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IMAGE Reveals Traveling Sources of Electrons from the Plasma Sheet

 
 
Propagating Injection

Rather than viewing storm events as the consequence of the movement of plasma from place to place, space physicists tend to think of the most of the storm activity within the magnetosphere as the motion of 'injection fronts' which inject electrons and ions into various magnetic field configurations. One source of particle injection is the plasmasheet; a region of the magnetotail in the equatorial plane where currents of particles are generated. IMAGE has now been able to combine data from its FUV, HENA and EUV instruments to track traveling injection fronts from the plasmasheet into the ring current and plasmasphere. This combined study spans 10-15 Re and demonstrates how plasmasheet disturbances are related to the shape and transformations of the ring current on April 17, 2002."This event represents the first identification of the directly observed effects on the plasmasphere of a finite-speed propagating substorm-driven impulse, the SAPS flow channel, and possibly, of the ring-current magnetic field reduction."

(2004: Goldstein et al.)

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Additional Information

Plasmasphere -The extension of Earth's ionosphere into space to altitudes of 10,000 kilometers or more, forming a tenuous region of charged particles that rotate with earth with a 24-hour period.

Plasmasheet - A region of the magnetotail in the equatorial plane where currents of particles are generated.

   
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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 July 2004, EVB II