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Space Environment


Studies of the space environment include the solar wind, Earth’s magnetosphere and upper atmosphere, geomagnetic substorms, the aurora borealis, and the interactions of charged particles and plasma on an atomic level.  Prof. Vassilis Angelopoulos is the principal investigator of NASA’s THEMIS and ARTEMIS, a fleet of small spacecraft that measure the electromagnetic fields generated around the Earth and Moon.  Prof. Margaret Kivelson‘s work also focuses on plasma and magnetospheric physics, focusing on the magnetic fields of Jupiter and Saturn.  Prof. Christopher Russell studies the magnetic fields of all the terrestrial planets and some of the gas giants.  Prof. Richard Thorne works on the theory behind wave-particle interactions in space plasmas like those found in Earth’s radiation belts.


angelopoulos kivelson russell thorne
Vassilis Angelopoulos Margaret Kivelson Christopher Russell Richard Thorne

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Recent Publications

Li., S.-S., Angelopoulos, V., Runov, et al., ( A., Kiehas, S.A., Zhou, X.-Z.) (2013). Plasmoid growth and expulsion revealed  by two-point ARTEMIS observations, Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 118(5), p. 2133-2144. 

Turner, D.L., Angelopoulos, V., Li, W., et al. (Bortnik, J. and Shprits, Y.) (2013). On the storm‐time evolution of relativistic electron phase space density in Earth’s outer radiation belt. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 118(5), p. 2196 – 2122.

Volwerk, M., Jia, X., Paranicas, C., et al. (Kivelson, M.G., and Khurana, K.K.) (2013). ULF waves in Ganymede’s upstream magnetosphere, Annales Geophysicae, 31, p. 45–59.