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7 February 2020
Surfing space dust bunnies spawn interplanetary magnetic fields
New research finds that fine dust from pulverized space rocks is riding the solar wind past multiple spacecrafts, which are detecting the clouds of fine debris as a temporary changes in the local magnetic field.
29 January 2020
Likelihood of space super-storms estimated from longest period of magnetic field observations
A ‘great’ space weather super-storm, large enough to cause significant disruption to our electronic and networked systems, occurred on average once in every 25 years according to a new study in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters.
12 December 2019
Newfound Martian Aurora Actually the Most Common; Sheds Light on Mars’ Changing Climate
A type of Martian aurora first identified by NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft in 2016 is actually the most common form of aurora occurring on the Red Planet, according to new results from the mission. The aurora is known as a proton aurora and can help scientists track water loss from Mars’ atmosphere.
4 October 2019
Extreme solar storms may be more frequent than previously thought
New research in AGU’s journal Space Weather indicates storms like the 1859 Carrington Event are not as rare as scientists thought and could happen every few decades, seriously damaging modern communication and navigation systems around the globe.
5 September 2019
Making sense of Saturn’s impossible rotation
Saturn may be doing a little electromagnetic shimmy and twist which has been throwing off attempts by scientists to determine how long it takes for the planet to rotate on its axis, according to a new study.
27 August 2019
Streaks in Aurora Found to Map Features in Earth’s Radiation Environment
A special kind of streaked aurora has been found to track disturbances in near-Earth space from the ground. Known as structured diffuse aurora, it was recently discovered, with the help of NASA spacecraft and instruments, that these faint lights in the night sky can map the edges of the Van Allen radiation belts — hazardous concentric bands of charged particles encircling Earth.
Cluster and XMM-Newton pave the way for SMILE
The Solar wind-Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) mission is still four years away from launch, but scientists are already using existing ESA satellites, such as the XMM-Newton X-ray observatory and the Cluster mission studying Earth’s magnetosphere, to pave the way for this pioneering venture.
21 June 2019
Northern lights’ social networking reveals true scale of magnetic storms
Magnetic disturbances caused by phenomena like the northern lights can be tracked by a ‘social network’ of ground-based instruments, according to a new study from the University of Warwick.
23 April 2019
Aurora create speed bumps in space
A new study finds a type of high-altitude aurora are responsible, at least in part, for moving pockets of air high into the atmosphere where they can cause drag on passing satellites.
12 November 2018
Powerful solar storm likely detonated mines during Vietnam War
A strong solar storm in 1972 caused widespread disturbances to satellites and spacecraft, and may have led to the detonation of mines during the Vietnam War, according to new research showing the event may have been a more devastating solar storm than previously thought. In a new study, researchers pieced together data and historical records related to the solar activity of 1972 to better understand the nature of the solar storm. In the process, they uncovered an incident where sea mines off the coast of Vietnam were detonated by the solar event.