Astrophysics and Space Science

, 364:142 | Cite as

Ion escape from the upper ionosphere of Titan triggered by the solar wind

  • W. M. MoslemEmail author
  • S. Salem
  • R. Sabry
  • M. Lazar
  • R. E. Tolba
  • S. K. El-Labany
Original Article


The observed escape of ions from the ionosphere of Titan suggests a potential role of the solar wind in the interaction with the upper atmospheric layers. We investigate such a plausible scenario using a hydrodynamic fluid approach for the plasma expansion in the upper ionosphere of Titan, combining (Maxwellian) electrons and three different species of positive ions which interact with the solar wind electrons and protons. Using a self-similar transformation, a numerical analysis is performed to solve the basic equations and characterize the plasma density, velocity, and electric potential during the expansion. It is found that increasing the solar wind proton number density leads to a reduction of the ion escape, while the effect of electrons is opposite stimulating the ion escape. Moreover, the expansion domain does not change for more energetic protons. The heavier ions play the leading role in controlling the ion escape, i.e. by comparison with CH\(_{5}^{+}\) ions, C2H\(_{5}^{+}\) ions appear to have more influence in the loss from Titan ionosphere. For a higher temperature contrast between ions and electrons, the depletion rate of the density increases and the ions move faster, leading to a higher ionic loss.


Ion escape from Titan upper atmosphere Solar wind Self-similar transformation 



W.M.M. thanks the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (Bonn, Germany) for financial support of renewed research visit. W.M.M. also thanks Professor Dr R. Schlickeiser for his hospitality. M.L. acknowledges support from DFG – German Research Foundation (project SCHL 201/35-1) and FWO – Vlaanderen (project GOA2316N.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. M. Moslem
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • S. Salem
    • 1
    • 4
  • R. Sabry
    • 5
  • M. Lazar
    • 3
    • 6
  • R. E. Tolba
    • 2
  • S. K. El-Labany
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Physics, Faculty of SciencePort Said UniversityPort SaidEgypt
  2. 2.Centre for Theoretical PhysicsThe British University in Egypt (BUE)CairoEgypt
  3. 3.Institut für Theoretische Physik, Lehrstuhl IV: Weltraum- und AstrophysikRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany
  4. 4.Basic and Applied Science Department, College of Engineering and TechnologyArab Academy for Science and Technology (AAST)Port SaidEgypt
  5. 5.Department of Physics, College of Science and Humanitarian StudiesSattam Bin Abdul Aziz UniversityAlkharjSaudi Arabia
  6. 6.Center for Plasma AstrophysicsKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  7. 7.Department of Physics, Faculty of ScienceDamietta UniversityNew DamiettaEgypt

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