IMAGE
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Discoveries
Image of IMAGE in 
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Earth's Space-Storm Shield Offers Limited Protection

 
 
 
plasmasphere

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.

   
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Curator

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