Search by Mariner 10 for Electrons and Protons Accelerated in Association with Venus

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Science  29 Mar 1974:
Vol. 183, Issue 4131, pp. 1318-1321
DOI: 10.1126/science.183.4131.1318


The University of Chicago instrumnents on board the Mariner 10 spacecraft bound for Mercury have measured energy spectra and fluxes of electrons from 0.18 to 30 million electron volts and protons from 0.5 to 68 million electron volts along the plasma wake and in the bow shock regions associated with Venus. Unusually quiet solar conditions and improved instrumentation made it possible to search for much lower fluxes of protons and electrons in similar energy regions as compared to earlier Mariner missions to Venus—that is, lower by a factor of 102 for protons and 103 for electrons. We found no evidence for electrons or protons either in the form of increases of intensity or energy spectral changes in the vicinity of the planet, nor any evidence of bursts of radiation in or near the observed bow shock where bursts of electrons might have been expected in analogy with the bow shock at the earth. The importance of these null results for determining the necessary and sufficient conditions for particle acceleration is discussed with respect to magnetometer evidence that Venus does not have a magnetosphere.