The inner and outer Van Allen radiation belts were some of the first major discoveries of the space age. Explorer 1 and Explorer 3 detected the existence of highly energetic charged particles which had become trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field.
Lunar swirls are distinctive features that appear on The Moon’s surface, made highly visible by their high albedo (reflective ability). On the right, an image of Reiner Gamma, one of the most obvious lunar swirls on the moon visible through most telescopes. Lunar swirls show the optical characteristics of young regolith (the broken stones and dust solid rock) although they aren’t associated with any particular rock type. These swirls aren’t mountains or craters and although they are often found superimposed upon crater sites they don’t themselves represent any particular change in surface topography. One connection that has been noted is that every lunar swirl observed is located in a region of strong magnetic field, though the reverse is not always true. Now the moon doesn’t have an active core dynamo and in fact may never have had one so the magnetic fields which exists are purely geological and are more magnetic anomalies than a proper orb spanning field.
On some level we all know astrology has to be ridiculous. There is absolutely no way that stars many hundreds of thousands of light years away that just happened to look like a crab (even then the resemblance is questionable) somehow determine my personality. But then there have been reports, many linked in this paper, which do describe violence, revolutions, crime and just general social unrest to have slight changes based on the solar cycle of 11 years and the associated geomagnetic changes in the Earth. By the inverse the solar cycle and changes in emitted ultraviolet light have also been associated with scientific and artistic innovation, creativity and social change. If the reader of this post is sceptical, I would like to make it known that I’m probably more so even while reading this paper.
On the 17th of August, 2017, an event was detected on two pieces of equipment. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) – Virgo partnership detected a high frequency gravitational wave and at roughly the same time the Gamma-Ray Monitor upon NASA’s Fermi Space Telescope picked a short gamma ray burst (sGRB). These two effects are believed to both be the result of double neutron star merger, which as the name suggests, is when two neutron stars end up smashing into each other forming either a bigger neutron star or a black hole.
Satellites certainty live an interesting life whizzing around the Earth; getting half frozen and half baked every orbit; trying to dodge all the other useless junk flying around as well; occasionally getting an order to rotate an arcsecond clockwise or something like that. They also get to be our first level of sensing when it comes to intense radio waves heading for Earth. Continue reading Studying Solar Radio Burst By Magnetic Reconnection
It’s time for a bit of a hop back in time, not very far, but by about two weeks. There was a very interesting paper published on the 11th that it appears I missed and I’d like to just cover it now:
Most people know that comets are balls of “ice” although what exactly ice means can be quite complicated. Often formed of frozen gases and stony materials more fitting of meteorites these comets begin to evaporate as they reach the Sun’s proximity. The material boiling off the comet forms the eponymous coma which completely envelops the comet’s nucleus as it gets within a few astronomical units of the Sun. Comets normally have two types of tails that accompany them: the dust tail and the plasma tail. The dust tail, as shown in the image, curves off from the comet made of mostly particulates. The plasma tail, called the gas tail in the diagram, is ionised atoms propelled by the solar wind and so fly along the line joining the Sun and the comet.