Plasma Wave, At The Maitri Station In Antarctica


Recently, scientists from the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), Mumbai, identified Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves, a type of plasma wave, at the Maitri station in Antarctica and conducted a study on their characteristics.

  • The study analyzed data collected between 2011 and 2017 by the Induction Coil Magnetometer at the Indian Antarctic station Maitri.
  • The study aimed to investigate the modulation characteristics of EMIC waves using large data and to present a statistical scenario of EMIC wave modulation at the ground station Maitri.
  • Plasma, the fourth state of matter, makes up more than 99% of the visible universe.
  • Plasma can be found in various regions such as our Sun, solar wind, interplanetary medium, magnetosphere, and upper atmosphere.
  • Plasma waves provide valuable information about inaccessible regions, mass and energy transport, interaction with charged particles, and overall dynamics of Earth's magnetosphere.
  • One such wave is the Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) that resonates with electrons with a wide energy range, causing them to precipitate to the high-latitude atmosphere.
  • The study found that the short-period modulation of such wave events is common and dependent on EMIC wave frequency. Also, the short period decreases with an increase in the peak frequency of the EMIC wave, and stronger EMIC wave events were likely to have a higher peak frequency.
  • EMIC waves play a crucial role in the precipitation of killer electrons that can be hazardous to space-borne technology/instruments, and the study's results can help understand the impact of energetic particles in the radiation belts on low orbiting satellites.
  • The study's findings are important to improve our understanding of EMIC wave modulation and how they interact with energetic particles, potentially damaging satellites and their communication.