Image of IMAGE in space

IMAGE Uses CAT-Scanning Technique to Look Inside Invisible Clouds


CAT scanners to pear inside the human body. Now, a collaboration between IMAGE and the WIND satellite will let space scientists pear inside Earth's invisible plasma belts. Radio signals transmitted between the satellites pass through these plasma clouds and are affected by the properties of the gas. Using tomographic imaging techniques not unlike what you find in a hospital CAT scanner, this first-ever inter-satellite transmission has demonstrated that this technique can return exciting new insights about the space environment.

(2000: S. Cummer, M. Reiner, B. Reinisch, M. Kaiser, J. Green, R. Benson, B. Manning, K. Goetz)

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Additional Information

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.

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

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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