This fleet of 5 spacecraft was tasked with understanding substorms in the magnetosphere, the power source of the aurora and consequence of solar activity and the sun-earth system (DETAILS).
To add this mission a system of 20 Ground-Based Observatories (GBOs) was established to provide simultaneous observations of the aurora from the east coast of Canada to the West coast of Alaska. These observations are to identify events in the region sampled by the satellites.
These August 1 storms were well observed by the new solar mission, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Observations of the storms by SDO as well as aurora due to the storms received a great deal of coverage by many news organizations worldwide. For more on the THEMIS GBOs, click here.