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 062012
 
A magnetic surprise for Venus Express

Venus is a rarity among planets – a world that does not internally generate a magnetic field. Despite the absence of a large protective magnetosphere, the near-Venus environment does exhibit a number of similarities with planets such as Earth. The latest, surprising, example is the evidence for magnetic reconnection in Venus’ induced magnetotail. Solar wind [continue reading]

feb 272012
 
Mysterious electron acceleration explained

Computer simulation identifies source of aurora-causing high-speed electrons in space An artist’s rendition of Earth’s magnetosphere. A magnetic tail, or magnetotail, is formed by pressure from the solar wind on a planet’s magnetosphere.  Image: NASA   A mysterious phenomenon detected by space probes has finally been explained, thanks to a massive computer simulation that was able [continue reading]