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THEMIS Launch and Deployment

THEMIS (Time History of Events and Microscale Interactions durind Substorms) answers fundamental outstanding questions regarding the magnetospheric substorm instability, a dominant mechanism of transport and explosive release of solar wind energy within Geospace. THEMIS will elucidate which magnetotail process is responsible for substorm onset at the region where substorm auroras map (~10Re): (i) a local disruption of the plasma sheet current or (ii) that current's interaction with the rapid influx of plasma emanating from lobe flux annihilation at ~25Re. Correlative observations from long-baseline (2-25 Re) probe conjunctions, will delineate the causal relationship and macroscale interaction between the substorm components. THEMIS's five identical probes measure particles and fields on orbits which optimize tail-aligned conjunctions over North America.

Animation Credits

Walt Feimer (HTSI): Lead Animator
David G. Sibeck (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Vassilis Angelopoulos (University of California, Berkeley): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Conceptual Image Lab

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This item is part of this series:
THEMIS Pre-launch

SVS >> Aurora
SVS >> Magnetic Reconnection
SVS >> Solar Wind
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NASA Science >> Sun