Asset Publisher

The four Cluster spacecraft flying in the outer boundary of the magnetosphere

The four Cluster spacecraft flying in the outer boundary of the magnetosphere


Copyright: ESA

Our planet is surrounded by a magnetic shield - the magnetosphere - which protects the Earth from most of the charged particles that are blasted across interplanetary space by explosions of the Sun.

In this image, the four Cluster spacecraft are flying in tetrahedral formation in the vicinity of the magnetopause - the outer boundary of the magnetosphere. Here, one spacecraft (right) is still inside the magnetic field, one (centre) is at the undulating magnetopause and the other two have passed into interplanetary space.

Events such as this will take place on a regular basis over the next two years. By comparing data from each member of the Cluster quartet, scientists are gathering the first detailed, three-dimensional views of the most important regions in the magnetosphere.

See also the "Waves on the magnetopause" animation, illustrating how the four Cluster spacecraft can measure different parts of the waves as they move through the magnetopause.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
28-Nov-2021 15:12 UT

ShortUrl Portlet

Shortcut URL

https://sci.esa.int/s/wb2V9qw

Also Available As

Related Images

Related Videos

Related Publications

Related Links

Documentation