Latest Magnetosphere Stories

2008-11-12 14:40:00

Saturn has its own unique brand of aurora that lights up the polar cap, unlike any other planetary aurora known in our solar system. This odd aurora revealed itself to one of the infrared instruments on NASA's Cassini spacecraft. "We've never seen an aurora like this elsewhere," said Tom Stallard, a scientist working with Cassini data at the University of Leicester, England. Stallard is lead author of a paper that appears in the Nov. 13 issue of the journal Nature. "It's not just a ring of...

2008-11-04 12:30:00

The development of a magnetic shield could have great implications for the future of space travel. Space weather is the single greatest obstacle to deep space travel, according to international space agencies. Radiation from the sun and cosmic rays pose a deadly threat to astronauts in space. Scientists announced on Tuesday that a spaceship equipped with a magnetic field generator could reduce the threat to acceptable levels. The magnetic field generator mimics the protective field that...

2008-10-31 05:45:00

During the time it takes you to read this article, something will happen high overhead that until recently many scientists didn't believe in. A magnetic portal will open, linking Earth to the sun 93 million miles away. Tons of high-energy particles may flow through the opening before it closes again, around the time you reach the end of the page. "It's called a flux transfer event or 'FTE,'" says space physicist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Ten years ago I was pretty sure...

2008-07-26 09:00:17

U.S. scientists working with NASA said they've uncovered the source of substorms in space that fuel the explosive energy behind the northern lights. Vassilis Angelopoulos, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and lead investigator of the NASA-funded mission known as THEMIS -- Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions, said the energy comes from magnetic fields. Our data show clearly and for the first time that magnetic reconnection is the trigger, Angelopoulos...

2008-07-24 15:00:19

MINNEAPOLIS, July 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems reported today that the constellation of five micro satellites it built for NASA's THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) mission has successfully demonstrated how satellites can work together to collect data, which in this case, advances the scientific understanding of the Earth's atmosphere. The THEMIS mission determined the cause of the shimmering effect of the Aurora Borealis,...

2008-05-29 12:50:00

GREENBELT, Md. -- NASA scientists have uncovered new details about how plasma from superstorms interact with Earth's magnetosphere. "The surprising result of this model is that the magnetosphere's main phase pressure is dominated by energetic protons from the plasmasphere, rather than from the solar wind," says Mei-Ching Fok, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Fok and her team will present their findings on May 29 at the American Geophysical Union...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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.