Latest Solar wind Stories
A University of Iowa researcher wants you to visualize a plate of spaghetti when you think of the northern lights. That’s because Jack Scudder, UI professor of physics and astronomy, and his colleagues have reached a milestone in describing how the northern lights work by way of a process called “magnetic reconnection.”
A powerful combination of spacecraft and computer simulations is revealing that the moon does indeed have a far-reaching, invisible influence – not on us, but on the Sun, or more specifically, the solar wind.
MESSENGER scientists have concluded that waves driven by the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability play a key role in driving Mercury's magnetosphere.
ESA has awarded the contract to build its next-generation Sun explorer to Astrium UK. Solar Orbiter will investigate how the Sun creates and controls the heliosphere, the extended atmosphere of the Sun.
Scientists have seen auroras dancing around above the giant ice planet Uranus by using the Hubble Space Telescope.
One day in the fall of 2011, Neil Sheeley, a solar scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., did what he always does – look through the daily images of the sun from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
Venus is a rarity among planets - a world that does not internally generate a magnetic field. Despite the absence of a large protective magnetosphere, the near-Venus environment does exhibit a number of similarities with planets such as Earth.
Since the NASA / ESA Cassini-Huygens spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004, astronomers and space scientists have been able to study the ringed planet and its moons in great detail.
Two recent Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) -- massive bursts of solar wind produced by the Sun -- appear to have caused little or no damage to electrical systems, according to scientists.
A chance alignment of planets during a passing gust of the solar wind has allowed scientists to compare the protective effects of Earth’s magnetic field with that of Mars’ naked atmosphere.
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 -- 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...
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...
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...
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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