Posts Tagged ‘magnetosphere’

Near Earth's magnetic poles, some of Earth's magnetic field - shown as red in this diagram - loops out into space and connects back to Earth. But some of Earth's polar magnetic field connects directly to the sun's magnetic field, shown here in white. [credit: NASA}

Near Earth’s magnetic poles, some of Earth’s magnetic field – shown as red in this diagram – loops out into space and connects back to Earth. But some of Earth’s polar magnetic field connects directly to the sun’s magnetic field, shown here in white. [credit: NASA]


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.

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From Science Daily:

A constant stream of particles and electromagnetic waves streams from the sun toward Earth, which is surrounded by a protective bubble called the magnetosphere. A scientist at NASA Goddard has recently devised, for the first time, a set of equations that can help describe waves in the solar wind known as Alfven waves. (Credit: European Space Agency)

A constant stream of particles and electromagnetic waves streams from the sun toward Earth, which is surrounded by a protective bubble called the magnetosphere. A scientist at NASA Goddard has recently devised, for the first time, a set of equations that can help describe waves in the solar wind known as Alfven waves. (Credit: European Space Agency)

Feb. 21, 2013 — Many areas of scientific research — Earth’s weather, ocean currents, the outpouring of magnetic energy from the sun — require mapping out the large scale features of a complex system and its intricate details simultaneously.

Describing such systems accurately, relies on numerous kinds of input, beginning with observations of the system, incorporating mathematical equations to approximate those observations, running computer simulations to attempt to replicate observations, and cycling back through all the steps to refine and improve the models until they jibe with what’s seen. Ultimately, the models successfully help scientists describe, and even predict, how the system works.

Understanding the sun and how the material and energy it sends out affects the solar system is crucial, since it creates a dynamic space weather system that can disrupt human technology in space such as communications and global positioning system (GPS) satellites.

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The Secret Astronomer’s Other Ball
Tim Cullen April 2012

There are a series of celebrations and jamborees scheduled for the 5th and 6 June 2012 to commemorate a last in your lifetime event, lasting 6 hours and 40 minutes[1], called the Transit of Venus 2012[2].

For the children born after 8th June 2004[3] this is a once in a lifetime event because the next cyclical pair[4] of transits are scheduled for the 2117 and 2125, while the previous pair occurred during the Victorian age in 1874 and 1882.


Image Credit: NASA[5]
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