Image of IMAGE in space

Discovery of Ducted Echoes Lets Scientists Study Magnetic Plasmas


Some museums have 'whispering galleries' where sound waves are reflected and focused in specific ways so the listener hears clear echoes. The IMAGE RPI instrument has found a way to use radio echoes traveling along magnetic field 'ducts' to probe the properties of the plasma flowing along these magnetic pipes. This new technique lets scientists use remote sensing to study distant space plasmas.

(2003: Fung, S.F., R.F. Benson, D.L. Carpenter, J.L. Green, V. Jayanti, I.A. Galkan, and B.W. Reinisch)

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.

Duct-Radio waves can be reflected in a plasma like light is reflected within a fiber optic cable. These radio channels within a plasma often align with magnetic field lines.

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