Image of IMAGE in space

Atoms From the Solar Wind Found Inside Magnetosphere

Solar Wind Atoms

IMAGE has detected atoms from the solar wind as the wind particles collided with atoms in the Earth's magnetosheath. The solar wind particles, which are normally charged, were neutralized by the particle collisions and were changed into fast moving neutral particles that could flow inside the magnetosphere unimpeded. These fast-moving neutral particles detected by IMAGE instruments and had never been seen before.

(2001: T. E. Moore, M. R. Collier, J. L. Burch, D. J. Chornay, S. A. Fuselier, A. G. Ghielmetti, B. L. Giles, D. C. Hamilton, F. A. Herrerod, J. W. Keller, K. W. Ogilvie, B. L. Peko, J. M. Quinn, T. M. Stephen, G. R. Wilson, and P. Wurz)

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Additional Information

Solar Wind -The flow of charged particles from the Sun. The outer layers of the Sun including its corona, expand out into space at speeds of nearly 500,000 miles per hour. The density of this gas is about 10 atoms per cubic inch.

Magnetosheath -A region of space between the boundary of Earth's magnetic field and the solar wind, where the particles and magnetic fields of the solar wind deliver energy to Earth's magnetic field in space. Typically it is very turbulent, and has a comet-like shape.

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Dr. S. Odenwald,, +1-301-286-6953
NSSDC, Mail Code 630, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771
NASA Approval: J. L. Green,
Rev. 1.0.0, 24 April 2003, EVB II