Science Seminars

Disentangling the 3D Dynamics of Particle and Wave Populations in Earth’s Magnetosphere

Speaker: Lauren Blum (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
Date: Thursday, Apr 18, 2019
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: JILA Auditorium (Main Campus)

Seminar Abstract:

This is a special seminar on Main Campus.

The Earth’s magnetosphere is filled with various charged particle populations spanning orders of magnitude in energy, from the very cold (~eV) dense plasmasphere up to the high energy (~MeV) electrons trapped in the Van Allen radiation belts.  Here we examine the coupled nature of these populations and the role of wave-particle interactions in transferring energy and momentum among them.  In particular, we focus on the highly dynamic radiation belts, which often exhibit dramatic variations in intensity and spatial extent.  Utilizing the growing constellation of spacecraft in Earth’s magnetosphere, including recent CubeSat and balloon measurements, we explore loss of electrons from the outer radiation belt, as well as the potential drivers of this loss.  Through multi-point measurements, we are able to disentangle spatial and temporal evolution and estimate scale sizes of various processes.  Looking forward, we will also discuss an upcoming CubeSat mission, GTOSat, which will pave the way for future affordable magnetospheric constellation missions.  These studies aid in the understanding of outer radiation belt dynamics and the relationship between precipitating energetic electrons, electromagnetic waves, and global magnetospheric conditions.