depend on the initial PA distributions in the magnetosheath. The observation also indicates that the highest energy of the SEP electrons lost into the Martian atmosphere depends on the magnetic field configuration draped around the planet. During the aurora event reported by Schneider et al. , electrons with energy less than ~130 keV were lost into the atmosphere. These SEP observations thus support the scenario that the solar energetic electrons penetrate into the ionosphere along the draped magnetic field and the altitude to which they can penetrate depends on the magnetic field configuration.