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X rays from solar wind charge exchange at Mars: A comparison of simulations and observations

Geophysical Research Letters (Impact Factor: 4.46). 01/2004; 31(22). DOI: 10.1029/2004GL020953

ABSTRACT A hybrid simulation of the solar wind-Mars interaction and a test particle simulation of heavy ion trajectories near Mars are used to compute the contribution from solar wind charge exchange processes to the X-ray emission from Mars. It is found that the X-ray halo observed by the Chandra X-ray observatory can be explained by emissions from heavy, highly charged, ions in the solar wind undergoing charge exchange collisions in the upper atmosphere of Mars.

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