Magnetosonic Mach number effect of the position of the bow shock at Mars in comparison to Venus
journal contributionposted on 24.10.2012, 09:06 by N. J. T. Edberg, M. Lester, S. W. H. Cowley, DA. Brain, M. Fraenz, S. Barabash
 We study the effect of the magnetosonic Mach number on the position of the bow shock (BS) at Mars. The magnetosonic Mach number is calculated from solar wind data obtained by the ACE satellite upstream of Earth and extrapolated to Mars during two intervals, starting in 2005 and 2007, when Mars and Earth were close to opposition. An increased Mach number is observed to cause the Martian BS to move to lower altitudes and the variation in the terminator altitude is proportional to the Mach number change. When the Mach number is lowered, the BS flares more. We also compare our results to previous studies at Venus. The variation in BS altitude with magnetosonic Mach number is found to be very similar to the variation of the Venusian BS, which has previously been shown to decrease linearly in altitude with increasing Mach number.