Data Tour of MMS and Magnetopause Reconnection

  • Released Thursday, May 12, 2016

In this data visualization, we fly around with the MMS spacecraft in tetrahedral formation. The mesh structure in the distance is the magnetopause.

Each image frame corresponds to a time step of 30 milliseconds, one of the faster data sampling modes for MMS.

The arrows represent the data collected by the spacecraft. To better comprehend changes as the spacecraft moves along, the data are allowed to 'echo' along the spacecraft trail. The length of the vectors represent the relative magnitude of the vector. However, the electron and proton vectors are scaled so equal velocities correspond to vectors of equal magnitude.

  • Magenta represents the direction and magnitude of the magnetic field at the spacecraft position.
  • Yellow represents the direction and magnitude of the bulk motion (total average) velocity of the electrons measured at the spacecraft position.
  • Blue represents the direction and magnitude of the bulk motion (total average) velocity of the protons measured at the spacecraft position.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Thursday, May 12, 2016.
This page was last updated on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 12:07 AM EST.


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Papers used in this visualization

Datasets used in this visualization


    ID: 920
    Type: Observed DataSensor: FIELDSDates used: 2015-10-16T13:03:34.003(TAI) - 2015-10-16T13:07:43.934(TAI)
  • MMS-FPI [MMS: Fast Plasma Investigation]

    ID: 921
    Type: Event ListSensor: Fast Plasma InvestigationDates used: 2015-10-16T13:03:34.003(TAI) - 2015-10-16T13:07:43.934(TAI)

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.