Geospace Environment Modeling Program



The geospace environment encompasses the highest and largest of the four physical geospheres—lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and magnetosphere. Despite its size, its far-reaching structures interconnect and move together in a choreography of organized dynamics, whose complexity is reflected in the intricate movements of the northern lights. The vastness and inaccessibility of geospace, encompassing the plasma environment of the magnetosphere/ionosphere system, and the invisibility of its structures pose great challenges to scientists who want to study its dynamics by obtaining, in effect, video tapes of its globally organized motions. A key component of their strategy is the ability to see nearly all of geospace imaged onto the top of the atmosphere. The geomagnetic field threads the volume of geospace and transmits action, TV-like, from the magnetospheric stage down its lines of force onto the atmospheric screen.