HAO Colloquium - Brian Harding, University of California, Berkeley

First results from MIGHTI, the thermospheric wind instrument on NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON)

The motion of Earth's thermosphere is a critical driver of ionospheric motion, electric fields, and currents, but observations are sparse. In this talk, we present first results from the thermospheric wind instrument on NASA's ICON mission, launched in October 2019. These observations show that even during geomagnetically quiet periods, the thermosphere shows strong variability across altitude, longitude, and local time. ICON is the first mission to make simultaneous, coincident measurements of the neutral wind and the resulting ionospheric variability. Once per orbit, the ion drift velocity is measured at ~600 km altitude within a few minutes of remote observations of neutral wind profiles along the northern hemisphere part of the same magnetic field line (90 - 300 km altitude). About 100 times per year, a "conjugate" maneuver is performed to observe the wind profiles along the full field line. Early results will be shown utilizing data from these unprecedented, coordinated observations to study the neutral wind-driven dynamo.

Date and time: 
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm