Mitor 2014-2015


Laboratory Simulation Of Planet-Solar Wind And Interstellar Medium/Heliosphere Interactions

Observations show that when the solar wind runs into a magnetosphere or the local interstellar medium runs into the heliosphere, asymmetries in the flow and obstacle (structure of the bow shock and magnetopause) result. We propose a laboratory experiment to simulate this basic process in a controlled environment. The experiment allows to systematically change the flow and magnetic field and measure the asymmetry which results and consists of a hypersonic plasma jet (simulating the solar wind) which encounters a spherical body with a magnetic field (simulating both the Earth's magnetosphere or the inner part of the heliosphere). We will analyze the Voyager plasma data from 2007 to present, the times Voyager 2 is in the 'heliosheath' , the outermost layer of the heliosphere where the solar wind is slowed by the pressure of interstellar gas. By applying reconstruction techniques to the sparse temporal data sequence in this period, we will carry out advanced spectral analysis to interprete the solar wind turbulence observations.


MIT Kavli Center for Astrpphysics and Space Science:

  • J. W. Belcher
  • J. D. Richardson

Politecnico di Torino:

  • D. Borgogno
  • D. Tordella
  • E. Magli

Politecnico di Milano:

  • M. Belan