Latest Magnetosphere Stories

2007-10-04 09:40:00

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. As before, the awards are funded by NASA Headquarters for studies that could result in simple, automated "suitcase science" instrument packages deployed on the lunar surface by astronauts. The first proposal, "Precision Lunar Laser Ranging", is being led by Goddard astrophysicist Dr....

2007-10-01 12:20:00

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 comet's plasma tail. Comets are icy leftovers from the solar system's formation billions of years ago. They usually hang out in the cold, distant regions of the solar system, but occasionally a gravitational tug from a planet, another comet, or even a nearby star sends them into the inner...

2007-09-11 14:10:31

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. The onset of magnetic substorms that originate in Earth's magnetosphere has been explained by two competing models: current disruption and near-earth reconnection. Current beliefs have been challenged using data from ESA's Cluster satellites, and CNSA's Double Star, a mission with ESA participation....

2007-07-26 08:55:00

A rare, timely conjunction of ground-based instrumentation and a dozen satellites has helped scientists better understand how electrons in space can turn into "Ëœkillers'. ESA's Cluster constellation has contributed crucially to the finding. "ËœKiller' electrons are highly energetic, negatively charged particles found in near-Earth space. They can critically, and even permanently, damage satellites in orbit, including telecommunication satellites, and pose a hazard to...

2007-07-01 11:35:00

Scientists have obtained the first-ever 3D picture of interconnected magnetic "Ëœdances' in near-Earth space, known as magnetic reconnection events. The data from ESA's Cluster satellites will help to understand better magnetic reconnection, a process related to star formation, solar explosions and the entry of solar wind energy into the near-Earth environment. Magnetic reconnection is the process whereby magnetic field lines from different magnetic domains collide and reconnect,...

2007-06-14 08:14:20

Saturn's moons Tethys and Dione are flinging great streams of particles into space, according to data from the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini mission to Saturn. The discovery suggests the possibility of some sort of geological activity, perhaps even volcanic, on these icy worlds. The particles were traced to the two moons because of the dramatic movement of electrically charged gas in the magnetic environs of Saturn. Known as plasma, the gas is composed of negatively charged electrons and positively...

2007-05-14 09:20:00

ESA's Cluster was in the right place and time to make a shocking discovery. The four spacecraft encountered a shock wave that kept breaking and reforming "“ predicted only in theory. On 24 January 2001, Cluster's spacecraft observed shock reformation in the Earth's magnetosphere, predicted only in theory, over 20 years ago. Cluster provided the first opportunity ever to observe such an event, the details of which have been published in a paper on 9 March this year. The shock wave that...

2007-04-25 00:45:00

Violent solar events, like flares and coronal mass ejections, are the hurricanes of space weather, capable of causing havoc with satellites, power grids, and radio communication, including the Global Positioning System. The sun is heading into a new season of turbulent solar activity. Just like its seasonal hurricane predictions, on April 25, 2007, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will issue an update on efforts to predict the sun's next solar cycle. The solar cycle...

2007-04-18 15:31:34

In the last year space agencies in the United States, Europe, China, Japan and India have announced their intention to resume human exploration of the Solar system, beginning with the Moon and perhaps ultimately moving on to Mars. But travel beyond the immediate vicinity of the Earth carries significant risks for astronauts, not the least of which is the exposure to sometimes high levels of radiation. Now a team of scientists at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory are set to construct an...

2007-04-12 16:48:40

Cluster is providing new insights into the working of a "Ëœspace tsunami' that plays a role in disrupting the calm and beautiful aurora, or northern lights, creating patterns of auroral dances in the sky. Generally seen in high-latitude regions such as Scandinavia or Canada, aurorae are colourful curtains of light that appear in the sky. Caused by the interaction of high-energy particles brought by the solar wind with Earth's magnetic field, they appear in many different...

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 stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.