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Cluster and Swarm study Earth's magnetic field

Date: 30 June 2015
Satellite: Cluster and Swarm
Copyright: ESA/ATG medialab

This schematic figure illustrates the location of the four Cluster and three Swarm spacecraft during a study carried out in April 2014.

During this study, the seven spacecraft joined forces to simultaneously measure the properties of Earth's magnetic field at two different altitudes.

A number of striking similarities in the behaviour and structure of the field-aligned currents detected at each altitude were found, despite their vastly different locations. Field-aligned currents (FACs) – indicated by the blue arrows directed towards and away from Earth – flow along Earth's magnetic field lines, transferring energy from region to region. Data indicate that it is highly likely that both missions sampled the same large-scale FAC.


Last Update: 02 July 2015

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