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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Magnetic Ropes Link Earth-Sun

The NASA Themis satellites [vid] have revealed new insights into the forces that cause the Aurora Borealis [vid] or Nothern Lights [vid] to be giant magnetic "ropes" between Earth and the sun long suspected but not confimred until recently.

"The satellites have found evidence of magnetic 'ropes' connecting Earth's upper atmosphere directly to the sun," said David Sibeck, project scientist for the mission at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

These ropes could serve as conduits for waves of charged particles from the sun called solar wind with Sibeck adding, "We believe that solar wind particles flow in along these ropes, providing energy for geomagnetic storms and auroras."

Virgin Galactic is reviewing the possibility of human spaceflight through the Aurora Borealis from Spaceport Sweden in 2012 or so. There is discussion of flights into the Northern Lights from Poker Flat, Alaska in the future too.

2 comments:

BHUVAN CHAND JUYAL said...

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Amber Rae said...

Ok, the thought that the sun is linked to the earth through "magnetic ropes" is ridiculous. The studies have shown that the aurora borealis is from charged atoms expanding up into the atmosphere and striking the atmosphere. Depending on the type of atom depends on the color. The sun has a little to do with it but now much. The aurora borealis is still considered a scientific mystery though and I am sure that it will stay that way for quite a few more years.