Latest Plasma physics Stories

summer flare
2014-07-09 04:00:48

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 12:20 p.m. EDT on July 8, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. 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 communications signals travel. To see...

Voyager 1 Entering Interstellar Space
2014-07-08 03:45:14

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online A new “tsunami wave” generated by the sun has helped NASA scientists confirm that Voyager 1 is currently traveling through interstellar space, or the area between the stars that is filled with charged particles known as plasma, the US space agency reported on Monday. Waves like these are what initially led astronomers to conclude that the spacecraft had escaped the magnetic bubble surrounding the sun and planets known as the...

IRIS Solar Observatory After 1 Year In Space
2014-06-27 03:09:48

[ Watch The Video: A First For IRIS: Observing A Gigantic Solar Eruption ] Karen C. Fox, NASA On June 27, 2013, NASA's newest solar observatory was launched into orbit around Earth. The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, observes the low level of the sun's atmosphere -- a constantly moving area called the interface region -- in better detail than has ever been done before. During its first year in space, IRIS provided detailed images of this area, finding even more...

captured asteroid
2014-06-27 04:02:00

Gerard LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online [ Watch the Video: Plasma Simulation Of The Solar Wind And A Near-Earth Asteroid ] Space appears to be an endless vacuum void of sound, but it’s not. Electric activity not visible to the naked eye emerges from asteroids drifting through space, and NASA is now in the process of sending astronauts to an asteroid to explore its electrical environment. Solar winds from the sun travel through space about a million miles per hour and...

Sun Has Bad Weather Just Like On Earth
2014-06-26 03:31:08

Royal Astronomical Society Just like on Earth, the Sun has spells of bad weather, with high winds and showers of rain. But unlike the all-too-frequent storms of the UK and Ireland, rain on the Sun is made of electrically charged gas (plasma) and falls at around 200,000 kilometers an hour from the outer solar atmosphere, the corona, to the Sun's surface. And the thousands of droplets that make up a 'coronal rain' shower are themselves each as big as Ireland. Now a team of solar...

stereo images corona
2014-06-26 04:56:26

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online [ Watch the Video: STEREO View Of Solar Atmosphere ] Astronomers using NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) have discovered that the atmosphere of solar particles surrounding the sun is larger than previously believed, extending out some five million miles above the surface, the US space agency announced on Wednesday. The solar atmosphere, which is also known as the corona, consists of particles “through...

Perseus Cluster
2014-06-25 04:35:24

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Using the ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have located a mysterious X-ray signal that could be produced by sterile neutrinos – particles that are a potential candidate for the abundant and essentially invisible substance known as dark matter. [ What Is Dark Matter?: Podcast Interview With Dr. Matthew Walker ] Thanks to the two high-powered observatories, Dr. Esra Bulbul of the...

coronal puff
2014-06-23 11:26:58

Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) A suite of Sun-gazing spacecraft, SOHO, STEREO and Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), have spotted an unusual series of eruptions in which a series of fast 'puffs' force the slow ejection of a massive burst of plasma from the Sun's corona. The eruptions took place over a period of three days, starting on 17 January 2013. Images and animations of the phenomena were presented at the National Astronomy Meeting 2014 in Portsmouth by Nathalia Alzate on Monday 23...

Earth's Magnetosphere Doesn't Stop All Solar Wind From Breaking Through
2014-06-11 14:41:29

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online 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. According to a new report in the journal Physical Review Letters, when the solar wind meets the environment around the Earth – an electromagnetic phenomenon called an asymmetric magnetic...

3 x-class flares
2014-06-11 08:40:19

UPDATE - June 11, 2014 On June 11, 2014, the sun erupted with its third X-class flare in two days. The flare was classified as an X1.0 and it peaked at 5:06 a.m. EDT.  Images of the flare were captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. All three flares originated from an active region on the sun that recently rotated into view over the left limb of the sun. ----- UPDATE - June 10: The sun released a second X-class flare, peaking at 8:52 a.m. EDT on June 10, 2014.  This is...

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 terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'