d) solar wind and plasma interactions at other planetary environments; including ionospheric processes, comet-plasma interactions, planetary magnetospheric plasma
and charged dust populations and processes driving aurorae and X-ray emission in atmospheres and on surfaces
In principle it might be possible to do this by E-sailing in the giant planet's corotating magnetospheric plasma
Earth's magnetospheric plasma is largely populated by ions captured from the solar wind, whereas Saturn's plasma comes predominantly from water vapor that spews from massive geysers on the southern end of its icy moon Enceladus.
These currents do not produce a uniform outflow-observations have shown interlocking fingers of cold inner magnetospheric plasma flowing outward and hot outer magnetospheric plasma flowing inward to take its place.
One other experiment, designed to measure radio waves generated in the magnetospheric plasma
, uses a set of four wire antennas 250 meters long -- making IMAGE one of the largest satellites ever launched.
This outflow--of which IMAGE is expected to provide the first-ever images--is an important source of magnetospheric plasma
and an important means by which oxygen is lost from the atmosphere.