Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

CLaSP Special Seminar - Dr. Stefano Orsini

Date: April 26, 2018
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: SRB Auditorium, room 2246

Our guest for this week's CLaSP Special Seminar will be Dr. Stefano Orsini of the Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (INAF), Rome, Italy. Please join us! 

Title: "Mercury, a Sentinel of Terrestrial Geomagnetic Storms"

Abstract: The first evidence at Mercury of direct relation between ICME transit and Na exosphere dynamics is presented, suggesting that Na emission, observed from ground, could be a proxy of planetary space weather at Mercury. The link existing between the dayside exosphere Na patterns and the solar wind-magnetosphere-surface interactions is investigated. This goal is pursued by analyzing the Na intensity hourly images, as observed by the ground-based THEMIS solar telescope during 10 selected periods between 2012 and 2013 (with seeing, σ <2”), when also MESSENGER data were available. Frequently, two-peak patterns of variable intensity are observed, located at high latitudes in both hemispheres. Occasionally, Na signal is instead diffused above the sub-solar region. We compare these different patterns with the in-situ time profiles of proton fluxes and magnetic field data from MESSENGER. Among these 10 cases, only in one occasion the Na signal is diffused above the subsolar region, when the MESSENGER data detect the transit of two ICMEs. The selected cases suggest that the Na emission patterns are well related to the solar wind conditions at Mercury. Hence, the exospheric Na emission patterns, observed from ground, could be considered as a ‘natural monitor’ of solar disturbances when transiting near Mercury. This October the BepiColombo ESA-JAXA mission will be launched towards Mercury. The instrument suite SERENA on board BepiColombo will investigate the the ion and neutral particle environment surrounding this planet, providing crucial information for the understanding of the described phenomena.

Biography: Dr. Stefano Orsini is Senior Research Scientist at INAF-IAPS, Roma, Italy, from 1982. His research focues on solar-terrestrial relationship studies, mostly related with magnetosphere/upper ionosphere magnetic field, plasma and Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENA). Already involved in MARS EXPRESS, and VENUS EXPRESS, Dr. Orsini is presently the Principal Investigator of a suite of four particle instruments (SERENA) aboard the BepiColombo ESA-JAXA mission to Mercury. SERENA will investigate the interaction of the solar wind with planetary surfaces and gas environments, as a clue for understanding the planets evolution and surface composition (Planetary Space Weather). Dr. Orsini has published about 140 papers on refereed journals, 20 papers on Conference Proc., and has given about 400 contributed and 40 invited presentations at international conferences.

 

 

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