Dartmouth Events

Engineering-Physics Space Plasma Seminar - Elena Provornikova, JHU-APL

Title: "nterstellar Probe mission: heliophysics science along the journey to 400 AU from the Sun"

Tuesday, October 26, 2021
4:15pm – 5:15pm
Via Zoom (email for link and password)
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Abstract: An Interstellar Probe is a mission to discover physical mechanisms shaping globally the boundary of the heliosphere and, for the first time, to sample directly the very local interstellar medium (VLISM) that the Sun is moving through. An Interstellar Probe will travel to the outer heliosphere, through its boundary at a hundred of AU from the Sun into the VLISM enabling for the first time to explore particles and fields in these regions with dedicated instrumentation and to take the first image of the global heliosphere from outside. The 4-year pragmatic concept study of such a mission with a lifetime of 50 years that can be implemented by 2030 was funded by NASA and has been led by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. The spacecraft speed of 7.5 AU per year can be achieved, which is more than twice that of the fastest escaping spacecraft to date, which is Voyager 1 currently at 3.59 AU/year. The Interstellar Probe would therefore reach the Termination Shock in less than 12 years and cross the Heliopause into the VLISM after about 16 years from launch. Compelling science questions for the Interstellar Probe mission have been with us for many decades. Recent discoveries from Voyagers, IBEX, Cassini, New Horizons, and other missions raised new questions strengthening the science case. In this presentation, I will give an overview of the mission concept study, discuss mysteries about the nature of the outer heliosphere and VLISM discovered by previous missions, and present heliophysics science goals and objectives for the future Interstellar Probe mission.


For more information, contact:
Tressena Manning

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.