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EMIC plasma wave


Source: BS

 Context: Scientists in India have identified a type of plasma wave called Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves at the Indian Antarctic station, Maitri.


What is Plasma?

Plasma is often referred to as the fourth state of matter, along with solid, liquid, and gas. It is a type of gas that is made up of electrically charged particles, such as ions and free electrons. Plasma can be found in many places, including flames, lightning, and the sun.


What are Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves?

It is a type of plasma wave that is generated in the Earth’s magnetosphere, a region of space around the Earth that is affected by the planet’s magnetic field. These waves can resonate with charged particles, particularly ions, that are trapped in the magnetosphere, causing them to move in a cyclical motion.


Significance of the study of EMIC waves:

The study can help understand the impact of energetic particles (esp. Killer electrons) in the radiation belts on the low orbiting satellites.

  • Killer electrons are electrons having speed close to the speed of light, which form the radiation belt of planet Earth


India’s Antarctic Missions: Acceded to the Antarctic Treaty System (1983); Dakshin Gangotri (1984); Maitri (1989); Sagar Nidhi ice-class vessel (2008); Bharati (2015)


India’s Arctic Mission: Himadri (2007); observer at the Arctic Council