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Latest Plasma physics Stories

Scientists Study Magnetic Reconnection Effects On Space Weather
2013-07-16 16:03:08

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using observations from two different NASA spacecraft, scientists have shed new light on the process behind solar flares and eruptions: magnetic reconnection. Magnetic reconnection occurs when magnetic lines collide and break apart - snapping into new positions and releasing energy in the process. On the sun, magnetic reconnections can result in radiation and solar material being flung across the solar system. These reconnections also...

2013-07-11 16:18:48

On July 9, 2013, at 11:09 a.m. EDT, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME, a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of particles into space that can reach Earth one to three days later. These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth, but they can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations...

Solar Tsunami Measures Sun Magnetic Field
2013-07-11 12:19:51

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A solar tsunami has provided scientists with the first accurate estimates of the Sun's magnetic field. Researchers wrote in the journal Solar Physics that solar tsunamis are produced by enormous explosions in the Sun's atmosphere known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs). As these events move through space, the tsunami travels across the Sun at speeds of up to 621 miles per second. Solar tsunamis have a higher speed in regions where the...

Dusty Plasmas Illuminated By Space Station For A Wide Range Of Research
2013-07-11 11:57:27

NASA One of the most frequently-used physics laboratories on the International Space Station recently completed its final set of experiments. The Plasma Kristall Experiment (PK-3 Plus) lab, a Russian-German cooperation in operation since January 2006, has provided new insight into an unusual type of matter called plasma crystals. Though the experiment runs came to a close on June 14, the research continues to open an exciting world of potential technological spin-offs in medicine,...

IBEX First Images Heliosphere Tail
2013-07-10 13:08:59

[ Watch the Video: IBEX Provides First View of the Solar System’s Tail ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft has unveiled an unexpected structure in the first complete pictures of the solar system's heliotail. Scientists believe a "tail" trails the heliosphere, which is the giant bubble in which our solar system resides. As the heliosphere moves through interstellar space, it creates a tail similar to that of a...

NASA Assigns Two Spacecraft To New Moon Study Mission
2013-07-10 08:59:08

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online After successful completion of their science objectives earlier this year, two NASA spacecraft have been assigned a new mission to study how solar wind electrifies, alters and erodes the moon's surface. The data collected could reveal valuable information for future explorers and give planetary scientists a hint of what's happening on other worlds around the Solar System. The new mission's name is ARTEMIS, or Acceleration,...

Antimatter Particles From Solar Flares
2013-07-10 08:32:20

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online When the Universe was born, equal amounts of matter and anti-matter - matter with the same physical behavior as its matter counterparts, but with opposite charge - should have been created. However, the cosmos now appears to be dominated by normal matter. Usually, direct study of anti-matter requires costly particle-accelerator experiments, or in some cases space-based observatories. Now however, Gregory D. Fleishman from the...

Magnetic Waves Responsible For Keeping Sun's Corona Heated
2013-07-09 15:10:08

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers at the 44th meeting of the Solar Physics Division (SPD) of the American Astronomical Society are shedding light on the Sun's coronal heating mystery. The team found evidence magnetic waves in a polar coronal hole contain enough energy to heat the corona and deposit most of their energy at sufficiently low heights for the heat to spread throughout the corona. Their observations help answer a 60-year-old solar physics mystery...

Space Weather Prediction Systems Need To Be More Reliable
2013-07-06 04:29:18

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online The residents of Earth have a vested interest in being able to accurately predict solar activity, particularly events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). These eruptions spew energetic charged particles into the solar system at fantastic rates, which have the potential to damage orbiting satellites and even ground based power grids. Our first line of defense against solar activity is knowing when to...


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...

45_7760ecc1c46f19cc327f8ce6904b6250
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
lunula
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.
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