The Response of the Venusian Plasma Environment to the Passage of an ICME: Hybrid Simulation Results and Venus Express Observations

A. P. Dimmock*, M. Alho, E. Kallio, S. A. Pope, T. L. Zhang, E. Kilpua, T. I. Pulkkinen, Y. Futaana, A. J. Coates

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Owing to the heritage of previous missions such as the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Venus Express, the typical global plasma environment of Venus is relatively well understood. On the other hand, this is not true for more extreme driving conditions such as during passages of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). One of the outstanding questions is how do ICMEs, either the ejecta or sheath portions, impact (1) the Venusian magnetic topology and (2) escape rates of planetary ions? One of the main issues encountered when addressing these problems is the difficulty of inferring global dynamics from single spacecraft obits; this is where the benefits of simulations become apparent. In the present study, we present a detailed case study of an ICME interaction with Venus on 5 November 2011 in which the magnetic barrier reached over 250 nT. We use both Venus Express observations and hybrid simulation runs to study the impact on the field draping pattern and the escape rates of planetary O+ ions. The simulation showed that the magnetic field line draping pattern around Venus during the ICME is similar to that during typical solar wind conditions and that O+ ion escape rates are increased by approximately 30% due to the ICME. Moreover, the atypically large magnetic barrier appears to manifest from a number of factors such as the flux pileup, dayside compression, and the driving time from the ICME ejecta.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3580-3601
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of geophysical research: Space physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Interplanetary coronal mass ejection
  • Model-data comparison
  • Oxygen escape
  • Planetary magnetospheres
  • Venus
  • Venus Express


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