Animated simulation of Mercury's plasma environment
Animated view of Mercury's plasma environment, with the trajectories of JAXA's Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO; wider orbit) and ESA's Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO; smaller orbit), which are both part of the BepiColombo mission.
The simulated plasma bulk speed is shown in the equatorial plane, and simulated magnetic field lines indicate the configuration of the magnetosphere. The wide band shown along the MMO orbit is an energy-time spectrogram, displaying the solar wind signatures expected in different regions and crossings of boundaries. The yellow ellipsoid indicates the average position of the bow shock position (based on an empirical model) and the two red spots indicate the location of the expected bow shock crossing by the MMO.
This animation was obtained using the LatHyS set of plasma simulations and the 3DView visualization tool, which were developed as part of the Integrated Medium for Planetary Exploration (IMPEx).