MESSENGER and Venus Express observations of the solar wind interaction with Venus


  • 5 March 2009


[1] At 23:08 UTC on 5 June 2007 the MESSENGER spacecraft reached its closest approach altitude of 338 km during its final flyby of Venus en route to its 2011 orbit insertion at Mercury. The availability of the simultaneous Venus Express solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field measurements provides a rare opportunity to examine the influence of upstream conditions on this planet's solar wind interaction. We present MESSENGER observations of new features of the Venus - solar wind interaction including hot flow anomalies upstream of the bow shock, a flux rope in the near-tail and a two-point determination of the timescale for magnetic flux transport through this induced magnetosphere.