August 9, 2022



NASA GOLD’s Bird’s-Eye Reveals Mysterious Dynamics in Earth’s Interface to Space



New research using data from NASA’s Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk, or GOLD, mission, has revealed unexpected behavior in the swaths of charged particles that band Earth’s equator – made possibly by GOLD’s long-term global view, the first of its kind for this type of measurement.

GOLD is in geostationary orbit, which means it orbits around Earth at the same pace the planet turns and “hovers” over the same spot overhead. This allows GOLD to watch the same area for changes over time across longitude and latitude, something that most satellites studying the upper atmosphere can’t do.

“Since GOLD is on a geostationary satellite, we can capture 2D time evolution of these dynamics,” said Dr. Xuguang Cai, a researcher at the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colorado, and lead author on a new research paper.

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