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Latest Solar wind Stories

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2009-04-29 08:55:00

Scientists have found that extreme solar activity drastically compresses the magnetosphere and modifies the composition of ions in near-Earth space. They are now looking to model how these changes affect orbiting satellites, including the GPS system. The results were obtained from coordinated in-situ measurements performed by ESA's four Cluster satellites along with the two Chinese/ESA Double Star satellites. Under normal solar conditions, GPS satellites orbit within the...

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2009-04-09 15:45:00

Keeping an unsleeping eye on the phenomena that cause the aurora An international scientific consortium has successfully developed a series of autonomous observatories in Antarctica that for the first time provide critical year-round "space weather" data from the Earth's harshest environment. Recently, data from these observatories were used in conjunction with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's array of THEMIS satellites to reveal new information about magnetospheric...

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2009-03-21 09:20:00

Scientists at Queen's University have made a finding that will help us to understand more about the turbulent solar weather and its affect on our planet. Along with scientists at the University of Sheffield and California State University, the researchers have detected giant twisting waves in the lower atmosphere of the Sun. The discovery sheds some light on why the Sun's corona, the region around the Sun, has a much higher temperature than its surface - something that has always puzzled...

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2009-01-15 07:55:00

For the first time, it has been possible to quantify the amount of hydrogen naturally escaping each year from the Earth's atmosphere. This hydrogen outflow has been shown to be of the order of thousands of tons. The result was obtained by applying a new analytical method to a unique set of electric field data collected by the European Space Agency's Cluster mission. The escaping hydrogen has previously been invisible to classical particle detectors on satellites due to its very low energy....

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2008-12-18 06:20:00

Venus Express has made the first detection of an atmospheric loss process on Venus's day-side. Last year, the spacecraft revealed that most of the lost atmosphere escapes from the night-side. Together, these discoveries bring planetary scientists closer to understanding what happened to the water on Venus, which is suspected to have once been as abundant as on Earth. The spacecraft's magnetometer instrument (MAG) detected the unmistakable signature of hydrogen gas being stripped from the...

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2008-12-17 10:10:00

Researchers announced on Thursday that current satellite surveillance has exposed the biggest breach ever seen in the magnetic field that shields the Earth from the majority of the sun's aggressive rays. The unearthing was found last summer by Themis, a group of five NASA satellites. Scientists have known for a long time that the Earth's magnetic field, which protects us from harsh space weather, is comparable to an older home lets in brutal eruptions of charged particles from the sun. This...

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2008-12-16 15:40:00

NASA's five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a breach in Earth's magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist. Solar wind can flow in through the opening to "load up" the magnetosphere for powerful geomagnetic storms. But the breach itself is not the biggest surprise. Researchers are even more amazed at the strange and unexpected way it forms, overturning long-held ideas of space physics. "At first I didn't believe it," says THEMIS project scientist David Sibeck...

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2008-12-13 16:20:00

A detailed analysis of the measurements of five different satellites has revealed the existence of the warm plasma cloak, a new region of the magnetosphere, which is the invisible shield of magnetic fields and electronically charged particles that surround and protect Earth from the onslaught of the solar wind. The study was conducted by a team of scientists headed by Charles "Rick" Chappell, research professor of physics and director of the Dyer Observatory at Vanderbilt University and...

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2008-12-12 13:21:44

Members of the MESSENGER science team will present a range of new findings from the spacecraft's studies of the planet Mercury during the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting next week in San Francisco. "The principal goal of the MESSENGER mission is to gather global observations of Mercury from orbit about the planet, beginning in 2011, but our first two flybys produced a wonderful abundance of new information about the least known of our sister planets," says MESSENGER Principal...

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2008-11-21 09:00:00

Scientists using ESA's Mars Express have produced the first crude map of aurorae on Mars. These displays of ultraviolet light appear to be located close to the residual magnetic fields generated by Mars's crustal rocks. They highlight a number of mysteries about the way Mars interacts with electrically charged particles originating from the Sun. The aurorae on Mars were discovered in 2004 using the SPICAM ultraviolet and infrared atmospheric spectrometer on board Mars Express. They are a...


Latest Solar wind Reference Libraries

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...

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_9f9676753bcc717a861f93bfceb7d2f82
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Corona -- The corona is the luminous "atmosphere" of the Sun extending millions of kilometers into space, most easily seen during a total solar eclipse. An interesting feature of the corona is the fact that it is much hotter than the visible "surface" of the Sun; the photosphere is approximately 6000°C compared to the corona at over one million °C. The corona is much less dense than the photosphere, however, and so produces less light. The exact mechanism by which the corona is...

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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