The RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting “Comparative equatorial Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Magnetosphere coupling” is to be held remotely on Friday 12 February 2021 from 10.30–15.30. It will be convened by Tom Stallard, Greg Hunt, and Beatriz Sanchez-Cano. Abstracts can be submitted here and should be submitted by the end of Tuesday 12 January 2021. To register, visit the RAS website for the meeting (free for Fellows and £5 for non-Fellows). The meeting will be held on Zoom and Gather.town.
The main goal of this meeting is to bring a bridge between different planetary communities that would help to understand how equatorial magnetic fields link the atmosphere with the surrounding space environment across a range of planetary bodies, providing us with a comparative view of how these regions interact, the currents, and dynamics that these interactions produce; click through to read the abstract.
Our understanding of planetary equatorial thermospheres and ionospheres, and the magnetic fields which thread them, has changed very significantly over the past decade, with a wealth of new measurements from orbiting spacecraft such as Mars Express, Cassini and Juno, as well as supporting ground-based telescope observations.
In some ways, individual planets have processes not observed elsewhere, a product of their unique setting (for example, the infalling of material from rings of Saturn) while in other case, what appear to be highly divergent worlds have very similar ionospheric structures (such as the localised weak ionosphere at the magnetic equator of both Earth and Jupiter). Discussions of these differing space environments will help improve our understanding of these similarities and differences, greatly improving our on-going observations of the thermospheres, ionospheres and magnetospheres at these planets.
Specific topics may include (but are not limited to):
• Formation of the Equatorial anomaly at Earth
• Localised aurora and ionospheric variations at Mars
• The azimuthal magnetic field anomalies measured inside Saturn’s rings, and the thermospheric driver of the currents that produce them
• The variation in ‘Ring-Rain’ falling from Saturn’s rings into the mid-latitude ionosphere
• The generation of Jupiter’s Lyman-alpha bulge and its relationship with the localised magnetic anomalies in Jupiter’s field