The Planeterrella: A planetary auroral simulator

Jean Lilensten, Laurent Lamy, Carine Briand, Mathieu Barthélémy, Baptiste Cecconi

This article presents a plasma physics experiment which makes it possible to produce polar lights. The experiment, named Planeterrella, involves shooting electrons onto a magnetised sphere placed in a vacuum chamber. Inspired by Kristian Birkeland’s Terrella, but with several different configurations and technical improvements, the experiment allows the user to simulate and visualise simple geophysical and astrophysical situations. Several Planeterrellas are now used across Europe and the USA. The design of the original experiment and the expertise of its first authors are shared freely with any public institute and are outlined in this article.

Download

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s