ISTP/GEM Substorm Campaign: January 1-2, 1997

Illustration of the aurora taken by the polar instruments

Access to Data:

Event Description

On January 1/2, 1997, there was an optimal configuration of ISTP satellites with GEOTAIL and IMP-8 both crossing the center plane of the tail a few Re apart, POLAR taking auroral measurements and WIND monitoring the solar wind from ~20 UT on January 1 onwards. InterBall-Tail was also very well placed in the tail at this time. This ideal positioning of the key satellites was complimented by a large array of ground stations - the Sondrestrom, SuperDARN and EISCAT radars, CANOPUS network, and many other networks around the world.

A coordinated campaign was organised where the POLAR platform was orientated to best image the midnight region in order to watch the development of the aurora during substorms - the satellites in the tail were ideally located to detect dipolarizations and other tail modifications during the substorm.

Two small, reasonably isolated substorms occurred during the campaign interval - the first at around 21:45 UT on Jan 1 and the second around 2 UT on Jan 2.

The POLAR imagers saw beautiful aurora and there were many indications of substorm onset detected in the other instruments on board and also from the ground.

GGS Event Leader: Nicola J. Fox (301) 286 8872

Other events of interest may be found in the Catalog of GGS Events.