jan 292013
 
Venus Behaves Like a Comet

  ESA’s Venus Express has made unique observations of Venus during a period of reduced solar wind pressure, discovering that the planet’s ionosphere balloons out like a comet’s tail on its night-side. The change in ionosphere of Venus during normal solar wind conditions (left) and reduced solar wind activity (right), as observed by ESA’s Venus Express [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 192012
 
How the Solar Wind Heats Up When it Should Not

  New research led by University of Warwick physicist Dr Kareem Osman has provided significant insight into how the solar wind heats up when it should not. The solar wind rushes outwards from the raging inferno that is our Sun, but from then on the wind should only get cooler as it expands beyond our [continue reading]

jul 192012
 
NASA will Study Plasma in Earth's Atmosphere

  Our day-to-day lives exist in what physicists would call an electrically neutral environment. Desks, books, chairs and bodies don’t generally carry electricity and they don’t stick to magnets. But life on Earth is substantially different from, well, almost everywhere else. Beyond Earth’s protective atmosphere and extending all the way through interplanetary space, electrified particles [continue reading]

jun 162012
 
Voyager 1 is about to enter Interstellar Space

  Data from NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft indicate that the venerable deep-space explorer has encountered a region in space where the intensity of charged particles from beyond our solar system has markedly increased. Voyager scientists looking at this rapid rise draw closer to an inevitable but historic conclusion – that humanity’s first emissary to interstellar [continue reading]