Mercury's Birkeland current system

W. H. Ip, A. Kopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A consideration is given to the generation of field-aligned currents under different solar wind conditions. The preliminary results from a set of resistive MHD calculations indicate that the field-aligned current system could be significantly changed by the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field. For most of the cases studied, the total current is less than or on the order of 10 5 A. Even though this current is at least a factor of 10 smaller than its counter part at Earth, it might still produce some important dynamical effects with interesting consequence on the sporadic behavior of Mercury's atomic sodium emission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2172-2175
Number of pages4
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2004


  • Birkeland current
  • Exosphere
  • Magnetosphere
  • Mercury


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