loading page

Advancing Our Understanding of Martian Proton Aurora through a Coordinated Multi-Model Comparison Campaign
  • +14
  • Andrea C. G. Hughes,
  • Michael Scott Chaffin,
  • Edwin J. Mierkiewicz,
  • Justin Deighan,
  • Rebecca Jolitz,
  • Esa Kallio,
  • Guillaume Gronoff,
  • Valery I. Shematovich,
  • Dmitry Bisikalo,
  • Cyril L. Simon Wedlund,
  • Jasper S. Halekas,
  • Nicholas M. Schneider,
  • Birgit Ritter,
  • Zachary Girazian,
  • Sonal Jain,
  • Jean-Claude M. C. Gérard,
  • Bradley Michael Hegyi
Andrea C. G. Hughes
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Howard University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Michael Scott Chaffin
Author Profile
Edwin J. Mierkiewicz
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Author Profile
Justin Deighan
Author Profile
Rebecca Jolitz
Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics
Author Profile
Esa Kallio
Aalto University, School of Electrical Engineering
Author Profile
Guillaume Gronoff
Nasa Langley Research Center
Author Profile
Valery I. Shematovich
Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Author Profile
Dmitry Bisikalo
Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Author Profile
Cyril L. Simon Wedlund
Space Research Institute, OEAW
Author Profile
Jasper S. Halekas
University of Iowa
Author Profile
Nicholas M. Schneider
University of Colorado Boulder
Author Profile
Birgit Ritter
Royal Observatory of Belgium
Author Profile
Zachary Girazian
The University of Iowa
Author Profile
Sonal Jain
Author Profile
Jean-Claude M. C. Gérard
Université de Liège
Author Profile
Bradley Michael Hegyi
NASA Langley Research Center
Author Profile


Proton aurora are the most commonly observed yet least studied type of aurora at Mars. In order to better understand the physics and driving processes of Martian proton aurora, we undertake a multi-model comparison campaign. We compare results from four different proton/hydrogen precipitation models with unique abilities to represent Martian proton aurora: Jolitz model (3-D Monte Carlo), Kallio model (3-D Monte Carlo), Bisikalo/Shematovich et al. model (1-D kinetic Monte Carlo), and Gronoff et al. model (1-D kinetic). This campaign is divided into two steps: an inter-model comparison and a data-model comparison. The inter-model comparison entails modeling five different representative cases using similar constraints in order to better understand the capabilities and limitations of each of the models. Through this step we find that the two primary variables affecting proton aurora are the incident solar wind particle flux and velocity. In the data-model comparison, we assess the robustness of each model based on its ability to reproduce a MAVEN/IUVS proton aurora observation. All models are able to effectively simulate the data. Variations in modeled intensity and peak altitude can be attributed to differences in model capabilities/solving techniques and input assumptions (e.g., cross sections, 3-D versus 1-D solvers, and implementation of the relevant physics and processes). The good match between the observations and multiple models gives a measure of confidence that the appropriate physical processes and their associated parameters have been correctly identified, and provides insight into the key physics that should be incorporated in future models.
18 Jul 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
23 Jul 2023Published in ESS Open Archive