Dr Licia Ray FHEA

Lecturer in Space and Planetary Physics

Research Overview

Planets are connected to their surrounding plasma environment by their planetary magnetic fields, which threads the atmosphere and generates the magnetosphere. This interaction generates bright auroral signatures. Each planetary system has different local conditions. Jupiter and Saturn are rotationally dominated gas giants with strong magnetic fields and geologically active moons within their magnetospheres. The Earth rotates more slowly and has a relatively empty magnetosphere. By comparing these systems, we can understand which physical processes dominate under different regimes. I am interested in the auroral acceleration region, auroral current systems, and the effect of the upper atmosphere on the magnetosphere.