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5 January 2015
Measuring the temperature of solar winds
The sun spews forth super-heated, charged particles, collectively called plasma, that fly out into the vacuum of space at speeds of 200 to 400 miles per second (300 to 700 kilometers per second). These waves of plasma make up the solar winds that spread across our solar system.
Traveling across freezing space should suck all the heat from the plasma by the time it nears Earth, but the solar waves detected near our planet are still hot. Scientists think something is happening within the plasma to generate heat.
Astrophysicist Anthony Case of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics calculated the temperatures of the solar winds traveling at different supersonic speeds, or speeds greater than the speed of sound.
19 December 2014
New Zealand watersheds show the dirt on logging and grazing
Grazing animals and logging trees in New Zealand could affect water quality there, according to scientists working to determine how water quality problems in the country relate to land use.
The results could help guide water-friendly policy in New Zealand and other parts of the world, according to Jason Julian, a geographer at Texas State University.
Electromagnetic imaging helps scientists locate underwater methane
A simple compound found in underwater structures could generate warmth below the ocean, inside homes, and in the atmosphere. The location of the compound, methane, determines whether it’s dangerous, welcome, or world-changing.
Now, a team from GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom has used electromagnetic images to more accurately identify and characterize a source of methane beneath the ocean floor.