Latest Plasma physics Stories

Flare, Ejection And Rain All Caught In Spectacular Solar Show
2013-02-20 15:40:05

[Watch Video: Fiery Looping Rain On The Sun] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online An eruption on the sun can be a beautiful, monstrous event, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has helped to bring these dangerous, yet breathtaking events right to our computer screens. On July 19, 2012, the sun erupted in a solar flare, ejecting material called a coronal mass ejection (CME), creating a loop in the sun's atmosphere known as the corona. This moderately...

Fast-Growing Sunspot Observed By NASA's SDO
2013-02-20 14:28:12

NASA As magnetic fields on the sun rearrange and realign, dark spots known as sunspots can appear on its surface. Over the course of Feb. 19-20, 2013, scientists watched a giant sunspot form in under 48 hours. It has grown to over six Earth diameters across but its full extent is hard to judge since the spot lies on a sphere not a flat disk. The spot quickly evolved into what's called a delta region, in which the lighter areas around the sunspot, the penumbra, exhibit magnetic fields...

Cassini Catches Solar Wind, Helps NASA Study Particle Acceleration
2013-02-20 14:23:12

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online As it floats around the planet Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft recently got a front row seat to what NASA astronomers are calling an “unusual strong blast of solar wind.” Shortly after this “wind” blew by, Cassini began detecting particles which had been accelerated to ultra-high energies. Particles which are accelerated this much are usually found surrounding far away supernovas. This is good news for...

Alpha Centauri B May Shed Light On Our Own Sun’s Anomalies
2013-02-20 12:52:10

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online As it turns out, studying our Sun can be rather difficult. It´s not the distance so much that keeps scientists guessing — although that certainly doesn´t help. The Sun´s intense heat also keeps scientists at bay, leaving them to make some of their observations and predictions based purely on context and far away measurements. One thing astronomers have been able to observe is a significant difference in...

Understanding The Magnetosphere Better Than Ever With Help From THEMIS
2013-02-20 10:47:18

NASA On Earth, scientists can observe weather patterns, and more importantly can predict them, through the use of tens of thousands of weather observatories scattered around the globe. Up in the space surrounding Earth -- a space that seethes with its own space weather made of speeding charged particles and constantly changing magnetic fields that can impact satellites — there are only a handful of spacecraft to watch for solar and magnetic storms. The number of observatories has...

Highlights For NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory Third Year
2013-02-11 14:54:31

NASA [ Watch The Video ] On Feb. 11, 2010, NASA launched an unprecedented solar observatory into space. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) flew up on an Atlas V rocket, carrying instruments that scientists hoped would revolutionize observations of the sun. If all went according to plan, SDO would provide incredibly high-resolution data of the entire solar disk almost as quickly as once a second. When the science team released its first images in April of 2010, SDO's data...

Earth-Directed CME Released Associated With A Long Duration Solar Flare
2013-02-11 08:01:42

NASA On Feb. 9, 2013 at 2:30 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME, associated with a long duration C2.4-class flare. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and ESA/NASA´s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, show that the CME left the sun at speeds of around 500 miles per second, which is a fairly typical speed for CMEs. Historically, CMEs at this speed are usually...

NASA Constructs Lobster Eye Imager
2013-02-08 10:59:10

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online To study charge exchange, a poorly understood phenomenon that occurs when the solar wind collides with Earth's exosphere and neutral gas in interplanetary space, three NASA scientists teamed up to develop and demonstrate NASA's first wide-field-of-view soft X-ray camera. It is rare to have researchers from such diverse disciplines as heliophysics, astrophysics and planetary science teaming up, but that's exactly what happened at...

Experts Say Solar Superstorm May Be Imminent: Readiness Is Key
2013-02-08 09:29:17

[Watch Video: Solar Superstorm] Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A solar superstorm may be brewing and there is little we can do to prevent it from disrupting our communications and electrical systems here on Earth. But there is more we can do to prepare for such an event, according to a new report by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Authors of the study said the UK should plan to mitigate the effects of a potentially dangerous solar storm now before...

Two Coronal Mass Ejections Produced By The Sun On Feb 5
2013-02-08 08:40:32

NASA [ Watch The Video ] In the evening of Feb. 5, 2013, the sun erupted with two coronal mass ejections or CMEs that may glance near-Earth space. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and ESA/NASA´s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, show that the first CME began at 7 p.m. EST and left the sun at speeds of around 750 miles per second. The second CME began at 10:36 p.m. EST and left the sun at speeds of...

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
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'