Image of IMAGE in space

IMAGE Tracks Space Storms to Earth's Magnetic Tail


IMAGE scientists have been able to track the events that lead to aurora and which have their origins in the magnetotail. IMAGE neutral-atom detectors identified high-energy neutral atoms coming from a distance of 12Re. The intensity of these particles is correlated with the ebb and flow of auroral storms. When combined with data from the GOES and LANL satellites, a complete time history of a 'substorm injection' event can be traced out from start to finish.

(2001: Moore et al)

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.

Magnetotail - The comet-like tail of Earth's magnetosphere caused by the solar wind. Changes in the magnetic energy of this region lead to 'explosive' releases of energy that accelerate particles and give rise to the polar aurora.

IMAGE experiments
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Rev. 1.0.0, 24 April 2003, EVB II