PPPL Scientists Take Key Step Toward Solving A Major

PPPL Scientists Take Key Step Toward Solving A Major Astrophysical Mystery

John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Magnetic reconnection can trigger geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and blackout power grids. But how reconnection, in which the magnetic field lines in...

Latest Plasma physics Stories

2014-09-10 23:03:20

Dr. Petrus Martens, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State University, has received a three-year, $1.2 million NASA Grand Challenge grant to develop a system to predict solar cycles and determine the long-term frequency of events such as solar flares, potentially more than a decade in advance. (PRWEB) September 10, 2014 Dr. Petrus Martens, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State University, has received a three-year, $1.2...

listening to the sun
2014-09-04 12:25:52

Kasha Patel, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Robert Alexander spends parts of his day listening to a soft white noise, similar to water falling on the outside of a house during a rainstorm. Every once in a while, he hears an anomalous sound and marks the corresponding time in the audio file. Alexander is listening to the sun’s magnetic field and marking potential areas of interest. After only ten minutes, he has listened to one month’s worth of data. Alexander is a PhD...

migration tracks on the sun
2014-09-04 11:34:53

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Approximately every 11 years, the sun undergoes a complete personality change from quiet and calm to violently active. The height of the sun’s activity, known as solar maximum, is a time of numerous sunspots, punctuated with profound eruptions that send radiation and solar particles out into the far reaches of space. However, the timing of the solar cycle is far from precise. Since humans began regularly recording sunspots in the 17th...

January 2005 solar storm
2014-08-29 03:30:12

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center A space weather storm from the sun engulfed our planet on Jan. 21, 2005. The event got its start on Jan. 20, when a cloud of solar material, a coronal mass ejection or CME, burst off the sun and headed toward Earth. When it arrived at our planet, the ring current and radiation belts surrounding Earth swelled with extra particles, while the aurora persisted for six hours. Both of these are usually signs of a very large storm – indeed, this...

local bubble
2014-08-27 08:50:47

Dr. Tony Phillips, Science@NASA Once every 50 years, more or less, a massive star explodes somewhere in the Milky Way. The resulting blast is terrifyingly powerful, pumping out more energy in a split second than the sun emits in a million years. At its peak, a supernova can outshine the entire Milky Way. It seems obvious that you wouldn't want a supernova exploding near Earth. Yet there is growing evidence that one did — actually, more than one. About 10 million years ago, a nearby...

solar flare
2014-08-25 10:43:47

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center On Aug. 24, 2014, the sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 8:16 a.m. EDT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the flare, which erupted on the left side of the sun. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and...

aurora dances in the atmosphere
2014-08-21 10:07:12

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center On the evening of Aug. 20, 2014, the International Space Station was flying past North America when it flew over the dazzling, green blue lights of an aurora. On board, astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image of the aurora, seen from above. This auroral display was due to a giant cloud of gas from the sun – a coronal mass ejection or CME – that collided with Earth's magnetic fields on Aug. 19, 2014, at 1:57 a.m. EDT. This event set...

extreme ultraviolet light activity on the sun
2014-08-21 04:17:23

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online As children, we are told never to look directly at the Sun, especially through the lens of a camera, telescope or magnifying glass. Even if a person used the special filters that would allow them to gaze at the Sun, they would not be able to see all of the wavelengths of light emanating from the Sun. To fully understand our star, scientists must use spacecraft that can observe this invisible light before it is absorbed by the...

2014-08-20 23:05:58

With over 40 years as a leader in the industrial lighting industry, Larson Electronics continues its commitment to providing high-grade lighting equipment to specialty markets with the release of a dimmable four foot vapor proof LED light fixture ideal for outdoor applications. Kemp, TX (PRWEB) August 20, 2014 The GVP-48-2L-LED-D from Larson Electronics is similar to our popular explosion proof LED fixtures that provide an LED alternative to fluorescent fixtures. These LED fixtures...

2014-08-18 20:20:16

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers have uncovered rhythmic pulsations from a rare type of black hole 12 million light-years away by sifting through archival data from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO The signals have helped astronomers identify an unusual midsize black hole called M82 X-1, which is the brightest X-ray source in a galaxy known as Messier 82. Most black holes...

Latest Plasma physics Reference Libraries

Stellar Astrophysics
2014-01-12 00:00:00

The prominent feature that allows for the existence of life on Earth is the Sun. Radiation from our closest star provides heat and energy to our planet, driving biological processes and providing the necessary conditions for liquid water to naturally exist. But our Sun is only but one star in this vast Universe. And as it turns out, most stars are quite different than the one that illuminates our day. For this reason, scientists have, for hundreds of years, attempted to study the other...

How Solar Cycles Impact Our Weather Here On Earth
2013-01-13 09:10:34

Solar cycles: what are they and why should we care about them? Solar cycles are made up of what are known as solar minimums (min) and solar maximums (max). We refer to a solar min at the time when the sun is not active with many sunspots, while a solar max is just the opposite when we see a large increase in sunspot activity. So how long do solar cycles last? Typically they run on what is known as an 11 year cycle from the max to the min and then start over again anew. As of 2012 we...

Solar Physics
2012-05-02 19:16:53

Solar Physics is a journal for solar and solar-stellar research and the study of solar terrestrial physics. Founded in 1967 by solar physicist Cornelis de Jager and publisher D. Reidel, the journal treats all aspects of solar physics, ranging from the internal structure of the Sun and its evolution, to outer corona and solar wind in interplanetary space. Solar Physics has four more than forty years been the principal journal for publications of fundamental research on the Sun. It is...

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...

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Word of the Day
  • In the phrase to out-herod Herod, to be more violent than Herod (as represented in the old mystery plays); hence, to exceed in any excess of evil.
Herod refers to 'Herod the Great,' a Roman client king and 'a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis.' According to the OED, the term is 'chiefly with allusion to Shakespeare's use' in Hamlet.