IMAGE
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Discoveries
Image of IMAGE in space

Discovery of Interstellar Atoms within Earth's Magnetosphere

 
 
plasmasphere

IMAGE experiments have detected the flows of atoms from interstellar space as they pass through the solar system, and Earth's environment. The two black lines in the figure show the locations of these atoms. The top trace shows the changing directions of the interstellar neutral atoms between 8:00 and 10:00 Ut. The curve in the lower right shows neutral atoms detected in the direction of earth's orbital motion.

(2001: Fuselier, Lennartsson, Ghielmetti, Collier, Moore, Simpson, Quinn, Moebius, Rucinski, Wurz)

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Additional Information

Interstellar Wind -As the sun and solar system move through interstellar space at a speed of 17 km/sec, atoms of interstellar gas and dust appear to enter and leave our solar system as a constant 'wind' of particles.

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

   
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Rev. 1.0.0, 24 April 2003, EVB II