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Hybrid Magnetospheric Modelling at the Outer Planets using Python

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Poster

Published
Publication date23/01/2020
Original languageEnglish
Event(Rescheduled) Autumn MIST 2019 - Royal Astronomical Society, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 24/01/2020 → …

Conference

Conference(Rescheduled) Autumn MIST 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period24/01/20 → …

Abstract

Modelling planetary magnetospheres is essential to develop understanding of how these dynamic regions of space respond to forcing from both internal and external sources of mass, momentum and energy. Obtaining an exact solution for the governing equations describing these complex systems is very difficult. Therefore, simplified models are required for investigation. The size of planetary magnetospheres presents additional complications when creating models of them as important dynamics occur on spatial scales ranging from planetary radii down to the kinetic ion and electron levels. Such challenges are present in simulating bulk plasma transport in Jupiter's inner and middle magnetosphere, where plasma flows from Io's plasma torus radially outwards. The process of radial transport is attributed to the centrifugal-interchange instability. A hybrid kinetic-ion/fluid-electron approach is taken to modelling these magnetospheric plasma flows. Hybrid techniques are able to capture large-scale flow dynamics as well as interactions between particles. Whilst most models of this type are written in C/C++ or Fortran, the aim in this project is to provide a Python codebase that allows for prototype physical effects to be examined before incorporation into an optimised implementation. Writing a version in a modern accessible language also has pedagogical value.