Science Seminars

Magnetospheric and Exospheric Processes at Mercury

Speaker: Jamie Jasinski (JPL)
Date: Thursday, Apr 08, 2021
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Zoom

Seminar Abstract:

MESSENGER observations of Mercury’s magnetosphere and exosphere have shown them to be highly dynamic. Dayside magnetic reconnection drives magnetospheric dynamics, injecting solar wind plasma into the cusps which precipitates onto the planet’s surface and sputters neutral atoms and ions into Mercury’s exosphere and magnetosphere. Other processes such as meteoroid impacts also cause the release of particles from Mercury’s surface which contribute to the formation of the exosphere that can be observed as neutral particles as well as photoionized pickup ions in the solar wind. This seminar will present new results from the MESSENGER spacecraft which help us to better understand the local space environment at the innermost planet of our Solar System.