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LASP Magnetosphere Seminars (FOM)

2015 Seminar Schedule

Below is a schedule of the informal LASP Friends of the Magnetosphere (FOM) Seminars for the Fall 2015 semester. LASP holds a series of informal seminars focused on space physics and plasma research relating to the magnetospheres of Earth and other planets. The intended audience is space and planetary physics researchers in the Boulder area, although in most instances any interested persons are welcome to attend. For more information or if you have questions, please contact Frederick.Wilder at

View the Address and Directions page for detailed directions to any of the LASP locations.

New seminars are being added. Please check back soon for a schedule update.

Current Schedule:

Current Schedule (expanded):

Sep 08 2015 – “Microphysics in Space Plasmas”

Speaker:   Steven Schwartz (Imperial College)
Date & Time:   Sep 8, 2015 ,  4:00 PM Location: LASP Space Science Building, room N100 (1st floor).

Local space plasmas provide accessible examples of kinetic-scale processes that govern or mediate larger scale phenomena throughout the plasma Universe. In this talk I will discuss some of these which have fascinated me over the years, concentrating on both the theoretical framework and the confrontation thereof by in situ spacecraft measurements. As examples, I will […]

Sep 15, 2015 – “A survey of Cassini-CAPS ion observations in Titan’s induced magnetosphere”

Speaker:   A. Woodson (LASP)
Date & Time:   Sep 15, 2015 ,  4:00 PM Location: LASP Space Science Building, room N100 (1st floor).

The Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) sampled Titan’s plasma environment during each of 83 encounters with the moon between orbit insertion on June 30, 2004 and June 1, 2012. The CAPS Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) acquired energy- and mass-per-charge-discriminated time-of-flight (TOF) spectra associated with ionospheric H+, H2+, H3+, CHx+, and C2Hx+ during at least 68 of […]

Sep 22, 2015 – “Understanding Magnetic Reconnection: The Physical Mechanism Driving Space Weather (Joint LASP/FOM)”

Speaker:   Carrie Black (NASA Goddard)
Date & Time:   Sep 22, 2015 ,  4:00 PM Location: LASP Space Science Building, room N100 (1st floor).

To a large extent, all space weather is due to a long chain of reconnection events. Reconnection in the Sun’s corona is believed to be the primary mechanism by which free magnetic energy is released explosively in the form of a Solar Eruptive Event (a coronal mass ejection with accompanying eruptive flare). This energy then […]

Oct 06, 2015 – “The Dangers of the Moving Field Lines Picture”

Speaker:   Juan Roederer (Univ. of Alaska)
Date & Time:   Oct 06, 2015 ,  4:00 PM Location: LASP Space Science Building, room W120A (1st floor).

During his last years of life, Alfvén complained bitterly that the concepts of “frozen-in magnetic fields” and “moving field lines” were being handled as if they were physical realities. Feynman was more blunt, writing “…not only is it not possible to say whether field lines move or do not move, they may disappear completely in […]

Oct 20, 2015 – “System science view of the upper atmosphere response to auroral particles: Understanding ionospheric conductivity to the point of prediction”

Speaker:   R. Mcgranaghan (CU)
Date & Time:   Oct 20, 2015 ,  4:00 PM Location: LASP Space Science Building, room N100 (1st floor).

In this seminar, I address a key barrier to system science for the magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere (MIT) system, ionospheric conductivity. The ionospheric conductivity plays a crucial role in regulating MIT system response to dynamic geospace behavior. However, in the past global specification of ionospheric conductivity required significant simplifying assumptions. Such modeling difficulties have contributed to significant gaps […]

Oct 30, 2015 – “The crucial role of substorms and whistler-mode chorus waves in the rebuilding of Earth’s radiation belts”.

Speaker:   A. Jaynes (LASP)
Date & Time:   Oct 30, 2015 ,  2:00 PM Location: LASP Space Science Building, room N100 (1st floor).

The REPT instrument onboard the twin Van Allen Probes satellites measures energetic electrons (~2-60 MeV) and protons (~20-100 MeV) in Earth’s radiation belts. The outer radiation belt electrons, particularly, have displayed enormous variability over the previous three years due to both geomagnetic storms and intense substorm activity. Strong enhancements of outer Van Allen belt energetic […]

Nov 11, 2015 – “Rosetta Results”

Speaker:   M. Horanyi
Date & Time:   Nov 11, 2015 ,  4:00 PM Location: LASP Space Science Building, room N100 (1st floor).

The ongoing Rosetta-Philae rendezvous and lander mission provides a unique opportunity to revisit the entire range of dusty plasma phenomena in a single comet as it moves around the Sun. We discuss the varying modes of interactions and the different dusty plasma phenomena that might explain several of the unusual observations. The ideas are “borrowed” […]

Nov 16, 2015 – “Europa’s atmospheric neutral loss as a source of extended neutral clouds close to its orbit”

Speaker:   V. Dols (LASP)
Date & Time:   Nov 16, 2015 ,  12:00 PM Location: LASP Space Science Building, room W120 (1st floor).

Europa, the smallest of the Galilean moons of Jupiter was thought to be a passive rocky moon as late as the mid fifties. Voyager flybys in the late 70’s revealed a flat fractured surface almost free of craters, which hints at a dynamic thermal history. Galileo flybys in the 90’s provided strong evidences of a […]

Nov 17, 2015 – “Solar Wind Interaction with Pluto”

Speaker:   Fran Bagenal (LASP)
Date & Time:   Nov 17, 2015 ,  4:00 PM Location: LASP Space Science Building, room N100 (1st floor).

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto on July 14th 2015. We had no idea what we would see. Predictions of the solar wind interaction with Pluto’s escaping atmosphere gave size estimates that ranged from 7 to 1000 Pluto radii.  We were totally wrong. I will show you what we actually saw.

Previous Magnetosphere Seminars