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INTEGRAL's X-ray view of Earth's aurora

INTEGRAL's X-ray view of Earth's aurora

Date: 25 January 2016
Satellite: INTEGRAL
Copyright: ESA/INTEGRAL/E. Churazov (IKI/MPA)/M. Türler (ISDC/Univ. of Geneva)

Sequence of X-ray images taken by INTEGRAL's IBIS/ISGRI instrument on 10 November 2015 at time intervals of about 8 minutes. The images cover the energy range 17–60 keV (although higher emission energies were also recorded) and show intense auroral emission first visible on the near-side of Earth (roughly around east Siberia, north of Japan, at around 11:00 GMT), and then on the opposite side of the pole for a more prolonged period and over a wider area in the following hours, first above Canada and later above Greenland.

Earth's position is shown by its coordinate grid and is kept fixed, while it is drifting towards the border of the instrument's field-of-view (the nearing edge at the left at the start of the sequence). Its apparent size increases as the spacecraft approaches Earth on its elliptical orbit (INTEGRAL orbits Earth in a highly eccentric 64 hour orbit that takes it between about 10 000 km and 140 000 km from Earth).

Last Update: 1 September 2019
18-Apr-2024 21:41 UT

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