Simulation of Mercury's magnetosheath with a combined hybrid-paraboloid model

David Parunakian*, Sergey Dyadechkin, Igor Alexeev, Elena Belenkaya, Maxim Khodachenko, Esa Kallio, Markku Alho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
254 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper we introduce a novel approach for modeling planetary magnetospheres that involves a combination of the hybrid model and the paraboloid magnetosphere model (PMM); we further refer to it as the combined hybrid model. While both of these individual models have been successfully applied in the past, their combination enables us both to overcome the traditional difficulties of hybrid models to develop a self-consistent magnetic field and to compensate the lack of plasma simulation in the PMM. We then use this combined model to simulate Mercury's magnetosphere and investigate the geometry and configuration of Mercury's magnetosheath controlled by various conditions in the interplanetary medium. The developed approach provides a unique comprehensive view of Mercury's magnetospheric environment for the first time. Using this setup, we compare the locations of the bow shock and the magnetopause as determined by simulations with the locations predicted by stand-alone PMM runs and also verify the magnetic and dynamic pressure balance at the magnetopause. We also compare the results produced by these simulations with observational data obtained by the magnetometer on board the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft along a dusk-dawn orbit and discuss the signatures of the magnetospheric features that appear in these simulations. Overall, our analysis suggests that combining the semiempirical PMM with a self-consistent global kinetic model creates new modeling possibilities which individual models cannot provide on their own.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8310-8326
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of geophysical research: Space physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Hermean magnetosphere
  • hybrid model
  • magnetosheath
  • semiempirical model


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