TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 65 (No. 5), pp. 447-451, 2013

Field-line resonance structures in Mercury's multi-ion magnetosphere

Eun-Hwa Kim1, Jay R. Johnson1, Dong-Hun Lee2,3, and Yoo Surn Pyo3

1Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University, NJ 08543, U.S.A.
2School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Gyeonggi 449-701, Republic of Korea
3Department of Astronomy and Space Science, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Gyeonggi 449-701, Republic of Korea

(Received April 23, 2012; Revised August 13, 2012; Accepted August 20, 2012; Online published June 10, 2013)

Abstract: Recently, MESSENGER spacecraft detected transverse waves at Mercury's inner magnetosphere. The magnetic field fluctuations of theses waves are approximately perpendicular to the gradient of magnetic field magnitude which is similar to the field-line resonance characteristics predicted by numerical simulations in two-ion plasmas. In this paper, we perform a wave simulation in a three-ion plasma to consider the effect of multiple heavy ions at Mercury. Because recently observed wave frequencies are near the He+, He2+ and H+, we adopt multi-ion plasmas that contain H+, He2+, and He+. The simulation results show that several resonant waves between the ion gyrofrequencies can occur at the same location and also show the modulation of amplitude in time histories. Therefore, the simulation results suggest that it could be possible to observe two or three different resonant frequencies at certain locations in Mercury's magnetosphere.
Key words: Mercury, field line resonance, wave absorption, multi-ion effects, ULF waves.

Corresponding author E-mail: ehkim@pppl.gov

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