Effects of a solar flare on the Martian hot O corona and photochemical escape
Physics and Astronomy
Geophysical Research Letters
We examine for the first time the flare-induced effects on the Martian hot O corona. The rapid ionospheric response to the increase in the soft X-ray flux (~800%) facilitates more hot O production at altitudes below the main ionospheric peak, but almost all of these atoms are thermalized before escape. In response to the increase in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) flux (~170%), the overall upper ionospheric and thermospheric densities are enhanced, and the peak thermospheric responses are found ~1.5 hr later. The photochemical escape rate is predicted to increase by ~20% with the increases in the soft X-ray and EUV fluxes but decrease rapidly by ~13% about 2.5 hr later before recovering the preflare level. Since escaping hot O atoms are mostly produced at high altitudes where ionization by the EUV flux is the greatest, the main contributor to the 20% increase in escape rate is the enhancement in the EUV flux.
Link to Published Version
Lee, Y., Dong, C., Pawlowski, D., Thiemann, E., Tenishev, V., Mahaffy, P., Benna, M., Combi, M., Bougher, S., & Eparvier, F. (2018). Effects of a solar flare on the Martian hot O corona and photochemical escape. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(14), 6814–6822. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL077732