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THEMIS Explores the Earth's Bow Shock

The solar wind's first contact with the Earth's magnetic field creates a region known as the bow shock, much like the bow wave of a boat moving through the water. This region can also create additional turbulence which generates bursts of explosion-like currents. In this visualization, the orbits of the THEMIS fleet are combined with a 2-D slice from a hybrid magnetosphere simulation which illustrates these turbulent regions in the bow shock. This hybrid magnetosphere simulation treats the slow-moving ions by particle-in-cell computational methods and the faster electrons as a massless fluid. These simulations more accurately represent the magnetospheric physics, enabling a view of turbulent non-linear processes not visible in the simpler magnetohydrodynamic models. In this simulation, the color table is somewhat unusual. In order of increasing density, the colors run from white through violet, blue, green to black.
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More information on this topic available at:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/themis/auroras/northern_lights.html

This movie opens with a view of the five THEMIS satellites (the color dots) moving along their orbits.  We then fade in the 2-D data from the Omidi simulation and zoom in to view the turbulence in the region of the bow shock.    This movie opens with a view of the five THEMIS satellites (the color dots) moving along their orbits. We then fade in the 2-D data from the Omidi simulation and zoom in to view the turbulence in the region of the bow shock.
Duration: 13.0 seconds
Available formats:
  512x288     MPEG-1   5 MB
  1280x720   MPEG-2   19 MB
  640x360     MPEG-4   3 MB
  1280x720   Frames
  1280x720   MPEG-4   35 MB
  320x180     MPEG-1   2 MB
  320x180     X-FLV       699 KB
  1280x720   JPEG         258 KB
  320x180     PNG           112 KB
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Opening view above the north geographic pole of the five THEMIS satellites in orbit around the Earth.    Opening view above the north geographic pole of the five THEMIS satellites in orbit around the Earth.

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  2560 x 1440     TIFF       2 MB


Moving down near the equatorial plane, the five satellite are near the  apogee of their orbits.    Moving down near the equatorial plane, the five satellite are near the apogee of their orbits.

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Push in to a view of the satellites in the turbulent region near the bow shock.  The 'bubbles' of violet and white surrounded by green and black illustrate broad the range of particle densities in this turbulence.    Push in to a view of the satellites in the turbulent region near the bow shock. The 'bubbles' of violet and white surrounded by green and black illustrate broad the range of particle densities in this turbulence.

Available formats:
  2560 x 1440     TIFF       5 MB


A later view of the turbulence which changes significantly on time scales of seconds.    A later view of the turbulence which changes significantly on time scales of seconds.

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Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3478
Animation Number:3478
Completed:2007-11-07
Animator:Tom Bridgman (GST) (Lead)
Scientists:Nick Omidi (Solana Scientific, Inc.)
 David G. Sibeck (NASA/GSFC)
 Vassilis Angelopoulos (University of California, Berkeley)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:Omidi Magnetospheric Model (2007-06-25T00:00:00 to 2007-06-27T10:01:54)
 SSCweb (2007-06-25T00:00:00 to 2007-06-27T10:01:54)
 THEMIS
Series:THEMIS Dayside Science
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
 
Keywords:
SVS >> Geomagnetic Field
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Magnetosphere
SVS >> Simulation
SVS >> Solar Wind
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles >> Electron Flux
GCMD >> Location >> Bow Shock
SVS >> THEMIS
SVS >> iPod
SVS >> For Educators
Science paper:Omidi, N., 'Formation of cavities in the foreshock' in 'Turbulence and nonlinear processes in astrophysical plasmas'. Editors D. Shaikh and G. Zank. AIP Conference Proceedings 932, 2007.
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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