In a recent paper (Luo H et al., 2022), we found that the peak amplitudes of diurnal magnetic variations, measured during martian days (sols) at the InSight landing site, exhibited quasi Carrington-Rotation (qCR) periods at higher eigenmodes of the natural orthogonal components (NOC); these results were based on ~664 sols of magnetic field measurements. However, the source of these periodic variations is still unknown. In this paper we introduce the neutral-wind driven ionospheric dynamo current model (e.g., Lillis et al., 2019) to investigate the source. Four candidates — the draped IMF, electron density/plasma density, the neutral densities, and the electron temperature in the ionosphere with artificial qCR periodicity, are applied in the modeling to find the main factor likely to be causing the observed surface magnetic field variations that exhibit the same qCR periods. Results show that the electron density/plasma density, which controls the total conductivity in the dynamo region, appears to account for the greatest part of the surface qCR variations; its contribution reaches about 67.6%. The draped IMF, the neutral densities, and the electron temperature account, respectively, for only about 12.9%, 10.3%, and 9.2% of the variations. Our study implies that the qCR magnetic variations on the Martian surface are due primarily to variations of the dynamo currents caused by the electron density variations. We suggest also that the time-varying fields with the qCR period could be used to probe the Martian interior's electrical conductivity structure to a depth of at least 700 km.
Foreshock ultralow frequency (ULF) waves constitute a significant physical phenomenon in the plasma environment of terrestrial planets. The occurrence of these waves, associated with backstreaming particles reflected and accelerated at the bow shock, implies specific conditions and properties of the shock and its foreshock. Using magnetic field and ion measurements from MAVEN, we report a clear event of ULF waves in the Martian foreshock. The interplanetary magnetic field connected to the Martian bow shock, forming a shock angle of ~51°. Indicating that this was a fast mode wave is the fact that ion density varied in phase with perturbations of the wave field. The peak frequency of the waves was about 0.040 Hz in the spacecraft frame, much lower than the local proton gyrofrequency (~0.088 Hz). The ULF waves had a propagation angle approximately 34° from ambient magnetic field and were accompanied by the whistler mode. The ULF waves displayed left-hand elliptical polarization with respect to the interplanetary magnetic field in the spacecraft frame. All these properties fit very well with foreshock waves excited by interactions between solar wind and backstreaming ions through right-hand beam instability.