6th Alfven Conference
7 – 11 July 2014
University College London (UCL), London, UK
Main topics: Comets, Mars, Venus, outer planet moons and Earth’s moon – especially common processes with comets, and reviewing current knowledge prior to the arrival of the new missions.
Within our solar system, the planets, moons, comets and asteroids all have plasma interactions. The interaction depends on the nature of the object, particularly the presence of an atmosphere and a magnetic field. Even the size of the object matters through the finite gyroradius effect and the scale height of cold ions of exospheric origin. It also depends on the upstream conditions, including position within the solar wind or the presence within a planetary magnetosphere. In the year when ESA’s Rosetta will reach comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, NASA’s Maven and ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission will reach Mars, and ESA’s Venus Express mission is almost complete, this conference will explore our understanding of plasma interactions with comets, Mars, Venus, and inner and outer solar system moons. We will explore the processes which characterise the interactions such as ion pickup and field draping, and their effects such as plasma escape. Data from current and recent space missions, modelling and theory are all encouraged, as we explore our local part of the ‘plasma universe’.