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GEOTAILGeomagnetic Tail Laboratory
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I went back through my notes and found MMS and Geotail on my original list, but somehow they never made it into the spreadsheet used to create the illustration.
Data from the four individual NASA missions - the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, Van Allen Probes mission, Geotail, and the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms mission were used in the study along with the LANL-GEO spacecraft data.
Two satellites, Geotail and Interball-Tail, which normally orbit inside the magnetosphere, found themselves intermittently on the outside as the magnetosphere's outer edge flapped back and forth, says Peredo.
"We called it the Big Zipper," Tarter recalls, "because when we plotted its frequency against time, the trace zigzagged back and forth." But the alien was actually the Geotail satellite, a U.S.-Japanese spacecraft in a looping, 315-hour orbit, that transmits over a range of frequencies whenever it nears Earth.
Along with Japan's Geotail, launched in 1992, and several other satellites slated for liftoff later this year, SOHO will join a flotilla of craft studying the sun's influence on Earth.
Also in July, a Delta-II rocket will launch Geotail, a Japanese-built spacecraft designed to probe Earth's magnetic field.
Researchers are now awaiting the July 1992 launch of the Japanese Geotail satellite, which will follow a highly elliptical orbit.
Nishimura says the orbit change is essentially a practice run for a similar maneuver with a Japanese satellite called Geotail. Scheduled for launch in 1992, Geotail is a NASA/ISAS cooperative project to study the tail region of Earth's magnetic field.