Auroral arcs

Polar wind






Magnetosphere - ionosphere interaction

The magnetosphere is electromagnetically coupled to the ionosphere. Particles - and hence electric currents - flow along the magnetic field lines and connect the ionosphere (that corotates with Earth) to the magnetosphere (whose properties are affected by the solar wind).

This interconnection therefore reflects how conditions in space may affect the living conditions on our planet.

Studies at the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) have been devoted to:

  • the relation between magnetospheric boundary layers and ionospheric phenomena (e.g., discrete auroral arcs and sub-auroral ion drift events)
  • the transition between the (collisional) ionosphere and the (collisionless) magnetosphere 





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