NASA’s GOLD mission discovers the rapid motion behavior of ribbon particles around the equator
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GOLD is in a geostationary orbit, which keeps it in the same position as the earth rotates. Geostationary orbit allows satellites to scan the same area and observe changes over time. GOLD pays particular attention to the part of the upper atmosphere at an altitude of about 50 to 400 miles from the surface.
The two layers that GOLD focuses on are the thermosphere and the ionosphere. The ionosphere is composed of charged particles. Particles in the ionosphere respond to magnetic and electric fields that extend into the atmosphere and near-Earth space. The layers of the upper atmosphere are formed by several factors, including geomagnetic storms and weather on Earth.
One of the goals of GOLD observation is to be called Banded particles are equatorial ionization anomalies or EIA for short. EIA changes greatly according to the conditions of the ionosphere, and these banded particles can move their positions. GOLD allows scientists to observe these banded particles for a long time. Thanks to the assistance of GOLD, scientists can observe something that challenges previous theories. At the end of 2018, the southern banded particles drifted further south, while the northern banded particles remained stable.
Before this observation, it was theoretically believed that the rapid changes of the ribbon particles would be symmetrical. In this example, it only took two hours to move, and this type of movement usually takes up to 8 hours. The exact cause of the observed asymmetric drift is still unknown.