Image of IMAGE in 

Earth's Space-Storm Shield Offers Limited Protection


New observations by IMAGE reveal that a layer in the Earth's outer atmosphere acts like a heat shield by absorbing energy from solar storms and reducing their ability to heat the lower atmosphere. However, it imposes a heavy toll for its services by creating a billion-degree cloud of electrified gas, or plasma, that surrounds the planet.

(2002: Fuselier, Showstack, Mitchell, Fisher, Foster, Kozyra)

Related IMAGE Discoveries

Additional Information

Plasma -A complex mixture of atoms and electrically-charged particles. Typical space plasmas contain uncharged atoms, electrons, protons and ions of various atoms.

Solar Storm -A sudden outpouring of energy and particles from the sun, or a disturbance in the solar wind, that can cause changes in Earth's magnetic field leading to magnetic field rearrangements, aurora and the energizing of plasma clouds in the magnetosphere.

IMAGE experiments
Useful Web Resources

Return to the IMAGE Discoveries page


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