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.
GCMD 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 184.108.40.206.0