Topsy-turvy motion creates light switch effect at Uranus

Uranus’ magnetosphere, the region defined by the planet’s magnetic field and the material trapped inside it, gets flipped on and off like a light switch every day as it rotates along with the planet, scientists have discovered. It’s ‘open’ in one orientation, allowing solar wind to flow into the magnetosphere; it later closes, forming a shield against the solar wind and deflecting it away from the planet.

Source:: Topsy-turvy motion creates light switch effect at Uranus

      

Mini-flares potentially jeopardize habitability of planets circling red dwarf stars

Solar flares and associated eruptions can trigger auroras on Earth or, more ominously, damage satellites and power grids. Could flares on cool, red dwarf stars cause even more havoc to orbiting planets, even rendering them uninhabitable? To help answer that question, astronomers sought to find out how many flares such stars typically unleash.

Source:: Mini-flares potentially jeopardize habitability of planets circling red dwarf stars

      

A new approach to forecasting solar flares?

The emerging discipline of space meteorology aims to reliably predict solar flares so that we may better guard against their effects. Using 3D numerical models, an international team has discovered a proxy that could be used to forecast an eruptive event. The proxy is associated with magnetic helicity, which reflects the extent of twist and entanglement of the magnetic field.

Source:: A new approach to forecasting solar flares?

      

First direct exploration of magnetic fields in the upper solar atmosphere

Scientists have explored the magnetic field in upper solar atmosphere by observing the polarization of ultraviolet light with the CLASP sounding rocket experiment during its 5-minute flight in space on Sept. 3, 2015. The data show that the structures of the solar chromosphere and transition region are more complicated than expected. It is proven that ultraviolet spectropolarimetry can be used in future investigations of the magnetic fields in upper solar chromosphere and transition region.

Source:: First direct exploration of magnetic fields in the upper solar atmosphere