Mitor 2012-2013


Laboratory simulation of planet-solar wind  and interstellar medium/heliosphere interaction

We will investgate if a small scale laboratory experiment on the solar wind interaction with a planetary magnetosphere could be attempted in the low energy laboratory facility at Torino and Milan Politecnics, where a recent 2010-2012 experiment on the hydrodynamics of hypersonic jets in stellar similitude was carried out.  
As a first step, we will  work together to set up the experimental parameters. In the first stage of the project the long experience of the group at MIT with the measurement of heliospheric plasmas will provide the guidance to set up of the experimental equipment. The plasma parameters  will be defined on the basis of  the spacecraft observation data base accessible by MIT (the Voyager mission). The experimenters in POLITO-POLIMI will evaluate the feasibility of the MIT proposal and design modifications to the existent facility in order to A)  produce a jet of cold plasma where the magnetic sphere simulating the planet must be inserted, B) design the system of magnets to be placed inside the planet model.  
Exploratory simulations aimed to set up the experimental parameters will be also carried out both in MIT and POLITO. These numerical tools will also be essential for the interpretation of both the experimental and the spacecraft data. 


MIT Kavli Center for Astrpphysics and Space Science:

  • J. D. Richardson

Politecnico di Torino:

  • D. Borgogno
  • D. Tordella