Latest Jets Stories

2010-03-11 08:20:00

Take a bunch of fast-moving electrons, place them in orbit and then hit them with the shock waves from a solar storm. What do you get? Killer electrons. That's the shocking recipe revealed by ESA's Cluster mission. Killer electrons are highly energetic particles trapped in Earth's outer radiation belt, which extends from 12 000 km to 64 000 km above the planet's surface. During solar storms their number grows at least ten times and they can be dislodged, posing a threat to satellites. As the...

2010-03-05 07:25:00

Scientists at the University of Rochester have discovered that the Earth's magnetic field 3.5 billion years ago was only half as strong as it is today, and that this weakness, coupled with a strong wind of energetic particles from the young Sun, likely stripped water from the early Earth's atmosphere. The findings, presented in today's issue of Science, suggest that the magnetopause"”the boundary where the Earth's magnetic field successfully deflects the Sun's incoming solar...

2010-01-20 12:35:00

The Earth's magnetic field protects our planet from most of the permanent flow of particles from the solar wind. Fissures in this magnetic shield are known to occur, enabling the solar wind to penetrate our near-space environment. A study based on data collected by the four ESA Cluster satellites and the CNSA/ESA Double Star TC-1 spacecraft, provides new insight into the location and duration of these ruptures in the Earth's magnetic shield. This study reports the observation of fissures on...

2009-12-17 12:15:00

A network of cameras deployed around the Arctic in support of NASA's THEMIS mission has made a startling discovery about the Northern Lights. Sometimes, vast curtains of aurora borealis collide, producing spectacular outbursts of light. Movies of the phenomenon were unveiled at the Fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union today in San Francisco. "Our jaws dropped when we saw the movies for the first time," says space scientist Larry Lyons of UCLA, a leading member of the team that made...

2009-12-10 12:53:53

Studies of one of the galaxy's most active black-hole binaries reveal a dramatic change that will help scientists better understand how these systems expel fast-moving particle jets. Binary systems where a normal star is paired with a black hole often produce large swings in X-ray emission and blast jets of gas at speeds exceeding one-third that of light. What fuels this activity is gas pulled from the normal star, which spirals toward the black hole and piles up in a dense accretion disk....

2009-10-16 07:20:00

Images from the Ion and Neutral Camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft suggest that the heliosphere, the region of the sun's influence, may not have the comet-like shape predicted by existing models. In a paper published Oct. 15 in Science Express, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory present a new view of the heliosphere, and the forces that shape it. "These images have revolutionized what we thought we knew for the past 50 years; the sun travels through the galaxy not...

2009-09-18 09:55:00

Black holes are invading stars, providing a radical explanation to bright flashes in the universe that are one of the biggest mysteries in astronomy today. The flashes, known as gamma ray bursts, are beams of high energy radiation "“ similar to the radiation emitted by explosions of nuclear weapons "“ produced by jets of plasma from massive dying stars. The orthodox model for this cosmic jet engine involves plasma being heated by neutrinos in a disk of matter that forms around a...

2009-09-17 09:21:46

Challenging conventional wisdom, new research finds that the number of sunspots provides an incomplete measure of changes in the Sun's impact on Earth over the course of the 11-year solar cycle. The study, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Michigan, finds that Earth was bombarded last year with high levels of solar energy at a time when the Sun was in an unusually quiet phase and sunspots had virtually disappeared. "The Sun...

2009-09-14 06:28:01

Scientists using the Cassini spacecraft's  Magnetospheric Imaging instrument (MIMI) have detected a new, temporary radiation belt  at Saturn, located around the orbit of its moon Dione at about 377 000 km from the center of the planet. The discovery will be presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam by Dr Elias Roussos on Monday September 14. Radiation belts, like Earth's Van Allen belts, have been discovered at Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. ...

2009-09-10 09:50:00

UCLA atmospheric scientists have discovered a previously unknown basic mode of energy transfer from the solar wind to the Earth's magnetosphere. The research, federally funded by the National Science Foundation, could improve the safety and reliability of spacecraft that operate in the upper atmosphere. "It's like something else is heating the atmosphere besides the sun. This discovery is like finding it got hotter when the sun went down," said Larry Lyons, UCLA professor of atmospheric and...

Latest Jets Reference Libraries

Ring Current
2004-10-19 04:45:44

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...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Microquasar -- Microquasars are smaller cousins of quasars. They are named after quasars, as they have some common characteristics: strong and variable radio emission often seen as radio jets, and an accretion disk surrounding a black hole. In quasars, the black hole is supermassive (millions of solar masses) as in microquasars, the black hole mass is a few solar masses. In microquasars, the accreted mass comes from a normal star and the accretion disk is very luminous in optical regions...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Aurora -- The Polar Aurora are natural displays of light in the sky that can be seen with the unaided eye only at night. An auroral display in the Northern Hemisphere is called the aurora borealis, or the northern lights; in the Southern Hemisphere it is called the aurora australis. Auroras are the most visible effect of the sun's activity on the earth's atmosphere. The beautiful and often eerie curtains of light in the night time sky have been observed by people for millennia. An aurora...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

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...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Solar Wind -- Solar wind, a stream of particles (mostly high-energy protons ~ 500 Kev) that is continually ejected from the surface of the Sun. The composition of this plasma is identical to the Sun's corona, 73% hydrogen and 25% helium with the remainder as trace impurities, and is ionized. Near Earth, the velocity of the solar wind varies from 200km/s-889km/s. The average is 450 km/s. Approximately 3000 tons of material is lost from the Sun every hour as solar wind. Since solar...

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Word of the Day
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.