Seventh European Space Weather Week
15-19 November, 2010 - Brugge, Belgium


The Planeterrella experiment is coming!
In 1899, the Norwegian physicist Kristian Birkeland built an experiment called 'Terrella' showing the mechanism of the formation of the auroral oval. The trick was to bombard a magnetic sphere in a vacuum environment with electrons. In the conception of Birkeland, the Sun was the gun shooting the electrons and the magnetic sphere was the Earth.
The experiment showed an electric current. Birkeland could not identify this correctly, he thought this phenomenon was linked with the rings of Saturn. James van Allen determined it as a radiation belt around Earth: the Van Allen-belts.
Although, this experiment is fascinating. It pictures also the aurora's on other planets. The experiment was rebaptized and is now called: Planeterella.

The experiment is a splendid one: you can see a purple aurora borealis, the invisible magnetic field and the radiation caused by the electric current.You can dream about planets and stars.

Read more at the Planeterella webpage.
The experiment is also suitable for young people, let's say from 7 years onwards.
The display is done in the Bach-room
The demo's are given by Jean Lilenstein from the Laboratoire de Planétologie de Grenoble/CNRS and Cyril Simon, working at the BIRA.

Time schedule
daystart timeduring
MondayNov 1512:45tutorial lunch
Monday Nov 1516:00coffee break
Wednesday Nov 1717:00