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(8月27日)九章讲坛第十四期——Exploration of the Magnetospheres of the Earth and Our Outer Space

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  EXPLORATION OF THE MAGNETOSPHERES OF THE EARTH AND OUTER PLANETS

  By Danny Summers

  Research Professor, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, Newfoundland, Canada & Visiting Eminent Professor, Department of Space Physics, School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

  Earth's magnetosphere is a complex physical system containing various components including the radiation belts, ring current, ionosphere and plasmasphere. Much progress has been achieved in understanding the particle, wave, and electromagnetic field properties of the magnetosphere since the beginning of the space age. In this talk we briefly review significant events in magnetospheric research, and also discuss some latest research problems including the generation of "killer electrons". Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all have well developed magnetospheres and radiation belts, with some similarities and also distinctive features. Close encounters of these four planets with well instrumented spacecraft have provided valuable data on their radiation belts and magnetospheres. Future exploration of the magnetospheres of the outer planets should provide more detailed comparisons of planetary magnetospheres and hence provide a greater insight into the processes that control our own space environment.