New simulation code helps study electric field structure in Earth’s Magnetosphere

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News: Scientists at the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) developed a generalized one-dimensional fluid simulation code capable of studying a wide spectrum of coherent electric field structures of earth’s magnetosphere.

Facts:

  • Earth’s magnetosphere is that area around Earth that is controlled by the planet’s magnetic field.
  • Formation:
    • Sun forces plasma towards the earth in the form of the solar wind. The solar wind carries with it a solar magnetic field, called an Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF).
    • The interaction of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) with Earth’s magnetic field results in the formation of Earth’s magnetosphere. 
  • Different regions: 1) Bow shock, 2) Magnetosheath, 3) Magnetopause, 4), Magnetotail, 5) Plasmasphere, 6) Solar wind.
  • Significance of the new study:
    • The plasma in the earth’s magnetosphere can hamper the working of the satellites in the region. The new study will enhance the knowledge of plasma waves, instabilities, and coherent effects thus helping in planning of future space missions.
    • It will help in fusion laboratory experiments for ever-expanding energy needs of humans.

Additional Facts:

Solar Wind: It is a stream of energized, charged particles, primarily electrons and protons, flowing outward from the Sun.

Plasma: It is the most common state of matter in the universe as a whole.It consists of a gas of ions and free electrons.