This is an artist's depiction of the Earth's magnetosphere.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA
NASA Will IMAGE the Magnetosphere
News story originally written on March 20, 2000
NASA will launch its newest satellite on March 25th. The Imager for
Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) will spend two years studying Earth's magnetosphere. IMAGE will be the first spacecraft to actually "see" the charged particles that make up the field surrounding Earth.
IMAGE will have six instruments onboard that will work together to photograph the particles. Scientists say the photos will be combined to create movies. Scientists say this mission is very important to space weather, because the magnetosphere is directly affected by the solar wind.
IMAGE is one of the Explorer Missions NASA has chosen. The project is estimated to cost a total of $154 million -- cheap compared to many space missions.
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