Does a Magnetosphere Protect the Ionosphere?
ion outflow rate
planetary magnetic fields
Wiley-American Geophysical Union, Hoboken, NJ, USA
MetadataShow full item record
This chapter reviews observation at Venus, Earth, and Mars related to ionospheric ion outflow. We compare observations made around these three planets – Venus and Mars, which are unmagnetized, and Earth, which is magnetized – in order to assess the protective effect of planetary magnetic fields on ionospheric ion outflow. We discuss the measured flux of outflowing ionospheric ions, the energy transfer from the solar wind to the ionosphere and the fate of outflowing ionospheric ions. Our conclusion is that there is no observational evidence that, under current conditions, Earth's magnetic field can protect its ionosphere from losing material any better than the induced magnetospheres of Venus and Mars. However, extrapolating this result to geological timescale or to other planets must be made with care due to the complexity of the processes associated with ionospheric ion outflow.
CitationMaggiolo, R.; Gunell, H. (2021). Does a Magnetosphere Protect the Ionosphere?. (Maggiolo, R., Ed.), Magnetospheres in the Solar System, Vol. 259, 729-742, Wiley-American Geophysical Union, Hoboken, NJ, USA, DOI: 10.1002/9781119815624.ch45.