Convener: G. Branduardi-Raymont
Co-Conveners: D. Sibeck , S. Sembay
The solar wind envelops the whole solar system, propagating to the edge of the heliosphere and beyond; its interaction with solar system bodies manifests itself through the formation of plasma structures whose appearance and evolution are regulated by a variety of magnetic processes. There are two ways to explore these structures and their physics: by employing innumerable in situ measurements, theory, simulations to construct complex phenomenological magnetospheric models; alternatively, by imaging, providing global perspectives: Visible and FUV images of the auroral oval, EUV images of the plasmasphere, and ENA images of the ring current confirm the basic picture, but invariably provoke new questions ...
This session is dedicated to reviewing how a global imaging approach can advance our understanding of the way plasma structures map out the solar wind interaction with solar system bodies; in particular, how the advent of soft X-ray imaging, which exploits the charge exchange emission of solar wind heavy ions in their encounters with atmospheric neutrals, offers the capability of mapping such plasma structures at spatial scales and time cadence congruous with the processes under study, and unattainable otherwise.