Venusian bow shock as seen by the ASPERA-4 ion instrument on Venus Express

Whittaker, I.; Guymer, G.; Grande, M.; Pintér, B.; Barabash, S.; Federov, A.; Mazelle, C.; Sauvaud, J. A.; Lundin, R.; Russell, C. T.; Futaana, Y.; Fränz, M.; Zhang, T. L.; Andersson, H.; Grigoriev, A.; Holmström, M.; Yamauchi, M.; Asamura, K.; Baumjohann, W.; Lammer, H.; ... (2010). Venusian bow shock as seen by the ASPERA-4 ion instrument on Venus Express. Journal of geophysical research, 115(A9), n/a-n/a. American Geophysical Union 10.1029/2009ja014826

2009JA014826.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (1MB) | Preview

The Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA‐4) instrument on Venus Express is used to determine bow shock position at Venus using ion data alone, using data recorded during a solar minimum from the Ion Mass Analyzer (IMA) which is part of the ASPERA‐4 package. Previous models constructed from solar minimum data using Venus Express, Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) and Venera 9 and 10 are also compared to the current fit. An important feature of this new fit is a statistical accuracy introduced in the form of a probability weighting function for the data points, based on the time spent in particular locations. The bow shock curve is then compared to two‐dimensional ion maps. These verify the accuracy of this and previous solar minimum fit curves based on PVO and Venus Express magnetic data. Comparing all bow shock models to the 2D ion maps shows that a combination of models produces the best fit. Since all the fitted curves show differences in position they are investigated relative to the solar conditions pertaining at the times when the individual data sets were measured. The sub solar point and terminator distance were thus found to vary linearly with sunspot number and hence with solar activity. This relationship, which was already known to exist between solar maximum and solar minimum, is now shown to exist between different solar minima and even within the same minimum. This indicates a need for the mechanisms for bow shock maintenance and variance to be more closely modeled.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Other Institutions > Emeriti, Faculty of Science
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Wurz, Peter and Bochsler, Peter


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




American Geophysical Union




Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

09 Jun 2021 14:27

Last Modified:

13 Jun 2021 03:05

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback