Spacecraft observations have established that all magnetized planets in our solar system interact strongly with the solar wind and possess well-developed magnetotails. Magnetotails are the site for many dynamic processes critical to the circulation of mass, energy and magnetic flux. The great differences in solar wind conditions, planetary rotation rates, ionospheric conductivity, and physical dimensions from Mercury’s small magnetosphere to the giant magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn provide an outstanding opportunity to extend our understanding of the influence of these factors on these basic processes. In recent years there has been an explosion of observations from spacecraft missions, such as MESSENGER, Geotail, Cluster, THEMIS, Galileo, New Horizons, Cassini, and ARTEMIS to name but a few. In addition, there have been tremendous advances in the capabilities of simulations to allow modeling of many of the relevant processes.
The conference will provide a forum in which various communities can come together and discuss recent achievements of observational, theoretical, and modeling studies with the objective to develop a deeper understanding of fundamental properties and processes of planetary magnetotails through a comparative examination. We will have presentations to compare and contrast knowledge from our best-sampled environment, the Earth’s magnetotail, to the less explored magnetotails of Saturn and Jupiter, and to the least explored magnetotails of Mercury, Uranus, and Neptune.