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1-D Simulation Code to Study Earth’s Magnetosphere

  • IASbaba
  • May 5, 2020
  • 0
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1-D Simulation Code to Study Earth’s Magnetosphere

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Health  

In News:

  • Scientists at the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) have developed a generalized one-dimensional fluid simulation code
  • It shall study a wide spectrum of electric field structures in near-earth plasma environments or earth’s magnetosphere.
  • It is expected to help in planning future space missions.

Important value additions:

Formation of Earth’s Magnetosphere

  • Plasma is the most common state of matter in the universe as a whole.
  • It consists of a gas of ions and free electrons.
  • Sun is the major source of plasma deposition in space around the Earth. 
  • It forces some of its plasma towards the earth in the form of the solar wind.
  • The solar wind carries with it a solar magnetic field, called the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF).
  • The interaction of the IMF with the earth’s magnetic field creates the magnetosphere of the earth.

Significance of magnetosphere

  • It shields Earth from solar and cosmic particle radiation and erosion of the atmosphere by the solar wind. 

Regions of the Earth’s Magnetosphere:

Image Source: Click here

The schematic diagram of Earth’s magnetosphere shown consists of different regions:

  • Bow shock : It occurs when the Earth’s magnetosphere interacts with the nearby flowing  Plasma.
  • Magnetosheath: Region of space between the magnetopause and the bow shock.
  • Magnetopause : It is the boundary between the planet’s magnetic field and the solar wind.
  • Northern tail lobe : Earth’s magnetosphere lobe on the northern side. Magnetic field lines of the lobe point towards the earth.
  • Southern tail lobe: Earth’s magnetosphere lobe on the southern side.
  • Plasmasphere: Earth’s magnetosphere consisting of low energy (cool) plasma.
  • Solar winds: Stream of charged particles released from the upper atmosphere of the Sun (corona).

Significance of Study of Plasma Processes:

  • The plasma processes may hamper the working of satellites that are in the magnetospheric region. 
  • The changes in plasma processes can be deciphered only through computer simulations.
  • The study will help advance the knowledge of plasma waves, instabilities and effects associated with wave-particle interactions. 

Indian Institute of Geomagnetism

  • It conducts basic and applied research in Geomagnetism (study of dynamics of earth’s magnetic field) and allied fields.
  • The Institute also supports a World Data Centre for Geomagnetism (WDC, Mumbai), which is the only International centre for Geomagnetic data in South Asia.

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