Image of IMAGE in space

IMAGE Discovers the Origin of Earth's Mysterious Radio Radiation


IMAGE has brought into clear focus the source of Earth's mysterious radio emission. This powerful radiation has a wavelength of about one-half mile and appears to be generated in the plasmasphere. Satellite images show gaps in the plasmasphere, and these regions seem to be where the radio signals come from. The radio source produces a narrow beam of radiation that is largely confined to the gaps in the plasmasphere. The exact mechanism that generates these gaps is not completely understood.

(2002: James L. Green, B. R. Sandel, D. L. Gallagher and Shing F. Fung)

Related IMAGE Discoveries

Additional Information

Plasmapause -The outer boundary of the plasmasphere. Inside this boundary, plasma rotates with Earth. Outside, the plasma orbits Earth at slower speeds.

Plasmasphere -An extension of the ionosphere into space containing charged particles trapped in Earth's magnetic field. The particles have energies of a few hundred Volts, and extend 10,000 kilometers into space.

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