Exploring the Ionosphere: The Dayside Ionosphere
The colors over Earth represent model data from the IRI (International Reference Ionosphere) model of the density of the singly-ionized oxygen atom at an altitude of 350 kilometers. Red represents high density. The ion density is enhanced above and below the geomagnetic equator (not perfectly aligned with the geographic equator) on the dayside due to the ionizing effects of solar ultraviolet radiation combined with the effects of high-altitude winds and the geomagnetic field. This ion density decreases at night as the ions recombine with free electrons.
A view of the singly-ionizing oxygen atom on the dayside of Earth. This represents the variation of the enhancments due to variation in the geomagnetic field. In this version, the oxygen ion ionosphere model is sampled at 15 minute cadence which creates some 'jumping' in the ionosphere enhancements.
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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
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Datasets used in this visualization
IRI 2016 (International Reference Ionosphere)ID: 944Model
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