Magnetospheric Physics

Magnetospheric research at SwRI focuses on the region of space dominated by the Earth's magnetic field. Further understanding the dynamics of the Earth's magnetosphere provides insight into the relationship between the Sun and Earth. Magnetospheric research conducted at SwRI includes: determining the the variation of oxygen in the plasmasphere and outer magnetosphere, understanding magnetic reconnection with direct observations of ions at reconnection sites, investigating the coupling between electric fields and currents in the magnetosphere during geomagnetic storms, and analyzing plasma precipitation into Earth's atmosphere. SwRI leads the field of magnetospheric physics through its involvement and development of magnetospheric missions, as well as through analysis of observations from missions such as Cluster, Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS), Polar, IMAGE, TWINS, and the Van Allen Probes. In addition to the study of Earth's magnetosphere, SwRI also engages in the study of the magnetospheres of other planets, such as Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn.


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