Earth Planets Space, Vol. 64 (No. 2), pp. 57-59, 2012
Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Box 812, 98128, Kiruna, Sweden
(Received June 17, 2011; Revised December 8, 2011; Accepted January 13, 2012; Online published March 8, 2012)
This short note classifies the interactions between different objects in the solar system and their environments with the solar wind or magnetospheric plasma. The classification is performed using a simple but physically justified M-B diagram, where M is the total mass of the neutral gas around the object and B is the magnetic field (either intrinsic or external) at the object. The solar system objects form groups within the diagram that correspond to the following general classes: magnetospheres, mini-magnetospheres, induced magnetospheres, cometary and Moon-like interactions. The Martian magnetic anomalies are unique objects. We also identify a class termed as combined magnetospheres, which does not contain any objects that meet the present conditions.
Key words: Planetary science, solar wind interactions, comparative magnetospheres.