International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

[pib] Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Magnetosphere

Mains level : Not Much

Indian Scientists have developed a theory that helps understand the complicated nature of Sun-Earth interaction’s happening in the magnetosphere

Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission

  • The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission is a NASA robotic space mission to study the Earth’s magnetosphere, using four identical spacecraft flying in a tetrahedral formation.
  • The mission is designed to gather information about the microphysics of magnetic reconnection, energetic particle acceleration, and turbulence⁠—processes that occur in many astrophysical plasma.
  • Indian researchers have developed a theory that solves every bit of uncertainty regarding the conflict between the observations from MMS Mission.

Answer this PYQ in the comment box:

Q.Consider the following statements:

  1. The Earth’s magnetic field has reversed every few hundred thousand years.
  2. When the Earth was created more than 4000 million years ago, there was 54% oxygen and no carbon dioxide.
  3. When living organisms originated, they modified the early atmosphere of the Earth.

Which of the statements given above is/ are correct? (CSP 2018)

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

What is the Magnetosphere?

  • The magnetosphere is the region of space surrounding Earth where the dominant magnetic field is the magnetic field of Earth, rather than the magnetic field of interplanetary space.
  • It is formed by the interaction of the solar wind with Earth’s magnetic field.

Findings of the Indian Researchers

  • The MMS spacecraft observed negative monopolar potential (electric field potentials which can be visualized in the form of single-humped pulse-type structures).
  • The scientific community suddenly recognized its importance, and publications were presented.
  • However, none of the available theories could explain the characteristics of these structures due to the exotic background conditions.
  • Indian theory provides a better understanding of their characteristics and sheds light on the generation of these structures.
  • This has lead to the unraveling of nature’s greatest mystery that causes phenomena -plasma transport and heating of plasma- the fourth state of matter after solid, liquid, and gas.
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rashi jain
rashi jain
3 months ago