1-D Simulation Code to Study Earth’s Magnetosphere
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Health
- 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.