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Latest Magnetosphere Stories

653fb157940cd764d47ea9e150888e42
2011-07-05 08:45:00

High speed plasma flows, often referred to as jets, are extremely common across the Universe. Such jets are observed in Earth's magnetosphere, in solar flares, and near various objects powered by black holes. New insights into the processes that modify these streams of ionized particles have been provided by rare in situ measurements of plasma flows made by ESA's Cluster spacecraft. Most visible matter in the Universe exists as plasma, an extremely hot gas in which atoms have been stripped of...

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2011-06-15 12:50:00

Scientists at George Mason University discovered that a phenomenon called a giant magnetic rope is the source for solar storms. The researchers made the discovery by using images from the NASA Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) spacecraft. Scientists had previously been unable to prove that the magnetic rope was the cause of solar storms. However, using images taken by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) telescope aboard the SDO, the team was able to pinpoint an area of the sun where a...

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2011-06-14 11:25:00

Since 1611, humans have recorded the comings and goings of black spots on the sun. The number of these sunspots waxes and wanes over approximately an 11-year cycle -- more sunspots generally mean more activity and eruptions on the sun and vice versa. The number of sunspots can change from cycle to cycle, and 2008 saw the longest and weakest solar minimum since scientists have been monitoring the sun with space-based instruments. Observations have shown, however, that magnetic effects on Earth...

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2011-05-02 09:39:03

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Whether it's a giant solar flare or a beautiful green-blue aurora, just about everything interesting in space weather happens due to a phenomenon called magnetic reconnection. Reconnection occurs when magnetic field lines cross and create a burst of energy. These bursts can be so big they're measured in megatons of TNT. Several spacecraft have already sent back tantalizing data when they happened to witness a magnetic reconnection event in...

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2011-04-18 09:40:00

Jupiter-like worlds around other stars push shock waves ahead of them, according to a team of UK astronomers. Just as the Earth's magnetic "bow-shock" protects us from the high-energy solar wind, these planetary shocks protect their atmospheres from their star's damaging emissions. Team member Dr Aline Vidotto of the University of St Andrews will present a new model based on observations made with the SuperWASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) project on Monday 18 April at the National...

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2011-03-17 09:07:07

Scientists use innovative Radio Aurora Explorer satellite to discover conditions that cause disruptions in space-based communication and navigation signals Space weather-based disturbances in the Earth's upper atmosphere cause disruptions that affect space-based communication and navigation signals, such as GPS and radio signals. Radio Aurora Explorer (RAX) is a space weather research satellite that is designed to investigate the causes of these weather disturbances. RAX is the first...

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2011-02-23 14:01:42

They nicknamed it the "Little Balloon That Could." Launched in December of 2010 from McMurdo Station in Antarctica, the research balloon was a test run and it bobbed lower every day like it had some kind of leak. But every day for five days it rose back up in the sky to some 112,000 feet in the air. Down on Earth, physicist Robyn Millan was cheering it on, hoping the test launch would bode well for the success of her grand idea: launches in 2013 and 2014 of 20 such balloons to float in the...

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2011-02-18 09:35:57

Close to the globe, Earth's magnetic field wraps around the planet like a gigantic spherical web, curving in to touch Earth at the poles. But this isn't true as you get further from the planet. As you move to the high altitudes where satellites fly, nothing about that field is so simple. Instead, the large region enclosed by Earth's magnetic field, known as the magnetosphere, looks like a long, sideways jellyfish with its round bulb facing the sun and a long tail extending away from the sun....

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2011-02-02 21:46:52

Auroras, more commonly known as the northern and southern lights, are one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring natural phenomena. New insights into the processes that generate Earth's auroras (and those of other planets) are now being provided by a flotilla of ESA satellites, known as the Cluster mission, as they sweep through the region of space where these colorful curtains of light are created. As they fly in formation above the planet's poles, the Cluster spacecraft are gathering the...

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2011-02-01 09:13:54

NASA's Time History of Events and Macroscale Interaction during Substorms (THEMIS) spacecraft combined with computer models have helped track the origin of the energetic particles in Earth's magnetic atmosphere that appear during a kind of space weather called a substorm. Understanding the source of such particles and how they are shuttled through Earth's atmosphere is crucial to better understanding the Sun's complex space weather system and thus protect satellites or even humans in space....


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...

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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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