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Ionosphere, Magnetospheres & Solar Wind Interaction Ionosphere Solar Atmosphere Solar wind Magnetosphere Space Weather Reference: Planetary Sciences, I.

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Presentation on theme: "Ionosphere, Magnetospheres & Solar Wind Interaction Ionosphere Solar Atmosphere Solar wind Magnetosphere Space Weather Reference: Planetary Sciences, I."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ionosphere, Magnetospheres & Solar Wind Interaction Ionosphere Solar Atmosphere Solar wind Magnetosphere Space Weather Reference: Planetary Sciences, I. de Pater and J. Lissauer, Cambridge University Press,2004

2 Ionosphere In the upper part of the earth atmosphere (but also on any other planet with a substantial atmopshere) radiation from the sun is causing the ionization of gas molecules. A shell of electrons and ions is formed as the lower part of the magnetosphere D layer ( km) Lyman-alpha ionizes NO, hard X-rays ionize N 2 and O 2. E layer ( km) soft X-ray and fUV ionizes O 2. The shape is determined by the equilibrium of ionization and recombination. F layer (200 - >500km), solar radiation ionizes O

3 Photoionisation Wavelength [nm]Source >180Photosphere Transition Photosphere- Chromosphere Chromosphere , Lyα(121)Transition to Corona 1-20Quiet Corona Corona active region 0.1-5Solar Flare thermal radiation Solar Flare nonthermal burst

4 Ion production

5 Ion loss processes

6 Diurnal and seasonal behaviour During night time the ionization is diminished and some layers can more or less vanish Winter anomaly: –The F2 layer is more ionized during summer at mid latitudes, but seasonal atmospheric composition effects cause a higher ion loss and the net effect is a lower ionization rate. This effect may be absent for the southern hemisphere during low solar activity Equatiorial anomaly: –The magnetic field lines at the magnetic equator are horizontal. Tidal oscilations and solar heating cause a plasma movement in the E layer (=electric current) which causes the ions to move up into the F layer. Thus  20° around the mag. Equator we have a higher concentration of ions

7 Ionosphere effects Overview©NASAFountain effect

8 HAARP Ionogram

9 Ionosphere of Venus Venus has a dayside ionosphere at the height of 120 – 300 km Three layers: –v1: 120 – 130 km, O 2 + –v2: 140 – 160 km, O 2 + –v3: 200 – 250 km, O + Maximum ion density is at ~150 km near the subsolar point Dayside ionization and nightside recombination cause a plasma flow towards the night/day terminator

10 Solar Atmosphere Photosphere: –Lowest and coldest part, source of solar light, T≈5750K, –Location of sunspots (colder elements T≈4000K, paired footprints of magnetic loops) Chromosphere: –Transparent to most of the visual light, emission of H-alpha, –T heats up to K, –location of prominences (looping structures connected to sunspots) –Transition zone: rapid increase of temperature up to ~ K Corona: –Outermost part of the solar atmophere –Structured with streamers and filaments –Coronal holes: open filed lines → source of solar wind SOHO ESA

11 Solar Corona

12

13 Solar Wind Stream of charged particles from the sun –Electrons & Protons mostly, few heavier ions Originating from the corona Ions escape through open field lines –coronal holes –Coronal mass ejection CME: Massive eruption and particle discharge Particles in corona (Plasma) have a Maxwellian energy distribution –v av ≈ 145 km/s At solar minima (11 year cycle) –terminal escape velocity v ≈ 400 km/s at ecliptic plane –In high latitudes v ≈ 750 – 800 km/s Density ~ 6 protons cm -3, T ~ 10 5 K, Magnetic field ~ AU

14 Parker Spiral Eugene Parker calculated 1958 the speed of the solar wind assuming radial outflow carrying the “frozen in” solar magnetic field with it. Due to this the solar magnetic field is twisted in a spiral form. Interaction between the solar magnetic field and the plasma in the interplanetary medium (solar wind) is responsible for changes in the field polarity

15 Coronal mass ejections Massive bursts of solar plasma and electromagnetic radiation out of the solar corona Occurrence mostly at high solar activities like flares Originating out of active regions on the sun surface (sunspots) Cause of geomagnetic storms when earth is hit by the ejected plasma Can inject power in terawatt scale into the magnetosphere SOHO CME

16 Planetary Magnetospheres Most planets are enveloped by large magnetic structures –Created by internal magnetic fields –In some cases interaction with the ionised atmosphere (induced magnetosphere) –Large scale remnant magnetic field Interaction with the solar wind –Shape determined by field strength and solar wind flow –Filled with charged particles (plasma) Currents and large scale electric fields are generated by charged particles –Feed back to magnetic field –Generation of radio waves

17 Solar wind interaction

18 Magnetospheric Structure Interaction between local solar wind plasma and planetary magnetic field Magnetopause as boundary layer where the dynamic gas pressure ρ v 2 and the magnetic pressure are in equilibrium. The solar wind arrives at local supersonic speed and forms a “bow shock” in front of the planet The “standoff” distance is empirically determined as: R mp is the measured standoff distance of the magnetopause  is the specific heat ratio and M 0 the magnetosonic Mach number R bs ≈ 6-15 R E R mp ≈ R E

19 Venus SW interaction Venus has no internal magnetic field The solar wind interacts directly with the ionised part of the atmosphere In this case the bow shock is formed at the equilibrium of solar wind gas pressure and the thermal gas pressure of the ionised atmosphere Energy exchange takes place –Ion pick up: electron exchange of fast SW ions and neutral gas –Mass loading: UV photoionised atmospheric gas is added as slow ions to the solar wind

20 Mars SW Interaction Due to the lower ionospheric pressure and local remnant magnetic fields an asymetric bow shock is formed, depending on the remnant field position The solar wind can more easily penetrate into the atmosphere and a larger mass loss is caused MGS NASA

21 Jupiter Magnetosphere Largest structure in the solar system Subsolar standoff distance is ~3 million km Length of the magnetotail ~650 million km The magnetotail actually extends beyond the Saturn orbit Io volcanic eruptions supply plasma (S +, O +, S 2+, O 2+, ~10 3 kg/s) to a plasma torus within the Jupiter magnetosphere Extremely strong radiation belts Strong radio signals at 22.2 MHz as nonthermal radio emissions

22 Space Weather Variability's in the solar wind plasma or magnetic fields have an effect on the magnetosphere and ionosphere of an planet Most prominent effect is the Aurora Borealis or Australis –Charged particles are following the magnetic field and precipitate into the atmosphere at the magnetic poles in circular shapes –At ~80km atmospheric gases are excited and emit light Oxygen emissions: green or brownish red, depending on the amount of absorbed energy Nitrogen emissions: Blue (recombination with an electron)or red (returning to ground state after excitation) The height in the atmosphere determines the available molecules and the excitation mechanism and there fore also the colour

23 Aurora Aurora Australis

24 Other effects of space weather Disruption of GPS and telecomunication signals Disruption of radiao signals Induced currents in long pipelines or power transmitting lines causing power grid failures Spacecraft system failure Spacecraft orbit changes Increased radiation doses for astronauts and long distance air travel Navigation problems in shipping and air traffic Disturbance of magnetic or electric resource surveys


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