3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental physical process in space plasmas that changes magnetic topology and converts magnetic energy into both kinetic energy and thermal energy. It is believed as a common process occurring at the magnetospheres of magnetized planets such as Earth, both on the dayside magnetopause and in the magnetotail when the direction of the interplanetary magnetic field is opposite to the planetary magnetic field. Even through Mars does not have a global intrinsic magnetic field, various magnetic reconnection signatures have been observed at Mars, from both previous Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and the ongoing Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. Here we use a coupled approach to numerically study the detailed physical process and its global consequences of the magnetic reconnection process in the near-Mars magnetotail. Such a coupled approach solves the solar wind-Mars plasma interaction using a global MHD model with an embedded kinetic model (particle-in-cell). This approach takes advantages of both models: the efficiency of the global MHD model and the ability to include kinetic effects by the PIC model. Our model results show that the Martian magnetotail is highly dynamic and the magnetic reconnection process does enhance the ion escape rate of heavy ions by ~ 30%.