Aside from the spectacular light shows they produce, substorms are of great scientific interest. The processes that are thought to be at work in them are also thought to occur in the solar corona and other more distant and exotic objects in the cosmos. The substorm provides us with the only place in nature where we can directly study these interesting phenomena. THEMIS will advance our understanding of the universe.
THEMIS is a NASA-funded mission led by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and involves scientists from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Current Canadian activity is funded by the Canadian Space Agency. Ultimately, THEMIS will involve scientists from the Universities of Calgary, Alberta, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan, as well as the Natural Resources Canada Geomagnetic Laboratory.