Time History of Events of Macroscale Interactions During Substorms

Observing the processes that drive aurora

THEMIS is a constellation mission consisting of five satellites placed in highly elliptical orbits where the spacecraft line up at apogee every four days. While a ground-based array of magnetometers and auroral cameras located in North America monitor the space environment by watching the aurora (Northern Lights), the satellites will directly observe the processes that drive it. THEMIS answers fundamental questions regarding the magnetospheric substorm instability, a dominant mechanism of transport and explosive release of solar wind energy within geospace.

Mission Class:

Larger Missions

Mission Status:


LASP Roles:

Research, Instruments, Data, Engineering

Science Target:

Earth's Magnetosphere

Mission Focus:

Earth's Atmosphere, Magnetosphere, Space Weather, Van Allen Belts

Launch Date: February 17, 2007
Prime Mission: 2 years
Extended Mission: 2025

Lead Institution: University of California, Berkeley/Space Sciences Laboratory

Lead Funding Agency: NASA’s Heliophysics Division

Partners: University of California Los Angeles, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Swales Aerospace, University of Colorado Boulder