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Latest Jets Stories

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2008-04-29 00:20:00

As far as endings go, this one's a real heart breaker. NASA's Polar satellite concludes its successful mission at the end of April with a breathtaking visible-light image of the colorful dancing lights of the aurora. The Polar team has dubbed this final image "The Broken Heart." When the Polar satellite launched February 24, 1996, the plan was for a two-year science mission to study the lights that form a ring around Earth's north and south magnetic poles, known as the Northern and Southern...

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2008-04-25 15:35:00

An international team of scientists has detected that some of the glow of Earth's aurora is polarized, an unexpected state for such emissions. Measurements of this newfound polarization in the Northern Lights may provide scientists with fresh insights into the composition of Earth's upper atmosphere, the configuration of its magnetic field, and the energies of particles from the Sun, the researchers say.If observed on other planets, the phenomenon might also give clues to the shape of the...

eadf18d8457c78300f15943ef6495ad91
2008-04-25 13:10:00

A Russian scientist has looked in to a possible link between geomagnetism and human health, suggesting their may be a relation to the number of suicides during certain seasonal peaks in the Earth's geomagnetic field. Oleg Shumilov of the Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems in Russia believes human beings may be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field just as many animals do.Light levels in northern countries are known to influence depression, but Shumilov thinks geomagnetism may...

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2008-04-17 07:05:00

Behold the full Moon. Ancient craters and frozen lava seas lie motionless under an airless sky of profound quiet. It's a slow-motion world where even a human footprint may last millions of years. Nothing ever seems to happen there. Right? Wrong. NASA-supported scientists have realized that something does happen every month when the Moon gets a lashing from Earth's magnetic tail. "Earth's magnetotail extends well beyond the orbit of the Moon and, once a month, the Moon orbits through it," says...

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2008-04-10 10:35:00

The image on the left from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows the first double-sided X-ray jet ever detected from a young star. A similar jet may have been launched from the young Sun and could have had a significant impact on the early solar system.The young star, named DG Tau, is located in the Taurus star-forming region, about 450 light years from Earth. The bright source of X-rays in the middle of the image is DG Tau and the jet runs from the top left to the bottom right, extending to...

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2008-03-07 10:05:00

Imagine living on a planet where Northern Lights fill the heavens at all hours of the day. Around the clock, even in broad daylight, luminous curtains shimmer and ripple across the sky, mesmerizing anyone who bothers to look. News flash: Astronomers have discovered such a planet. Its name is Earth. "Our own planet has auroras 24 hours a day," says Jim Spann of the Marshall Space Flight Center, "and we can see them even in broad daylight." The trick, he explains, is picking the right...

ca33d630f187b5acc40c39df6077f22d1
2008-01-30 13:10:00

The planet Mercury's magnetic field appears to be strong enough to fend off the harsh solar wind from most of its surface, according to data gathered in part by a University of Michigan instrument onboard NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft.U-M's Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) on Jan. 14 took the first direct measurements of Mercury's magnetosphere to determine how the planet interacts with the space environment and the Sun.The solar wind, a stream of charged particles, fills the entire...

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2008-01-30 13:00:00

After a journey of more than 2.2 billion miles and three and a half years, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft made its first flyby of Mercury just after 2 PM Eastern Standard Time on January 14, 2008. All seven scientific instruments worked flawlessly, producing a stream of surprises that is amazing and delighting the science team. The 1,213 images conclusively show that the planet is a lot less like the Moon than many previously thought, with features unique to this innermost world. The puzzling...

2008-01-15 11:46:01

Supermassive black holes spin at speeds approaching the speed of light, new research suggests. Nine huge galaxies were found to contain furiously whirling black holes that pump out energetic jets of gas into the surrounding environment, according to a study using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. "We think these monster black holes are spinning close to the limit set by Einstein's theory of relativity, which means that they can drag material around them at...

dc3013468557097427e16d84bb263e4e
2007-12-06 16:27:33

ESA's Cluster constellation has found that multiple, high-speed beams of electrically charged particles, or ions, are formed on the night-side of near-Earth space and get accelerated towards Earth. These observations are key to understanding how solar material manages to reach the Earth's night-side, to forecast the behaviour of the magnetic environment around our planet, and in turn, to better protect ground and space-based technologies. Different theories were proposed in the 80's and 90's...


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...

6_c74ddf89e1e986e7de2e5e2451d6b60b2
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...

6_7a298dad9db3084ba8f1dbe9ba6be2442
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...

4_58d180de6d0f28286cf3bc85a49cb91c2
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...

4_d3a853c28ff70a676427cf8e42fced4f2
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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