Cusp Plasma Imaging Detector (CuPID) is a Cubesat â€“ a class of very small research satellites â€“ that was launched on September 27 along with Landsat-9. Its size does not surpass the loaf of bread. The purpose of this satellite is to study the interaction between the Earthâ€™s magnetosphere (a protective bubble of magnetic field) and the Sun.
The CuPID will observe the lower-energy or soft X-rays emitted when solar particles collide with the Earthâ€™s magnetic field. It took scientists nearly sixteen years to develop this satellite. It will seek to study the characteristics of the boundary of the Earthâ€™s magnetic fields and understand why the energy sometimes penetrates it.