Science Seminars

Cold Plasma in Geospace – An Agent that Connects the Earth’s Upper Atmosphere, Plasmasphere, and Magnetosphere

Speaker: Naomi Maruyama (CU CIRES/NOAA SWPC)
Date: Thursday, Jun 03, 2021
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Zoom

Seminar Abstract:

The plasma in the Earth’s magnetosphere comes from either the solar wind or the ionosphere. However, the properties of the cold plasma populations including electrons and ions in the near-Earth environment have been poorly understood. When interpreting individual observations, the questions as to where the cold plasma originates from and where it gets lost remain challenging. The answers depend on the mass and energy of the populations. Very few observations have been available to address these questions. Cold plasma plays an important role in interacting with trapped energetic particles via wave particle interactions. Furthermore, cold plasma may play a role in the dayside magnetic reconnection. However, to what extent the cold plasma populations play a role in the magnetosphere has not been fully evaluated. The two specific questions will be addressed in the presentation: (i) How does plasmaspheric cold plasma get lost during extreme magnetic storms?; (ii) How can heavy ions escape from the upper atmosphere to directly impact the inner magnetosphere? The presentation will be concluded by suggesting future challenges toward addressing the unsolved problems.