Latest Geomagnetism Stories
Understanding vast systems in space requires understanding what's happening on widely different scales. Giant events can turn out to have tiny drivers -- take, for example, what rocked near-Earth space in October 2003.
Imagine waking up after a night of camping to find that your compass is pointing south rather than north. It can happen. The magnetic field around Earth has flipped before — though not overnight. In fact, it has happened many times throughout the planet's history.
Magnetic reconnection can trigger geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and blackout power grids. But how reconnection ransforms magnetic energy into explosive particle energy remains a major unsolved problem in plasma astrophysics.
NASA's twin Van Allen Probes will celebrate on Saturday two years of studying the sun's influence on our planet and near-Earth space. The probes, shortly after launch in August 2012, discovered a third radiation belt around Earth when only two had previously been detected.
A space weather storm from the sun engulfed our planet on Jan. 21, 2005. The event got its start on Jan. 20, when a cloud of solar material, a coronal mass ejection or CME, burst off the sun and headed toward Earth.
On the evening of Aug. 20, 2014, the International Space Station was flying past North America when it flew over the dazzling, green blue lights of an aurora. On board, astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image of the aurora, seen from above.
University of Bristol’s professor of Aerospace Engineering Ashley Dale cautions that “solar super-storms” are going to cause “catastrophic” and “long-lasting” impacts if we continue to ignore the threat of such storms.
Earth and Mercury are both rocky planets with iron cores, but Mercury's interior differs from Earth's in a way that explains why the planet has such a bizarre magnetic field, UCLA planetary physicists and colleagues report.
Two years ago today, Earth experienced a close shave just as perilous as an asteroid, but most newspapers didn't mention it. The "impactor" was an extreme solar storm, the most powerful in as much as 150+ years.
One of the great, unanswered questions for space weather scientists is just what creates two gigantic donuts of radiation surrounding Earth, called the Van Allen radiation belts.
The compass is a tool that helps the user navigate using the Earth's magnetic poles by using a magnetized pointer that reacts to magnetic fields. Since a compass can be used to calculate a heading it quickly improved the safety and efficiency of travel, especially ocean travel. It has only recently been replaced by Global Positioning Systems. It works by indicating the direction of the magnetic north of a planet's magnetosphere. Generally the face of a compass highlights the north, south,...
Ring Current -- A ring current is an electric current carried by charged particles trapped in a planet's magnetosphere. It is caused by the longitudinal drift of energetic (10-200 keV) particles. Earth's Ring Current Earth's ring current is responsible for geomagnetic storms. The ring current system consists of a band, at a distance of 3-5 RE(1), which lies in the equatorial plane and circulates clockwise around the Earth (when viewed from the north). The particles of this region...
Van Allen Radiation Belt -- The Van Allen radiation belt is a torus of energetic charged particles around Earth, trapped by Earth's magnetic field. The presence of a radiation belt had been theorized prior to the Space Age and the belt's presence was confirmed by the Explorer I on January 31, 1958 and Explorer III missions, under Doctor James Van Allen. The trapped radiation was first mapped out by Explorer IV and Pioneer III. Qualitatively, it is useful to view this belt as consisting...
- A transitional zone between two communities containing the characteristic species of each.