jan 292013
 
Io's Volcanism Controls Jupiter's Auroral Activity

  Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io spews out volcanic gas, which reaches its atmosphere and becomes ionized, forming what is known as the Io plasma torus. This plasma torus can interact with Jupiter’s magnetosphere, possibly affecting auroral activity there. This ultraviolet image of Jupiter was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on 26 [continue reading]

jan 212013
 
Auroras Also Occur Outside our Solar System

  University of Leicester planetary scientists have found new evidence suggesting auroras – similar to Earth’s Aurora Borealis – occur on bodies outside our Solar System. Auroras Bigger Than the Entire Earth: This image shows X-ray auroras observed by the Chandra X-ray Observatory overlaid on a simultaneous optical image from the Hubble Space Telescope of [continue reading]

okt 032012
 
The Science Behind those Eye-Popping Northern Lights

  Northern night skies have recently been alive with light. Those shimmering curtains get their start about 93 million miles away, on the Sun. An image of an aurora borealis, and moonrise in the Brooks Range in northern Alaska at the Chandler Shelf in December 2008. Image Credit: guardian.co.uk/Rolf Hicker/Barcroft Media  An aurora borealis (aurora australis [continue reading]

aug 012012
 
Waves in Magnetosphere's Thin Boundaries

  Exploiting a favourable configuration of ESA’s Cluster mission spacecraft, scientists have detected and characterised lower hybrid drift waves, a special kind of plasma waves that develop in thin boundaries both in space and in the laboratory. The measurement of fundamental properties of these waves was possible when two of the spacecraft were flying very [continue reading]

apr 142012
 
Uranus auroras glimpsed from Earth

For the first time, scientists have captured images of auroras above the giant ice planet Uranus, finding further evidence of just how peculiar a world that distant planet is. Detected by means of carefully scheduled observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, the newly witnessed Uranian light show consisted of short-lived, faint, glowing dots – a [continue reading]