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Latest Magnetosphere Stories

6c9b6ed324e57a9e12b90c3b5f7c88571
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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2008-03-07 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...

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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...

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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...

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...

792c8276bbc7defc912c63f4f68ca5371
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...

0fe465e2f27cdf64e9bfc0a5e1524ef11
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...

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 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...

45_7760ecc1c46f19cc327f8ce6904b6250
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...

6_02132514ceb20be8f009384c891c09472
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...

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...

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Word of the Day
ween
  • To think; to imagine; to fancy.
  • To be of opinion; have the notion; think; imagine; suppose.
The word 'ween' comes from Middle English wene, from Old English wēn, wēna ("hope, weening, expectation"), from Proto-Germanic *wēniz, *wēnōn (“hope, expectation”), from Proto-Indo-European *wen- (“to strive, love, want, reach, win”).
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