Studying the Sun-Earth Connection

Artist concept of space weather showing an active Sun with flares and a CME in the upper right, the Earth in the lower right with types of technology affected by space weather to the lower left; satellites, airplanes, the ISS and ground-based electrical lines.

The Study of the Sun and its Interaction with Earth and the Solar System is called Heliophysics.

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Mission Overview

The Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms, or THEMIS, is a mission to investigate what causes auroras in the Earth's atmosphere to dramatically change from slowly shimmering waves of light to wildly shifting streaks of color. Discovering what causes auroras to change will provide scientists with important details on how the planet's magnetosphere works and the important Sun-Earth connection.
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ARTEMIS stands for “Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun”. The ARTEMIS mission uses two of the five in-orbit spacecraft from another NASA Heliophysics constellation of satellites (THEMIS) that were launched in 2007 and successfully completed their mission earlier in 2010. The ARTEMIS mission allowed NASA to repurpose two in-orbit spacecraft to extend their useful science mission, saving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars instead of building and launching new spacecraft.

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Related Sites

› Explorers Program
Learn about Goddard's role with the THEMIS mission.

› THEMIS Program at University of California at Berkeley
Learn more about Berkeley's role with the THEMIS mission.

› THEMIS Spacecraft
Learn more about Swales' role in the mission.

› University of Calgary
Learn more about auroral imaging.

Studying the Moon's Interaction with the Sun

› Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany

› Institut fuer Weltraumforschung, Austria

› Centre des Environements Terrestre et Planetaires, France

Page Last Updated: October 23rd, 2013
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner