Planetary Atmospheric Electricity

Space Sciences Series of ISSI

Book 30
1
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This book is a comprehensive discussion of all issues related to atmospheric electricity in our solar system. It details atmospheric electricity on Earth and other planets and discusses the development of instruments used for observation.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Oct 1, 2008
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Pages
532
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ISBN
9780387876641
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Astronomy
Science / Earth Sciences / Geology
Science / Physics / Astrophysics
Technology & Engineering / Aeronautics & Astronautics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Knowledge about the outer heliosphere and the interstellar medium, which were long treated as two separate fields, has improved dramatically over the past 25 years as a consequence of recent developments: The discovery of interstellar pickup ions and neutral helium inside the heliosphere, the determination of the interstellar hydrogen distribution in the heliosphere obtained using backscattered solar Lyman-alpha radiation, the prediction and subsequent detection of the hydrogen wall just outside of the heliopause, the development of detailed global models for the interaction of solar wind plasma with the interstellar medium, and most recently, direct in-situ plasma and field measurements inside of the heliosheath. At the same time, our understanding of the nearby galactic environment, including the composition and dynamics of the warm gas clouds and hot gas in the local bubble, has benefited greatly from absorption-line spectroscopy using nearby stars as background sources and dynamic modeling. The present volume provides a synopsis of these developments organised into seven sections: Dominant physical processes in the termination shock and heliosheath, three-dimensional shape and structure of the dynamic heliosphere, relation of the plasmas and dust inside and outside of the heliosphere, origin and properties of the very local interstellar medium, energy and pressure equilibria in the local bubble, physical processes in the multiphase interstellar medium inside of the local bubble, and the roles that magnetic fields play in the outer heliosphere and the local bubble. The last theme is probably the most basic of all as magnetic fields play important roles in most of the phenomena discussed here. The volume concludes with four papers providing the "big picture" by looking at the time evolution of both the heliosphere and the local bubble, looking beyond the local bubble, and finally addressing the challenges in modeling the interface between the two media.
Starting in 1995 numerical modeling of the Earth’s dynamo has ourished with remarkable success. Direct numerical simulation of convection-driven MHD- ow in a rotating spherical shell show magnetic elds that resemble the geomagnetic eld in many respects: they are dominated by the axial dipole of approximately the right strength, they show spatial power spectra similar to that of Earth, and the magnetic eld morphology and the temporal var- tion of the eld resembles that of the geomagnetic eld (Christensen and Wicht 2007). Some models show stochastic dipole reversals whose details agree with what has been inferred from paleomagnetic data (Glatzmaier and Roberts 1995; Kutzner and Christensen 2002; Wicht 2005). While these models represent direct numerical simulations of the fundamental MHD equations without parameterized induction effects, they do not match actual pla- tary conditions in a number of respects. Speci cally, they rotate too slowly, are much less turbulent, and use a viscosity and thermal diffusivity that is far too large in comparison to magnetic diffusivity. Because of these discrepancies, the success of geodynamo models may seem surprising. In order to better understand the extent to which the models are applicable to planetary dynamos, scaling laws that relate basic properties of the dynamo to the fundamental control parameters play an important role. In recent years rst attempts have been made to derive such scaling laws from a set of numerical simulations that span the accessible parameter space (Christensen and Tilgner 2004; Christensen and Aubert 2006).
Knowledge about the outer heliosphere and the interstellar medium, which were long treated as two separate fields, has improved dramatically over the past 25 years as a consequence of recent developments: The discovery of interstellar pickup ions and neutral helium inside the heliosphere, the determination of the interstellar hydrogen distribution in the heliosphere obtained using backscattered solar Lyman-alpha radiation, the prediction and subsequent detection of the hydrogen wall just outside of the heliopause, the development of detailed global models for the interaction of solar wind plasma with the interstellar medium, and most recently, direct in-situ plasma and field measurements inside of the heliosheath. At the same time, our understanding of the nearby galactic environment, including the composition and dynamics of the warm gas clouds and hot gas in the local bubble, has benefited greatly from absorption-line spectroscopy using nearby stars as background sources and dynamic modeling. The present volume provides a synopsis of these developments organised into seven sections: Dominant physical processes in the termination shock and heliosheath, three-dimensional shape and structure of the dynamic heliosphere, relation of the plasmas and dust inside and outside of the heliosphere, origin and properties of the very local interstellar medium, energy and pressure equilibria in the local bubble, physical processes in the multiphase interstellar medium inside of the local bubble, and the roles that magnetic fields play in the outer heliosphere and the local bubble. The last theme is probably the most basic of all as magnetic fields play important roles in most of the phenomena discussed here. The volume concludes with four papers providing the "big picture" by looking at the time evolution of both the heliosphere and the local bubble, looking beyond the local bubble, and finally addressing the challenges in modeling the interface between the two media.
Electrical processes take place in all planetary atmospheres. There is evidence for lightning on Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, it is possible on Mars and Titan, and cosmic rays ionise every atmosphere, leading to charged droplets and particles. Controversy surrounds the role of atmospheric electricity in physical climate processes on Earth; here, a comparative approach is employed to review the role of electrification in the atmospheres of other planets and their moons. This book reviews the theory, and, where available, measurements, of planetary atmospheric electricity, taken to include ion production and ion-aerosol interactions. The conditions necessary for a global atmospheric electric circuit similar to Earth’s, and the likelihood of meeting these conditions in other planetary atmospheres, are briefly discussed. Atmospheric electrification is more important at planets receiving little solar radiation, increasing the relative significance of electrical forces. Nucleation onto atmospheric ions has been predicted to affect the evolution and lifetime of haze layers on Titan, Neptune and Triton. For planets closer to Earth, heating from solar radiation dominates atmospheric circulations. Mars may have a global circuit analogous to the terrestrial model, but based on electrical discharges from dust storms, and Titan may have a similar global circuit, based on transfer of charged raindrops. There is an increasing need for direct measurements of planetary atmospheric electrification, in particular on Mars, to assess the risk for future unmanned and manned missions. Theoretical understanding could be increased by cross-disciplinary work to modify and update models and parameterisations initially developed for a specific atmosphere, to make them more broadly applicable to other planetary atmospheres. The possibility of electrical processes in the atmospheres of exoplanets is also discussed.
The #1 New York Times bestseller from David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize—the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly—Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two brothers—bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio—changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe that the age of flight had begun, with the first powered machine carrying a pilot.

Orville and Wilbur Wright were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education and little money never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off, they risked being killed.

In this “enjoyable, fast-paced tale” (The Economist), master historian David McCullough “shows as never before how two Ohio boys from a remarkable family taught the world to fly” (The Washington Post) and “captures the marvel of what the Wrights accomplished” (The Wall Street Journal). He draws on the extensive Wright family papers to profile not only the brothers but their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them. Essential reading, this is “a story of timeless importance, told with uncommon empathy and fluency…about what might be the most astonishing feat mankind has ever accomplished…The Wright Brothers soars” (The New York Times Book Review).
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