Aurora borealis in a jar
by Gabriel Voitcu, Institute of Space Science, Magurele, Romania
Laboratory visualisation of solar wind interaction with Earth’s magnetic field. The aurora borealis (northern lights), Van Allen radiation belt, Earth’s magnetosphere and a solar coronal hole are emphasized with the Planeterrella experiment, a vacuum chamber in the shape of a bell jar with Sun on the top-left (large metallic sphere) and Earth on the bottom-right (small metallic sphere). The two spheres are magnetized and connected into a cathode-anode circuit. Planeterrella is inspired by Kristian Birkeland’s Terrella and has been developed by Jean Lilensten at the Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics in Grenoble (CNRS, France). The current setup is build at the Institute of Space Science and the Institute of Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics in Romania by M. Teodorescu, G. Voitcu, E. Teodorescu, C. Stancu, M. Echim and G. Dinescu.
Gabriel Voitcu (distributed via imaggeo.egu.eu)