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 012012
 
"Dusty Plasma"  Observed in Enceladus Plume Region?

  Recent findings from NASA’s Cassini mission reveal that Saturn’s geyser moon Enceladus provides a special laboratory for watching unusual behavior of plasma, or hot ionized gas. In these recent findings, some Cassini scientists think they have observed “dusty plasma,” a condition theorized but not previously observed on site, near Enceladus. This image is a [continue reading]

mei 232012
 
Waves at the Boundary of Mercury's Magnetosphere

  MESSENGER scientists have concluded that waves driven by the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability play a key role in driving Mercury’s magnetosphere. In a paper published recently in the Journal of Geophysical Research, the team reports on frequent detections of such waves at the outer edge of the innermost planet’s magnetosphere. Mercury The paper was selected [continue reading]

mei 032012
 
Jupiter's icy moons are Europe's next large science mission

  Jupiter’s icy moons are the focus of Europe’s next large science mission, ESA announced. Artist’s impression of JUICE   The Jupiter Icy moons Explorer – JUICE – was selected over two other candidates: NGO, the New Gravitational wave Observatory, to hunt for gravitational waves, and ATHENA, the Advanced Telescope for High-Energy Astrophysics. JUICE is [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]

apr 132012
 
Teamwork: IBEX and TWINS Observe a Solar Storm

On April 5, 2010, the sun spewed a two million-mile-per-hour stream of charged particles toward the invisible magnetic fields surrounding Earth, known as the magnetosphere. As the particles interacted with the magnetic fields, the incoming stream of energy caused stormy conditions near Earth. Some scientists believe that it was this solar storm that interfered with [continue reading]