Earth’s magnetic field is more dynamic than expected, as Phys.org reports. Old-fashioned observation gets a result.
During the Antarctic summer of 2013-2014, a team of researchers released a series of translucent scientific balloons, one by one.
The miniature membranous balloons – part of the Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses, or BARREL, campaign – floated above the icy terrain for several weeks each, diligently documenting the rain of electrons falling into the atmosphere from Earth’s magnetic field.
Then in January 2014, BARREL’s observations saw something never seen before.