Francesca Di Mare Presents at Triennial Earth-Sun Summit 2024

Francesca Di Mare Presents at Triennial Earth-Sun Summit 2024

Francesca Di Mare Presents at Triennial Earth-Sun Summit 2024

New Mexico Consortium scientist Francesca Di Mare, recently presented her magnetospheric work at the Triennial Earth-Sun Summit (TESS) 2024.

The Triennial Earth-Sun Summit (TESS), held 7-12 April 2024 in Dallas, TX at the Hilton Anatole, is a joint meeting of the Space Physics and Aeronomy Section of the American Geophysical Union and the Solar Physics Division (SPD) of the American Astronomical Society. TESS welcomes participation by the entire Heliophysics community, including all four traditional sub-disciplines devoted to studies of the Sun, Heliosphere, Magnetosphere, and Ionosphere-Thermosphere-Mesosphere. TESS not only promotes greater interaction and unity within Heliophysics, but also connections to astrophysics and planetary physics.

The conference kicked off with a reception Sunday followed by the solar eclipse on April 8th as Dallas was located in the path of totality.

Di Mare’s presentation is titled, Uniting magnetosphere and ionosphere perspectives to study turbulence in the STEVE phenomena.

In trying to understand how the solar wind interacts with the Earth’s magnetosphere, plasma space scientists have been studying the Sun and Earth for decades. Due to the presence of fluctuations and nonlinear behavior at a broad range of scales, turbulence is a key mechanism for the efficient transport of energy across scales, coupling mass, and momentum from the solar wind into the Earth’s magnetosphere.

Collaborations between scientists and participatory scientists, including the Aurorasaurus project, have helped to discover a phenomenon called STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement). Di Mare and colleagues concluded that STEVE is an excellent candidate for a cutting-edge study of complex turbulent dynamics. This is because, unlike typical auroral precipitation, the STEVE phenomenon is associated with very high flows, structuring at multiple scales, and characteristic but understudied intermittency.

Recent observations allow comparisons between the complex visible dynamics and microphysics of these differing regions. In this work, Plasma parameters and the evolution of Alfvén waves were studied through joint analysis of participatory science and spacecraft data.

The nature of Alfvén waves plays a key role in the Magnetosphere- Ionosphere (M-I) interaction, in which kinetic energy is deposited through the precipitation of energetic particles and electromagnetic energy is dissipated. Once the energy is injected at large scales, the non-linear processes are activated, producing a continuous transfer of energy across scales. As turbulence moves away from self-similarity (i.e., the invariance of scale of the dynamic aspects on which the system evolves), the phenomenon of intermittence occurs. It can be described as the onset of robust plasma fluctuations related to the presence of coherent (non-Gaussian) structures located in space at all scales.

The focus of this research is the characterization of the evolution scales in which the main phenomenon STEVE and secondarily the associated green picket fence develops. Di Mare and colleagues identified the turbulent regime of the system by observing whether structures are due to linear superposition of decoupled normal modes (waves), or whether instead turbulent interactions caused by plasma instabilities may be a driving mechanism contributing to its activation.