nov 252012
Magnesium Oxide: From Earth to Super-Earth

  The mantles of Earth and other rocky planets are rich in magnesium and oxygen. Due to its simplicity, the mineral magnesium oxide is a good model for studying the nature of planetary interiors. New work from a team led by Carnegie’s Stewart McWilliams studied how magnesium oxide behaves under the extreme conditions deep within [continue reading]

okt 112012
Studying Neutron Stars on Earth

  Scientists from the universities of Kiel and Düsseldorf (both Germany) have developed a method to simulate gigantic magnetic fields that normally occur on neutron stars only. The physicists Professor Hartmut Löwen (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf) and Professor Michael Bonitz (Kiel University) have now published these results in the journal “Physical Review Letters”. In the article they [continue reading]

sep 252012
Scientists Shed Light on Riddle of Sun's Explosive Events

  Four decades of active research and debate by the solar physics community have failed to bring consensus on what drives the Sun’s powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that can have profound “space weather” effects on Earth-based power grids and satellites in near-Earth geospace.  A computer visualization of the Sun (red sphere) and its magnetic [continue reading]

sep 222012
Peering Into Coronal Prominence Cavities

  The Sun’s atmosphere dances. Giant columns of solar material – made of gas so hot that many of the electrons have been scorched off the atoms, turning it into a form of magnetized matter we call plasma – leap off the Sun’s surface, jumping and twisting. Sometimes these prominences of solar material, shoot off, [continue reading]

aug 142012
One of the Fastest CMEs On Record Observed

  Some three weeks ago, on July 23, 2012, a massive cloud of solar material erupted off the Sun’s right side, zooming out into space, passing one of NASA’s Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft along the way. Using the STEREO data, scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center clocked this giant cloud, known as [continue reading]

jul 242012
Lunar Surface Protected by 'Deflector Shields'

  Scientists from RAL Space at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory have solved a lunar mystery and their results might lead the way to determining if the same mechanism could be artificially manipulated to create safe havens for future space explorers.  Their work focussed on the origin of the enigmatic “lunar swirls” – swirling patches of [continue reading]