This project will investigate how plasma which originates on the sun, and is carried outward in the solar wind, affects physical
processes in the vicinity of the earth. We will use data from the WIND satellite to characterize the plasma upstream of the
earth (between the earth and the sun), and from the POLAR satellite to look at particle precipitation into the earth's
atmosphere. In particular, we will study electrons which originate on the sun and follow the magnetic field along a spiral path
outward from the sun. In certain configurations of the interplanetary magnetic field, these so-called "strahl" electrons are
thought to move directly from the sun into the earth's "polar cap", providing a direct connection between the sun and the earth.
We will explore this connection, and investigate how solar wind conditions modulate the direct precipitation of these solar
electrons into the earth's atmosphere.