Jerry Goldstein, SwRI (May 26, 2017)

Title: "Imaging Space Plasmas, and Robotic Exploration of the Solar Systems" (Video)

Abstract: This colloquium takes a virtual tour of the Solar System, mostly as seen by various techniques to image space plasmas.  First, I introduce and define some basic concepts (planetary magnetospheres, definition of a plasma) and introduce you to the Earth's dynamically-changing space environment.  The tour starts with exciting images of the Sun and solar wind, and the Earth's plasmasphere, and ring current.  I will spend some time showing you several major findings from plasmaspheric imaging and ring current imaging.  We travel next to Jupiter, to see the volcanoes of Io, and listen to the sound of Ganymede's magnetic field. The next stop is Saturn, where imaging enabled perhaps the greatest discovery at Saturn, that a ring of plasma and neutral gas called the E-Ring is created and perpetually replenished by geysers on the southern pole of the moon Enceladus.  I will show you first-ever closeup pictures of a comet, and of the dwarf planet Pluto. Finally, the tour ends with images of the very edge of the Solar System, the intestellar boundary.