NASA heliophysics research:

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by paddoboy, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    All missions on board for NASA heliophysics research
    November 27, 2017 by Mara Johnson-Groh

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    Scientists have been studying the near-Earth environment for the better part of a century, but many mysteries—like where the energetic particles that pervade the area originate and become energized—still remain. In a new type of collaborative study, scientists combined data from 16 separate NASA and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) spacecraft to understand how a particle phenomenon in the magnetic environment around Earth occurs. These events, called substorms, can cause auroras, disrupt GPS communications and, at their most intense, damage power grids.

    To get a global picture, the scientists used data from four individual NASA missions—the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, Van Allen Probes mission, Geotail, and the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms mission—plus the LANL-GEO spacecraft. This research showcases how NASA heliophysics missions—heliophysics being the study of the nature of charged particles and energy in space, as well as how they are affected by the Sun—can work together.

    Read more at:

    the paper:

    Multipoint Observations of Energetic Particle Injections and Substorm Activity During a Conjunction Between Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and Van Allen Probes:


    This study examines multipoint observations during a conjunction between Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and Van Allen Probes on 7 April 2016 in which a series of energetic particle injections occurred. With complementary data from Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms, Geotail, and Los Alamos National Laboratory spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit (16 spacecraft in total), we develop new insights on the nature of energetic particle injections associated with substorm activity. Despite this case involving only weak substorm activity (maximum AE <300 nT) during quiet geomagnetic conditions in steady, below-average solar wind, a complex series of at least six different electron injections was observed throughout the system. Intriguingly, only one corresponding ion injection was clearly observed. All ion and electron injections were observed at <600 keV only. MMS reveals detailed substructure within the largest electron injection. A relationship between injected electrons with energy <60 keV and enhanced whistler mode chorus wave activity is also established from Van Allen Probes and MMS. Drift mapping using a simplified magnetic field model provides estimates of the dispersionless injection boundary locations as a function of universal time, magnetic local time, and L shell. The analysis reveals that at least five electron injections, which were localized in magnetic local time, preceded a larger injection of both electrons and ions across nearly the entire nightside of the magnetosphere near geosynchronous orbit. The larger ion and electron injection did not penetrate to L < 6.6, but several of the smaller electron injections penetrated to L < 6.6. Due to the discrepancy between the number, penetration depth, and complexity of electron versus ion injections, this event presents challenges to the current conceptual models of energetic particle injections.


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