Docentship lecture: Induced Magnetospheres in the Solar System

  • Date:
  • Location: Zoom,
  • Lecturer: David Andrews
  • Contact person: David Andrews
  • Docentföreläsning

Chairperson: professor Mats André

Representative of the Docentship Committee: professor Stephan Pomp


The regions of space around the planets in the solar system with internally-produced magnetic fields (e.g. Earth, Jupiter) are shaped by the ways in which those fields interact with the flowing solar wind plasma which they encounter, forming “intrinsic” magnetospheres. Physical processes at work in these systems mediate the flow of energy and momentum between the upstream medium, the distortion of the planet’s magnetic field, and the upper reaches of the planet’s atmosphere, via the ionized layers found there. Meanwhile, unmagnetized planets (e.g., Mars, Venus), and other solar system objects that have atmospheres interact with the incoming solar wind in a rather different manner, in which the relatively weak magnetic fields embedded in the solar wind are draped and piled up in front of and through the ionospheric obstacle. Thus a region is again formed in which magnetic fields govern key aspects of the interaction. In this lecture I will review the central concepts necessary to explain the main features of these so-called “induced magnetospheres”, and briefly discuss the important distinctions found between the examples studied thus far by in-situ measurements in the solar system.

The lecture is an obligatory teaching test for those applying for admittance as docent and it should be possible for students and others with basic academic education in the relevant field to follow it. The lecture will last for 40-45 minutes and afterwards the audience may ask questions. The lecture will be given in Swedish.