Hanneson, Cedar

Project title: The Interplanetary Magnetic Field in the Inner Heliosphere: Dependance on Heliospheric Distance

Department: Earth & Ocean Sciences

Faculty supervisor: Dr. Colin Goldblatt

"My research project aims to characterize the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) at the heliospheric distances of Mercury, Earth and Mars using magnetometer data from MESSENGER, ACE and MAVEN, respectively. The observations will span from September 2014 until April 2015, which is the period of overlap when all three spacecraft were operational.

I will look at the three vector components of the IMF, in the radial-tangential-normal (RTN) coordinate system, as well as its magnitude and how these all vary with heliospheric distance. I will also compute the direction of the IMF, in terms of the azimuthal and polar angles, and look at how they vary with heliospheric distance. The results will then be compared to theoretical predictions (e.g. Parker, 1958; Totten et al., 1995) and other empirical results (e.g. Khabarova and Obridko, 2012; Khabarova, 2013).

Time series analysis will be performed on the various time dependent vectors to reveal any periodicities of the IMF. If time permits, I will also identify heliospheric current sheet (HCS) crossings in the three data sets. I will use this information to characterize the geometry of the HCS in the inner heliosphere and compare it to theoretical predictions and other empirical results."