International Solar-Terrestrial Physics Program: A Plan for the Core Spaceflight Missions

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1985 - Geophysics - 21 pages

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Page 8 - INTRODUCTION Exploration of the Earth's nearby space environment has revealed a dynamic and complex system of interacting plasmas, magnetic fields, and electrical currents surrounding our planet. This region, comprising the magnetized solar wind plasma plus the resulting perturbation in the heliosphere caused by the presence of the magnetic Earth, we call "geospace
Page 13 - ... Capture (both E/B fields). EPIC. CPI. the Multichannel Analyzer and the Inboard Magnetometer on the Magnetic Field Measurement Investigation are funded by NASA Goddard Wind Mission: investigate sources, acceleration mechanisms and propagation processes of energetic particles and solar wind; provide complete plasma, energetic particle and magnetic field input for magnetospheric and ionospheric studies; determine the magnetospheric output to interplanetary space in the upstream region; investigate...
Page 9 - ... uneven solar heating at high altitudes. Events in the magnetosphere and ionosphere often stimulate atmospheric emissions in X-ray, visible, and ultraviolet wavelengths. These "footprints" of activity in geospace can be observed meaningfully only from above the filtering atmosphere. Because geospace resembles the plasma environments that exist around distant planets and stars, plasma processes common throughout the universe can be sampled and studied in Earth's own backyard. Geospace is an accessible...
Page 21 - Physics in the 1980's: A Research Strategy. Committee on Solar and Space Physics, Space Science Board, National Academy of Science, Washington, DC, 1980.
Page 6 - Helioseismology concerns the study of the Sun's internal dynamics and structure through observing oscillations of the Sun's surface— similar to the use of earthquakes to infer the interior structure of the Earth. A complete understanding of these oscillations would ultimately lead to knowledge of the interior composition of the Sun and of the dynamo processes that drive the Sun's 1 1-year activity cycle.
Page 5 - Thus, the general subject of solarterrestrial physics can be thought of as encompassing the Sun as a variable star, the origin and transmission of the solar wind, the interaction of this solar wind with the Earth's magnetic field, and the subsequent time-varying magnetic and atmospheric effects in the Earth's lower atmosphere.
Page 8 - Solar wind compresses the dayside magnetosphere and stretches the nightside into a comet-like tail millions of miles long. Some solar wind plasma penetrates this magnetic shield and mixes turbulently with local plasmas. When these "magnetic storms" jolt the magnetosphere, charged particles stored in the tail region hurtle toward the Earth along magnetic field lines and release their energy as aurorae.
Page 4 - Sun is the only star that can be studied in detail from within our solar system. lt is a variable star— its activity varies over time. This variation arises because the Sun both rotates and possesses an internal convection zone that physically transports hot gas from the solar interior to its surface. The interaction of these two motions, rotational and convective, generates powerful magnetic fields through a complicated mechanism (not yet fully understood) that is generally called the solar dynamo...
Page 13 - ... adjustments to maintain apogee on the Earth's dayside so as to survey the upstream region to distances of 250 Earth radii (R.,) during the first year or two after launch.

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