Latest Magnetosphere Stories
After a journey of more than 2.2 billion miles and three and a half years, NASAâ€™s MESSENGER spacecraft made its first flyby of Mercury on January 14, 2008. All seven scientific instruments worked flawlessly, producing a stream of surprises.
ESAâ€™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.
New research has shown that Earth's magnetosphere actually protects some parts of the Moon from solar storms. The findings could help protect astronauts on future Moon missions.
ESAâ€™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.
With Cluster data, scientists now have evidence that solar outbursts can generate conditions that slingshot matter in Earthâ€™s magnetic environment to speeds higher than 1000 km/s.
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 Earthâ€™s atmosphere and turned to dust during its descent.
Pack your bags because Goddard's "suitcase science" is taking off. Coming on the heels of two Lunar Sortie Science Opportunities (LSSO) awards for Goddard are two more, this time in the field of astrophysics.
NASA's STEREO satellite captured the first images ever of a collision between a solar "hurricane", called a coronal mass ejection (CME), and a comet. The collision caused the complete detachment of the cometâ€™s plasma tail.
Cluster data has helped provide scientists with a new view of magnetospheric processes, challenging existing theories about magnetic substorms that cause aurorae and perturbations in GPS signals.
A rare, timely conjunction of ground-based instrumentation and a dozen satellites has helped scientists better understand how electrons in space can turn into â€˜killersâ€™. ESAâ€™s Cluster constellation has contributed crucially to the finding.
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...
Hannes Olof GÃ¶sta AlfvÃ©n (May 30, 1908 - April 2, 1995) was a Swedish plasma physicist born in NorrkÃ¶ping, Sweden. AlfvÃ©n 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. AlfvÃ©n made many contributions to plasma physics, including theories describing the...
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...
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...
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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