FAST Fact Sheet

FAST Satellite in front of Earth's aurora

FAST – Fast Auroral SnapshoT PLANETARY FAST, the second mission in NASA’s Small Explorer Satellite Program (SMEX), was a satellite designed to study Earth’s aurora. This highly successful spacecraft has helped scientists answer fundamental questions about the causes and makeup of the aurora; please see publications or nuggets that have come from analysis of FAST […]

Berkeley News: When is an aurora not an aurora?

Phenomena called “Steve” and “picket fence” are masquerading as auroras, graduate student argues. Claire Gasque, a University of California, Berkeley, graduate student in physics, has now proposed a physical explanation for these phenomena that is totally different from the processes responsible for the well-known auroras. She has teamed up with researchers at the campus’s Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) to propose that NASA launch a rocket into the heart of the aurora to find out if she’s correct.

SSL will have a booth at AGU

For the first time, SSL will have its own booth at the Fall American Geophysical Union (AGU) Meeting, from Monday, December 11, through Thursday, December 14, at the Moscone Center. AGU is expected to have more than 25,000 attendees from over one hundred countries and the theme is Wide Open Science. SSL scientists will be […]

GREECE Fact Sheet

Drawing of rocket in space over earth with green aurora. Project partners noted around the edge of the square logo.

The purpose of the GREECE (Ground-to-Rocket Electrodynamics-Electrons Correlative Experiment) is to significantly enhance our knowledge of the structure and dynamics of the electron precipitation responsible for the aurora, on both large and small scales, which can ultimately be used to set stronger constraints on models of auroral electrodynamics.

TRICE-2 Fact Sheet

TRICE-2 is exploring magnetic reconnection, the explosive process that allows charged particles from space to stream into Earth’s atmosphere.

TRACERS Fact Sheet

TRACERS project logo, round drawing showing two satellites over the earth, with red and yellow lines indicating orbit, the sun in the far left upper corner.

The overarching mission goal of the TRACERS mission is: Connecting the magnetospheric cusp to the magnetopause – discovering how spatial or temporal variations in magnetic reconnection drive cusp dynamics.

Grotifer Fact Sheet

a satellite in black space

Grotifer aims to close the many significant science questions that are hampered by the current lack of accurate 3D e-field measurements (e.g., at reconnection).

ACES II Fact Sheet

Aurora Current and Electrodynamics Structures II instrument being launched

ACES II is a NASA-funded rocket mission to measure the global electric circuit underlying the northern lights.