A new perspective on the Earth's plasmasphere



Sixty years ago, Owen Storey concluded that “whistler” radio waves propagate along the geomagnetic field lines through a dispersive medium, which is now known as the plasmasphere. This was confirmed by Gringauz's plasma measurements on Lunik 2 in 1962. In recent years, satellites such as NASA's Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) and the European Space Agency's Cluster probes have offered what previous spacecraft could not: a nonlocal perspective.

As IMAGE and Cluster have accumulated more than 6 years of observations, researchers from both communities judged the time was ripe for a review at a workshop organized last September by the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (http.7/ www.aeronomy.be/en/workshop/ plasmasphere/overview.htm). This meeting report summarizes some highlights of the meeting.