Will Aurora Strike Tonight? Here’s What to Expect

by Bob King September 12, 2014

(Scroll down for latest update) Auroras showed up as forecast last night beginning around nightfall and lasting until about 1 a.m. CDT this morning. Then the action stopped. At peak, the Kp index dinged the bell at “5” (minor geogmagnetic storm) for about 6 hours as the incoming shock from the arrival of the solar blast rattled Earth’s magnetosphere. It […]

3 comments Read the full article →

A Natural Planetary Defense Against Solar Storms

by David Dickinson March 6, 2014

Planetary shields up: solar storms inbound… Researchers at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have identified a fascinating natural process by which the magnetosphere of our fair planet can — to use a sports analogy — “shot block,” or at least partially buffer an incoming solar event. David Dickinson on Google+

3 comments Read the full article →

Voyager 1: Is It In or Is It Out?

by Jason Major August 15, 2013

Nearly 18.7 billion kilometers from Earth — about 17 light-hours away — NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft is just about on the verge of entering interstellar space, a wild and unexplored territory of high-energy cosmic particles into which no human-made object has ever ventured. Launched in September 1977, Voyager 1 will soon become the first spacecraft […]

17 comments Read the full article →

NASA Probes Play the Music of Earth’s Magnetosphere

by Jason Major September 18, 2012

Launched on August 30, 2012, NASA’s twin Radiation Belt Storm Probe (RBSP) satellites have captured recordings of audible-range radio waves emitted by Earth’s magnetosphere. The stream of chirps and whistles heard in the video above consist of 5 separate occurrences captured on September 5 by RBSP’s Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science […]

6 comments Read the full article →

New Satellites Will Tighten Knowledge of Earth’s Radiation Belts

by Jason Major August 14, 2012

Surrounding our planet like vast invisible donuts (the ones with the hole, not the jelly-filled kind) are the Van Allen radiation belts, regions where various charged subatomic particles get trapped by Earth’s magnetic fields, forming rings of plasma. We know that the particles that make up this plasma can have nasty effects on spacecraft electronics […]

Read the full article →