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Journal Articles Experimental Astronomy Year : 2021

Particle energization in space plasmas: towards a multi-point, multi-scale plasma observatory

Alessandro Retinò
Yuri Khotyaintsev
Olivier Le Contel
Maria Federica Marcucci
  • Function : Author
Ferdinand Plaschke
  • Function : Author
Andris Vaivads
Vassilis Angelopoulos
  • Function : Author
Pasquale Blasi
  • Function : Author
Jim Burch
  • Function : Author
Johan de Keyser
  • Function : Author
Malcolm Dunlop
  • Function : Author
Lei Dai
  • Function : Author
Jonathan Eastwood
  • Function : Author
Huishan Fu
Stein Haaland
  • Function : Author
Masahiro Hoshino
  • Function : Author
Andreas Johlander
  • Function : Author
Larry Kepko
  • Function : Author
Harald Kucharek
  • Function : Author
Gianni Lapenta
  • Function : Author
Olga Malandraki
  • Function : Author
William Matthaeus
Kathryn Mcwilliams
  • Function : Author
Anatoli Petrukovich
  • Function : Author
Yoshifumi Saito
Luca Sorriso-Valvo
Rami Vainio
  • Function : Author
Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber
Maria Federica Marcucci


Abstract This White Paper outlines the importance of addressing the fundamental science theme “ How are charged particles energized in space plasmas ” through a future ESA mission. The White Paper presents five compelling science questions related to particle energization by shocks, reconnection, waves and turbulence, jets and their combinations. Answering these questions requires resolving scale coupling, nonlinearity, and nonstationarity, which cannot be done with existing multi-point observations. In situ measurements from a multi-point, multi-scale L-class Plasma Observatory consisting of at least seven spacecraft covering fluid, ion, and electron scales are needed. The Plasma Observatory will enable a paradigm shift in our comprehension of particle energization and space plasma physics in general, with a very important impact on solar and astrophysical plasmas. It will be the next logical step following Cluster, THEMIS, and MMS for the very large and active European space plasmas community. Being one of the cornerstone missions of the future ESA Voyage 2050 science programme, it would further strengthen the European scientific and technical leadership in this important field.
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Dates and versions

insu-03470148 , version 1 (20-11-2019)
insu-03470148 , version 2 (08-12-2021)


Attribution - CC BY 4.0



Alessandro Retinò, Yuri Khotyaintsev, Olivier Le Contel, Maria Federica Marcucci, Ferdinand Plaschke, et al.. Particle energization in space plasmas: towards a multi-point, multi-scale plasma observatory. Experimental Astronomy, 2021, 45 p. ⟨10.1007/s10686-021-09797-7⟩. ⟨insu-03470148v2⟩
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