Sunday, July 27, 2008

Solar Wind

Aurora Borealis Boosts

Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

This artist's concept shows the explosion of energy responsible for sudden increases in the brightness and movement of the Northern Lights.

Due To Magnetic Reconnection

I've already told you I am highly amused by magnetic fields and their appearing to behave in unpredictable ways. Magnetic reconnection is one of those behavior that I find so entertaining. If you have watched Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis you'll know why these magnetic fields are so fascinating. Some times it looks like someone switches on and off the light on the sky. If the whole sky is lit up you can imagine how impressive that is. Magnetic fields at play. :-)

We don't give up trying to understand magnetic fields. Norwegians have been pretty preoccupied studying Northern Lights for obvious reasons and I am sure we'll all appreciate the results from Themis adding knowledge about these sometimes violent solar wind storms causing all kinds of trouble for electronic equipment on satellites not to mention what the poor astronauts strolling in space have to look out for. :-) Pretty [and] dangerous!

Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

An artist's impression on both Northern Lights and Southern Lights. Up north we call the solar winds interaction with the Earths magnetic fields Aurora Borealis and the same phenomena down south is called Aurora Australis.

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