10/20/2017 - Plasma Physics of the Inner Heliosphere: Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter

Information:

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Geology 6704

Presented By:
Franco Rappazzo - UCLA - EPSS

Abstract

The magnetic field is fundamental to solar activity and shapes the interplanetary environment, as clearly shown by the full three dimensional monitoring of the heliosphere provided by the measurements of the Helios, Ulysses, SOHO, ACE, Wind, STEREO, Hinode, IRIS, SDO, and Voyager spacecraft. Magnetic fields are also the source for coronal heating and the very existence of the solar wind; produced by the sun’s dynamo and emerging into the corona, magnetic fields become a conduit for waves, act to store energy, and then propel plasma into the heliosphere in the form of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). In 2018 the NASA Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission will launch to carry out the first in situ exploration of the outer solar corona and inner heliosphere, soon to be followed by ESA’s Solar Orbiter (SO). Direct measurements of the plasma in the closest atmosphere of our star should lead to a new understanding of the questions of coronal heating and solar wind acceleration. I will describe the PSP and SO scientific objectives, instrument suites, and models of solar magnetic activity, coronal heating, and solar wind acceleration that SPP may confirm or falsify. Connections to relevant laboratory plasma experiments will be discussed: these include Alfvén wave turbulence, magnetic reconnection, and electron and ion heating and acceleration in complex magnetic fields.

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