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.
For the first time, a computer simulation — so detailed it took a full year to run — shows how spicules form, helping scientists understand how spicules can break free of the sun’s surface and surge upward so quickly.
Since its launch in November 2013 and its orbit insertion in September 2014, MAVEN has been exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars. MAVEN is bringing insight to how the sun stripped Mars of most of its atmosphere, turning a planet once possibly habitable to microbial life into a barren desert world.
Source:: MAVEN’s top 10 discoveries at Mars
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.
CERN research results deliver no evidence for the existence of solar axions.
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.
NASA’s MMS mission studies how electrons spiral and dive around the planet in a complex dance dictated by the magnetic and electric fields, and a new study revealed a bizarre new type of motion exhibited by these electrons.
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.
Human activities, like nuclear tests and radio transmissions, have been changing near-Earth space and weather, and have created artificial radiation belts, damaged satellites and induced auroras.
A group of researchers believes that contrary to a common model sunspots form near the Sun’s surface.