Latest Magnetosphere Stories

2008-03-07 07:50:24

Swooping through space are solitary waves, which in theory do not change form or lose energy as they go along. These waves, which exist on Earth in different media, have been detected and explained for the first time in space thanks to Cluster data. In theory, these solitary waves, called solitons, propagate endlessly maintaining their shape and form as well as velocity, which means that they do not lose energy with time. The phenomenon was first noticed in a water canal in England in 1834...

2008-02-13 08:50:22

Scientists are now testing a new method that uses SOHO data to predict, in real-time, the approach and intensity of hazardous solar particles that would threaten astronauts and technology in space. The method was developed eight months ago by Dr Arik Posner, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), USA, with collaborators from the University of Kiel in Germany, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, USA and the University of Turku in Finland. It shows how latest results from basic solar physics...

2008-02-06 16:55:00

New discoveries about magnetic field lines and the first-ever direct observation of their reconnection in space are offering hope that scientists will learn how to unlock fusion power as an energy source in the future. "The reconnection processes in the [Earth's] magnetosphere and in fusion devices are the same animal," said James Drake, a University of Maryland physicist. Space contains magnetic fields that direct the flow of plasma, an energetic fourth state of matter consisting of positive...

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...

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...

2008-01-23 13:21:51

ESA's Cluster mission has, for the first time, observed the extent of the region that triggers magnetic reconnection, and it is much larger than previously thought. This gives future space missions a much better chance of studying it. Space is filled with plasma (a gas composed of ions and electrons, globally neutral) and is threaded by magnetic fields. These magnetic fields store energy which can be released explosively, in a process called magnetic reconnection. This process plays a key...

2007-12-19 06:55:00

It has been 35 years since humans last walked on the moon, but there has been much recent discussion about returning, either for exploration or to stage a mission to Mars. However, there are concerns about potential radiation danger for astronauts during long missions on the lunar surface. A significant part of that danger results from solar storms, which can shoot particles from the sun to Earth at nearly the speed of light and can heat oxygen in the Earth's ionosphere and send it in a...

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...

2007-11-21 10:00:00

With Cluster data, scientists now have evidence that solar outbursts can generate conditions that slingshot matter in Earth's magnetic environment to speeds higher than 1000 km/s. The outburst responsible in a recent study was a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), a massive cloud of charged particles coming from the Sun. The study compares observations from the four satellites of the ESA's Cluster mission with global simulations of the magnetosphere. While the Sun continuously loses a small...

2007-10-16 09:00:00

TC-1, one of the two satellites of the CNSA/ESA Double Star mission, was decommissioned on 14 October as its designed orbit lifetime came to an end. The satellite re-entered Earth's atmosphere and turned to dust during its descent. Along with its twin TC-2, TC-1 is the first satellite built and operated by the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) in cooperation with ESA. Along with its twin and the four Cluster satellites, TC-1 has helped accomplish much during its lifetime. The four...

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
  • To talk saucily.
  • Insolent, opprobrious language; impertinent abuse.
This word is Scots in origin and probably imitative.