Image of IMAGE in space

Scientists Startled to Observe an Incomplete Ring Current

HENA ring current

Spectacular images obtained by the IMAGE satellite show both partial and complete ring currents. For the first time, scientists can now see ring current particles flow from the night side to the day side of Earth and disappear into the magnetopause. The satellite observations also show that this is the most important way that these particles are lost from the current during a magnetic storm.

(2001: C.J. Pollock, K. Asamura, M.M. Balkey, J.L. Burch, H.O. Funsten, M. Grande, M. Gruntman, M. Henderson, J.-M. Jahn, M. Lampton, M.W. Liemohn, D.J. McComas, T. Mukai, S. Ritzau, M.L. Schattenburg, E. Scime, R. Skoug, P. Valek, and M. Wuest)

Related IMAGE Discoveries

Additional Information

Ring current -A collection of charged particles that flow around Earth, that are especially prominent during major solar storm events. The particles typically carry energies between 10,000 and 100,000 Volts.

Magnetopause - The boundary of Earth's magnetosphere where the pressure of Earth's magnetic field and the solar wind are equal.

IMAGE experiments
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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