The Cluster satellites keep flying

Artist’s view. Illustration: ESA

About 20 years ago, the four Cluster satellites were launched to perform a three-dimensional investigation of the Earth’s magnetosphere. This ESA mission involved 18 different countries, with Norway being one the four largest contributors. The space physics group at the University of Bergen (today known as the Birkeland Centre for Space Science) has played an important part throughout the entire Cluster mission, building part of the RAPID instrument as well as performing data analysis.

The Cluster mission was supposed to be a 2-year mission, but today Cluster is heading into its third decade. By studying three dimensional plasma structures in the magnetopause, the polar cusps, the magnetotail, and the auroral zones, the Cluster mission has provided great new insight into the Earth’s magnetosphere. And new exciting research results keep coming! To provide a few examples in recent years by researchers at BCSS:

Read more about the impressive Cluster mission in The Register: 20 years deep into a ‘2-year’ mission: How ESA keeps Cluster flying.