Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type


College or School



Physics and Astronomy

Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Amy Keesee

Second Advisor

Mike Briggs


The solar wind releases a constant stream of ionized particles into space which causes complex behaviors to occur within Earth’s magnetosphere. These disruptions can initiate magnetic reconnection and cause flow reversal of ions in the magnetotail. Two flow reversal events were locally detected by the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) on July 26, 2017 at 0700 UT and 0730 UT. The Two Wide-Angle Imaging Neutral-Atom Spectrometers (TWINS) provide a global measurement of heated signatures of the magnetic field and detected an increase in ion temperature during these reconnection events without the presence of a geomagnetic storm. Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE) observations also support that ionospheric disturbances occur on the nightside during these events. Observations from the All-Sky Imager (ASI) array, which are part of the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) project, support an increase in auroral activity during this time. It was found that TWINS observed higher ion temperature in a region of lower flow reversal, which may indicate that TWINS data can provide insight on polar phenomena during calm geomagnetic storm times.