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IMAGE Science Center

Discovering Space Weather "Cold Fronts" - 5 December

Scientists have identified large, global-scale disturbances that form in Earth's upper atmosphere during space storms and disrupt the signals we use to communicate, navigate, and monitor our borders. Although these disturbances had previously been observed locally and sporadically, this new combined view provides an unprecedented global perspective that allows scientists to see the structures in their entirety and understand how and why they evolve with time. This global view has been accomplished by combining measurements from the ground and space by instruments developed and operated for NASA and the National Science Foundation.

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See also:
Astronomy Magazine

Spacecraft Pick Up Earthly Aurora - 16 September

A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit the Earth's magnetic field on Sept. 15, but it did not spark the strong display of auroras many people hoped to see. Observations of the flare and resulting CME were made by the TRACE and SOHO spacecraft, respectively, and the resulting auroral event was observed with IMAGE.

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Scientists Find Earth's Auroras Aren't Mirror Images - 04 April

Thanks to observations from the ground and satellites in space, scientists know that the North and South Poles light up at night with Auroras because a "solar wind" of electrified gas continually flows outward from the sun at high speed in all directions, including toward the Earth. Recently, however, NASA and university scientists looking at the Earth's northern and southern auroras were surprised to find they aren't mirror images of each other, as was once thought.

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Lightning Zaps Space Radiation Surrounding Earth - 08 March

James Green presented recent results published in JGR with colleagues, using data from the IMAGE, Dynamics Explorer, and MicroLab-1 missions that indicated that lightning is the embryonic source for plasmaspheric hiss. It is well known that plasmaspheric hiss is the main wave source responsible for clearing out the high energy elections in the radiation belts creating the slot region. The two radiation belts, separated by the slot region, were discovered by Van Allen on Explorers I (inner belt) and IV (outer belt) in 1958. The NASA press release on these results was also published in a number of newspapers and online news web sites. Green also did live interviews with twenty TV stations across the United States. These results settle a long-standing controversy on how the slot region is maintained.

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See also:
New Scientist article
AFP article
MSNBC article

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