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Title: Precipitation of energetic neutral atoms and induced non-thermal escape fluxes from the Martian atmosphere

The precipitation of energetic neutral atoms, produced through charge exchange collisions between solar wind ions and thermal atmospheric gases, is investigated for the Martian atmosphere. Connections between parameters of precipitating fast ions and resulting escape fluxes, altitude-dependent energy distributions of fast atoms and their coefficients of reflection from the Mars atmosphere, are established using accurate cross sections in Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. Distributions of secondary hot (SH) atoms and molecules, induced by precipitating particles, have been obtained and applied for computations of the non-thermal escape fluxes. A new collisional database on accurate energy-angular-dependent cross sections, required for description of the energy-momentum transfer in collisions of precipitating particles and production of non-thermal atmospheric atoms and molecules, is reported with analytic fitting equations. Three-dimensional MC simulations with accurate energy-angular-dependent cross sections have been carried out to track large ensembles of energetic atoms in a time-dependent manner as they propagate into the Martian atmosphere and transfer their energy to the ambient atoms and molecules. Results of the MC simulations on the energy-deposition altitude profiles, reflection coefficients, and time-dependent atmospheric heating, obtained for the isotropic hard sphere and anisotropic quantum cross sections, are compared. Atmospheric heating rates, thermalization depths, altitude profiles of production rates,more » energy distributions of SH atoms and molecules, and induced escape fluxes have been determined.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365528
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 790; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ANISOTROPY; ASTROPHYSICS; ATOMS; CHARGE EXCHANGE; COLLISIONS; CROSS SECTIONS; ENERGY ABSORPTION; ENERGY LOSSES; ENERGY SPECTRA; IONS; MARS PLANET; MOLECULES; MONTE CARLO METHOD; PRECIPITATION; REFLECTION; SATELLITE ATMOSPHERES; SCATTERING; SIMULATION; SOLAR WIND; TIME DEPENDENCE