Electrical phenomena on other planets: lightning discharges, corona and sprites
Convener: Y. Yair  | Co-Conveners: G. Fischer , Simoes , K. Aplin , Y. Takahashi 
Oral Program
 / Wed, 05 Oct, 15:30–17:00  / Room Vénus Room
Poster Program
 / Attendance Wed, 05 Oct, 17:30–19:00  / Poster Area

The occurrence of lightning in the solar system had been a topic for extensive research since the mid-1950s, in the wake of the Miller-Urey experiment. Besides Earth, its existence is well established on Jupiter and Saturn, and remains an open question for Venus, Uranus and Neptune (and maybe Titan). Lightning discharges are a well-known marker of convective processes occurring in a planet's atmosphere and as such, can enhance our understanding of its meteorology and cloud microphysics. For example, in Jupiter thunderstorm may drive the fundamental large scale structures and locations of belts and zones. The electromagnetic radiation following a lightning discharge can be detected from large distances in various bands (ELF, VHF), while it affects a planets' upper atmosphere by inducing transient luminous events (e.g. sprites, Elves, etc.). Additionally, electrical discharges such as corona may occur on a planet's surface, due to triboelectric charging within dust storms and dust-devils on Mars which may determine the dust profile in its atmosphere and could be monitored by electrical discharges (though their existence is yet to be confirmed). Another area for electrical activity is due to charging of volcanic clouds (possibly on Io). The chemical effects of lightning are important and can alter the atmosphere's composition and often generate new compounds, with potentially biological importance.
This session seeks contributions on lightning generation mechanisms, cloud microphysics pertaining to charging and occurrence of flashes on planets, as well as laboratory work on the spectrum and energy of such discharges. We welcome submissions on surface electrical processes such as charging of dust and aerosols, especially with exobiological importance. Since future planetary exploration projects are being pursued, such as EJSM (JGO, JEO, JEO) and MELOS (which could be candidates for carriers of lightning detection equipments) we welcome ideas and suggestions for such projects. Works related to detection techniques from orbit and from earth's surface are highly encouraged.