Sun  ID: 13954

With NASA Data, Researchers Find Standing Waves at Edge of Earth’s Magnetic Bubble

Earth sails the solar system in a ship of its own making: the magnetosphere, the magnetic field that envelops and protects our planet. The celestial sea we find ourselves in is filled with charged particles flowing from the Sun, known as the solar wind. Just as ocean waves follow the wind, scientists expected that waves traveling along the magnetosphere should ripple in the direction of the solar wind. But a new study reveals some waves do just the opposite.

Studying these magnetospheric waves, which transport energy, helps scientists understand the complicated ways that solar activity plays out in the space around Earth. Changing conditions in space driven by the Sun are known as space weather. That weather can impact our technology from communications satellites in orbit to power lines on the ground. “Understanding the boundaries of any system is a key problem,” said Martin Archer, a space physicist at Imperial College London who led the new study, published today in Nature Communications. “That’s how stuff gets in: energy, momentum, matter.”

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Jenny McElligott (AIMM): Animator
Joy Ng (KBRwyle): Support
Martin Archer (Imperial College London): Scientist
Emmanuel Masongsong (UCLA): Illustrator
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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SVS >> Magnetosphere
SVS >> Solar Wind
GCMD >> Location >> Magnetopause
NASA Science >> Sun
SVS >> Model Simulation
SVS >> Sonification

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version