Bursty escape fluxes in plasma sheets of Mars and Venus



[1] High resolution measurements of plasma in the plasma sheets of Mars and Venus performed by almost identical plasma instruments ASPERA-3 on the Mars Express spacecraft and ASPERA-4 on Venus Express reveal similar features of bursty fluxes of escaping planetary ions. A period of bursts lasts about 1–2 min. Simultaneous magnetic field measurements on Venus Express show that these burst-like features arise due to flapping motions of the plasma sheet. Their occurrence can be related to large-amplitude waves propagating on the plasma sheet surface and launched by reconnection in the magnetic tails.