The IMAGE spacecraft was launched from Vandenberg AFB on March 25, 2000, at 20:34:43 UT. IMAGE is the first satellite mission dedicated to imaging the Earth's magnetosphere, the region of space controlled by the Earth's magnetic field and containing extremely tenuous plasmas of both solar and terrestrial origin. Invisible to standard astronomical observing techniques, these populations of ions and electrons have traditionally been studied by means of localized measurements with charged particle detectors, magnetometers, and electric field instruments. Instead of such in-situ measurements, IMAGE employs a variety of imaging techniques to "see the invisible" and to produce the first comprehensive global images of the plasma populations in the inner magnetosphere. With these images, space scientists are able to observe, in a way never before possible, the large-scale dynamics of the magnetosphere and the interactions among its constituent plasma populations.

IMAGE is now in its fifth year of operation and continues to provide new insights into the workings of our space environment. Click here to review some of the highlights of the IMAGE mission.

The IMAGE project has an open data policy. There are no proprietary data or periods. IMAGE data are available via the Internet from the IMAGE Data Delivery System.

Southwest Research Institute manages the IMAGE project and leads the IMAGE science investigation. The IMAGE Principal Investigator is James L. Burch

Results from IMAGE's first two years of operation are summarized in a series of papers published in Space Science Reviews (Volume 109, Nos. 1-4, 2003). For the latest IMAGE results, check the IMAGE publication list.

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