Space & Planetary Physics Seminar - SMILE: Linking the Magnetopause to the Ionosphere via Multi-scaled Observations.

Thursday 27 October 2022, 2:00pm to 3:00pm


C36 Physics and MS Teams

Open to

Alumni, Postgraduates, Public, Staff, Undergraduates


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SMILE: Linking the Magnetopause to the Ionosphere via Multi-scaled Observations by Dr Jennifer Carter (University of Leicester)

Abstract: The Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) is a joint European Space Agency, Chinese Academy of Sciences mission due for launch in 2024 to explore coupling between the solar wind and Earth’s magnetosphere. SMILE will simultaneously monitor the movement of the magnetopause boundary and the subsequent response of the Northern Hemisphere ionosphere using two imaging cameras with offset fields of view, whilst also measuring the plasma environment immediate to the spacecraft. The magnetopause is known to respond to changes in the incoming solar wind and interplanetary field, but this will be the first time that real-time images of this movement will be tracked. The high-latitude ionosphere is connected to near-Earth space via terrestrial magnetic field lines. Phenomena in the ionosphere, such as patches of aurora and precipitating particle signatures may be provoked as a direct result of processes at the dayside magnetopause. Alternatively, nightside or magnetotail processes lead to the large-scale phenomena such as a substorm. In this talk we will explore how SMILE will contribute to resolving the large outstanding questions regarding the Earth’s magnetosphere. We will examine the efforts of the global solar-terrestrial community to use multiple and varied experimental data, for example from radar, ground magnetometers, and all-sky auroral imagers in unravelling these questions at large, medium, and small temporal and spatial scales.

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