Image of IMAGE in space

IMAGE Uncovers New Evidence for the Shrinking of the Plasmasphere


Very few things in Nature stay the same for long periods of time. IMAGE scientists have now confirmed that the plasmasphere also follows this unspoken rule of nature. It apparently shrinks and grows as the convection of the plasma changes in time. Although scientists have known about this variability for many years, IMAGE data now confirm that this actually does happen, and adds new details to how the phenomenon unfolds in time.

(2001: Sandel, B R., Forrester, W.T., and King, R. A)

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Additional Information

Plasmasphere - An extension of the ionosphere into space containing charged particles trapped in Earth's magnetic field. The particles have energies of a few hundred Volts, and extend 10,000 kilometers into space.

Plasmapause - The boundary of the plasmasphere. Inside this boundary, plasma rotates with Earth. Outside, the plasma orbits Earth at slower speeds.

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Rev. 1.0.0, 24 April 2003, EVB II