Upcoming presentation at AGU Fall Meeting 2016

SM33B-2509:  Magnetopause Surface Reconstruction from Tangent Vector Observations

Michael Collier

Wednesday, 14 December 2016  13:40 – 18:00

Moscone South – Poster Hall

Entire fields of science, most notably in astrophysics, rely on line-of-sight observations. In planetary science and heliophysics, the techniques of soft X-ray and energetic neutral atom (ENA) imaging produce line-of-sight measurements. An important question is whether the geometry of the surface, for example the magnetopause, can be reconstructed using only line-of-sight observations from a single spacecraft. Under a broad range of conditions, the peak emission corresponds to the tangent to the boundary surface, such as the planetary surface or magnetopause (e.g., Collier et al., JGR: Planets, 119, 2014, doi:10.1002/2014JE004628 and Collier et al., JGR: Space Physics, 110, 2005, doi:10.1029/2004JA010626), the so-called “limb brightening” phenomenon. Thus, the tangent to the surface is frequently one quantity these techniques measure. Mathematically, the tangent vector plays a central role in differential geometry. We present an algorithm to reconstruct the magnetopause cross-sectional surface using these principles from line-of-sight soft X-ray observations (and, in principle, ENA observations, as well). Using soft X-ray simulations, we have examined the effectiveness of the algorithm.