Imaggeo On Monday: Space plasma in a jar

Imaggeo On Monday: Space plasma in a jar

Laboratory visualisation of solar wind interaction with Earth’s magnetic field. The Van Allen radiation belt, Earth’s magnetosphere, “bow shock” and a solar coronal hole can all be seen, and are emphasized with the ‘Planeterrella experiment‘, a vacuum chamber in the shape of a bell jar with the ‘Sun’ on the left (in the form of a large metallic sphere) and the ‘Earth’ on the right (the smaller metallic sphere). The two spheres are magnetized and connected into a cathode-anode circuit. Planeterrella is inspired by Kristian Birkeland’s Terrella and has been developed by Jean Lilensten at the Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics in Grenoble (CNRS, France).


The current setup is build at the Institute of Space Science and the Institute of Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics in Romania by M. Teodorescu, G. Voitcu, E. Teodorescu, C. Stancu, M. Echim and G. Dinescu.


Description by Gabriel Voitcu, after the description on


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This guest post was contributed by a scientist, student or a professional in the Earth, planetary or space sciences. The EGU blogs welcome guest contributions, so if you've got a great idea for a post or fancy trying your hand at science communication, please contact the blog editor or the EGU Communications Officer to pitch your idea.

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