Modeling the plasma interactions of Phobos

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 2:40 PM
Mats Holmstrom, Stanislav V Barabash and Yoshifumi Futaana, IRF Swedish Institute of Space Physics Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden
We study the plasma interactions of Mars's moon Phobos using a hybrid model (ions as particles and electrons as a fluid).
The plasma interactions of Phobos should be representative of the more general case of the interaction between small asteroids and the solar wind. However, Phobos is exposed to different plasma environments in its orbit around Mars, since it spends time in the solar wind and inside the induced magnetosphere. We model the interactions of Phobos and the plasma in the different regions. Since the plasma directly interacts with the surface of the moon, precipitating ions will lead to sputtered and back-scattered ions. The effects on the interaction of a possible internal permanent field is also investigated.