Image of IMAGE in space

IMAGE Studies Dust in the Wind


Astronomers have known for decades that the space between the planets is filled with micron - sized dust grains. These dust grains orbit the sun along with meteoroids and asteroids, but they also interact with the out flowing solar wind. The IMAGE neutral - atom experiment has been able to detect neutral solar wind particles and can use this to place limits on the total amount of these dust grains in interplanetary space, and has been able to measure the neutral solar wind flux even though the dust itself is not directly observed by the neutral-atom experiment.

(2003: Collier, Moore, Ogilvie, Chornay, Keller, Fuselier, Quinn, Wurz, West, Hsieh)

Related IMAGE Discoveries

  • In Progress

Additional Information

Solar Wind -The flow of charged particles from the Sun. The outer layers of the Sun including its corona, expand out into space at speeds of nearly 500,000 miles per hour. The density of this gas is about 10 atoms per cubic inch.

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

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