The Telescope of Extreme Ultraviolet (TEX) aboard Japan's lunar orbiter Kaguya has succeeded in imaging of the plasmaspheric helium ions by detecting resonantly scattered emission at 30.4 nm. After the initial instrumental check was completed, TEX has been operated routinely, and EUV images from TEX have become available from the perspective of the lunar orbit. The view afforded by the Kaguya orbit encompasses the plasma (He+) distribution in a single exposure, enabling us to examine for the first time the globally averaged properties of the terrestrial plasmasphere from the "side" (meridian) perspective. In this paper we report the inward motion of the nightside plasmapause on 2 May 2008 as seen from this remote meridian view of the Earth. The southward turning of the IMF initiated the inward motion of the plasmapause, and the nightside plasmasphere shrunk at a rate of 0.2 Re/h. Simultaneous solar wind velocity measurements provide a possible explanation for the total radial displacement of the plasmasphere observed in the EUV images.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Space and Planetary Science