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Latest THEMIS Stories

2008-12-16 13:20:00

GREENBELT, Md., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Earth's magnetic field, which shields our planet from particles streaming outward from the Sun, often develops two holes that allow the largest leaks, according to researchers sponsored by NASA and the National Science Foundation. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) "The discovery overturns a long-standing belief about how and when most of the solar particles penetrate Earth's magnetic field, and could be used to...

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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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2008-12-16 10:40:00

NASA landed on Mars, photographed distant worlds, added to the International Space Station, took part in a lunar science mission with India and made major progress toward returning astronauts to the moon as the agency celebrated its 50th birthday in 2008. Here on Earth, NASA researchers recorded the continued decline of Arctic sea ice, won awards for aviation breakthroughs, discovered the cause of storms that brighten the Northern Lights and helped create state-of-the-art swimsuits worn by...

2008-12-15 09:29:00

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA landed on Mars, photographed distant worlds, added to the International Space Station, took part in a lunar science mission with India and made major progress toward returning astronauts to the moon as the agency celebrated its 50th birthday in 2008. Here on Earth, NASA researchers recorded the continued decline of Arctic sea ice, won awards for aviation breakthroughs, discovered the cause of storms that brighten the Northern Lights and...

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2008-10-31 05:45:00

During the time it takes you to read this article, something will happen high overhead that until recently many scientists didn't believe in. A magnetic portal will open, linking Earth to the sun 93 million miles away. Tons of high-energy particles may flow through the opening before it closes again, around the time you reach the end of the page. "It's called a flux transfer event or 'FTE,'" says space physicist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Ten years ago I was pretty sure...

2008-07-26 09:00:17

U.S. scientists working with NASA said they've uncovered the source of substorms in space that fuel the explosive energy behind the northern lights. Vassilis Angelopoulos, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and lead investigator of the NASA-funded mission known as THEMIS -- Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions, said the energy comes from magnetic fields. Our data show clearly and for the first time that magnetic reconnection is the trigger, Angelopoulos...

2008-07-24 15:00:19

MINNEAPOLIS, July 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems reported today that the constellation of five micro satellites it built for NASA's THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) mission has successfully demonstrated how satellites can work together to collect data, which in this case, advances the scientific understanding of the Earth's atmosphere. The THEMIS mission determined the cause of the shimmering effect of the Aurora Borealis,...

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2008-07-24 14:00:00

Researchers using a fleet of five NASA satellites have discovered that explosions of magnetic energy a third of the way to the moon power substorms that cause sudden brightenings and rapid movements of the aurora borealis, called the Northern Lights. The culprit turns out to be magnetic reconnection, a common process that occurs throughout the universe when stressed magnetic field lines suddenly snap to a new shape, like a rubber band that's been stretched too far. "We discovered what makes...

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2008-04-02 09:15:00

One of the most dynamic events in the interaction between the Sun and the Earth is a "Ëœsubstorm', an explosive reshaping of the Earth's outer magnetic field. To better understand substorms, scientists in Europe and North America are studying them from space using the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) satellites launched by NASA in 2007 and from the ground using a network of all-sky cameras. In her talk on Tuesday 1 April at the RAS...

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2008-03-21 00:10:00

What are the signs of spring? They are as familiar as a blooming Daffodil, a songbird at dawn, a surprising shaft of warmth from the afternoon sun. And, oh yes, don't forget the aurora borealis. Spring is aurora season. For reasons not fully understood by scientists, the weeks around the vernal equinox are prone to Northern Lights. Canadians walking their dogs after dinner, Scandinavians popping out to the sauna, Alaskan Huskies on the Iditarod trail"”all they have to do is look up and...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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