Latest Magnetosphere Stories
Magnetic reconnection can trigger geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and blackout power grids. But how reconnection ransforms magnetic energy into explosive particle energy remains a major unsolved problem in plasma astrophysics.
Underscoring the vast differences between Earth and its neighbor Venus, new research shows a glimpse of giant holes in the electrically charged layer of the Venusian atmosphere, called the ionosphere.
The first set of high-resolution results from ESA’s three-satellite Swarm constellation reveals the most recent changes in the magnetic field that protects our planet.
Using data from four European Space Agency satellites that fly in formation in the Earth's magnetic field, researchers have uncovered new information on how the solar wind can break through the Earth’s magnetosphere and disrupt modern life.
Saturn's auroras are caused by the same phenomenon which leads to dramatic auroral displays on Earth, University of Leicester research shows.
In March 2015, NASA will launch four identical spacecraft to study how magnetic fields around Earth connect and disconnect, explosively releasing energy – a process known as magnetic reconnection.
When NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission arrives at its destination later this year, an instrument on board could help to determine why Mars has slowly lost much of its atmosphere and become the barren planet we see today.
For many years, scientists have been striving to understand the constantly changing structure and behaviour of the huge magnetic bubble that surrounds our planet. One approach – pioneered by Russian scientist Nikolai Tsyganenko - has been to develop models based on data sent back by spacecraft, such as ESA's Cluster quartet.
Although they were launched only five months ago, ESA’s trio of Swarm satellites are already delivering results with a precision that took earlier missions 10 years to achieve.
The magnetosphere, Earth's magnetic field, stretches from the core of the planet out into space. Here, the magnetosphere meets the solar wind, a stream of charged particles emitted by the sun. The magnetosphere, for the main part, acts to shield the Earth from this high-energy solar activity.
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...
- An uxorious, effeminate, or spiritless man.
- A timorous, cowardly fellow.