Latest Magnetosphere Stories

2010-07-15 14:30:00

The first spacecraft designed by NASA to orbit Mercury is giving scientists a new perspective on the planet's atmosphere and evolution. Launched in August 2004, the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging spacecraft, known as MESSENGER, conducted a third and final flyby of Mercury in September 2009. The probe completed a critical maneuver using the planet's gravity to remain on course to enter into orbit around Mercury next year. Data from the final flyby has revealed the...

2010-04-13 08:08:14

An international group of solar and space scientists have built the most complete picture yet of the full impact of a large solar eruption, using instruments on the ground and in space to trace its journey from the Sun to the Earth. Dr Mario Bisi of Aberystwyth University will present the team's results, which include detailed images and a movie, on Tuesday April 13th at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Glasgow. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are giant eruptions of the Sun's atmosphere...

2010-04-12 06:40:00

Using the Cluster spacecraft, scientists from University College London (UCL) have made the first direct observations of charged particles that lead to some of the brightest aurora. Dr Colin Forsyth will present the results at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting (NAM2010) in Glasgow on Monday April 12th. The aurora, or northern and southern lights, are caused by highly energetic charged particles, normally held in space by Earth's magnetic field, colliding with Earth's upper atmosphere. As...

2010-03-18 12:25:00

Scientists are learning to predict giant solar storms that could, at any time, hit the Earth and produce cascading catastrophes From Sept. 1 to 2, 1859, the sun blasted out a massive, record-breaking coronal mass ejection (CME)--a huge eruption of highly charged gases and plasma that may have weighed as much as a billion tons. Racing through the solar system at several million miles per hour, the CME eventually collided with the Earth's magnetosphere--an invisible, atmospheric cocoon...

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...

2009-11-24 14:55:00

In the first video showing the auroras above the northern latitudes of Saturn, Cassini has spotted the tallest known "northern lights" in the solar system, flickering in shape and brightness high above the ringed planet. The new video reveals changes in Saturn's aurora every few minutes, in high resolution, with three dimensions. The images show a previously unseen vertical profile to the auroras, which ripple in the video like tall curtains. These curtains reach more than 1,200 kilometers...

2009-11-02 12:47:07

Solar wind generated by the sun is probably driven by a process involving powerful magnetic fields, according to a new study led by UCL (University College London) researchers based on the latest observations from the Hinode satellite. Scientists have long speculated on the source of solar winds. The Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS), on board the Japanese-UK-US Hinode satellite, is now generating unprecedented observations enabling scientists to provide a new perspective on the...

Latest Magnetosphere Reference Libraries

Planetary and Space Science
2012-05-28 10:21:45

Planetary and Space Science is a peer-reviewed scientific journal established in 1959 and published by Elsevier 15 times per year. As of May 2012, the editor-in-chief is Rita Schulz (The Netherlands). The journal publishes original research articles and short communications. The main focus is on solar system processes which encompass multiple areas of the natural sciences. Research that involves planetary and space sciences involves many disciplines. Celestial mechanics is part of these...

2013-03-16 00:00:00

Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén (May 30, 1908 - April 2, 1995) was a Swedish plasma physicist born in Norrköping, Sweden. Alfvén received his PhD from the University of Uppsala in 1934. His thesis was titled "Investigations of the Ultra-short Electromagnetic Waves." He was originally trained as an electrical power engineer and later moved on to research and teaching in the fields of plasma physics. Alfvén made many contributions to plasma physics, including theories describing the...

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

Heliopause -- The heliopause is the boundary where our Sun's solar wind is stopped by the interstellar medium. The solar wind blows a "bubble" in the interstellar medium (the rareified hydrogen and helium gas that permeates the galaxy). The point where the solar wind's strength is no longer great enough to push back the interstellar medium is known as the heliopause, and is often considered to be the outer "border" of the solar system. The distance to the heliopause is not precisely...

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...

More Articles (7 articles) »
Word of the Day
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.