A new state of Venus's ionosphere

Dec 27, 2012
Venus. Photo courtesy of NASA

Observations from NASA's Pioneer Venus orbiter, which reached Venus in 1978, suggested that Venus's ionosphere had two states: a magnetized state with a large- scale horizontal magnetic field and an unmagnetized state with no large-scale magnetic field but with numerous small-scale thin magnetic structures known as flux ropes. Venus's ionosphere was observed to be in the unmagnetized state most of the time, but strong solar wind pressure shifted it to the magnetized state.

Now, using magnetic field observations made in 2008 and 2009 from the 's Venus Express, Zhang et al. report a third state: a magnetized state with giant flux ropes. The giant flux ropes, which form quite often, have strong magnetic fields and diameters of hundreds of kilometers.

They are considerably larger and have stronger magnetic fields than the flux ropes that were seen during the unmagnetized state. Although giant flux ropes have previously been seen in Venus's magnetotail, the authors believe this is the first observation of the phenomenon in Venus's . It is not yet known how the giant flux ropes form.

Explore further: NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

More information: "Giant Flux Ropes Observed in the Magnetized Ionosphere at Venus" Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2012GL054236 , 2012

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Venus found to have aurora type magnetotails

Apr 06, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers studying the planet Venus have found that despite a lack of a magnetic field, the planet has magnetotails, which on Earth are part of the process known as the Northern and Southern ...

Magnetic 'ropes' tie down solar eruptions (w/ Video)

Apr 12, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Using data from the Hinode spacecraft, a team of researchers from University College London (UCL) have revealed an immense magnetic structure that erupted to produce a dramatic solar eruption ...

Earth, Venus lightnings produced by similar mechanisms

Sep 27, 2010

Despite the great differences between the atmospheres of Venus and Earth, scientists have discovered that very similar mechanisms produce lightning on the two planets. The rates of discharge, the intensity ...

Spacecraft Tandem Provide New Views of Venus

Jul 19, 2007

NASA's Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging spacecraft, known as Messenger, and the European Space Agency's Venus Express recently provided the most detailed multi-point images of ...

Recommended for you

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

1 hour ago

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

Apr 18, 2014

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

The importance of plumes

Apr 18, 2014

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1.4 / 5 (10) Dec 27, 2012
The giant "flux ropes" are in fact electric birkeland currents. The currents are formed due to the interaction of a charged body (Venus) within the Sun's electrically charged plasma environment. Those same "flux ropes" have been found on all of the planets and many moons within the solar system in which we have looked.
3.4 / 5 (7) Dec 27, 2012
Any dolt would realize that a magnetic flux rope is not the same as a set of currents along geomagnetic field lines, and that EU/PC ideas are buffonery. Flux ropes are complex structures, for example when they appear in the corona (needs both CMD and magnetofrictional modeling). [ http://www.uksolp...jection/ ]

Any observations of "Birkeland currents" in astrophysics are strangely absent. Again, pure buffonery is implied.
1.9 / 5 (9) Dec 28, 2012
That same dolt should know that magnetism doesn't exist without a current flow, and those "twisted bundles of magnetic fields" are the magnetic fields created by the current flow. Answer this Mr. Buffoon Larsen, what do you propose creates those "twisted bundles of magnetic field" if it's not electric currents? Maybe gigantic invisible Hawking bar magnets? What magical metaphysical process do you propose? Why exactly, in your myopic buffoonery, do you propose that the plasma which pervades space would behave contrary to laboratory plasma? What exactly do you propose the twisted filamentary structures confined by magnetism is if there is no current? It's no doubt you whole-heartedly believe in magnetic reconnection as described in the website you linked, I'll leave you with a quote from the man who developed MHD which those buffoons clearly don't understand.

"Magnetic reconnection is pseudoscience" Hannes Alfven

And so too are the metaphysical beliefs of GR and BB hypotheses.
3 / 5 (4) Dec 29, 2012
oi, so now its gr too cantdrive? give me a fucking break. you think and act like you are so smart but your posts all show otherwise,
3 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2012
I love being in the superior company of cool headed scientific mentalities with all that suave logic and open minded rationality but sometimes one falls behind in the latest jargon.

Dolt buffoon buffoonery "give me a fucking break" - where might one find the scientific definiton of these terms?
3 / 5 (6) Dec 31, 2012
Dolt buffoon buffoonery "give me a fucking break" - where might one find the scientific definiton of these terms

Dolt - is the measure of intellectual potential accross a distance. It's equal to a tWatt divided by a current.

Buffoon - is an elementary component in many alternative scientific theories.

Buffoonery - is, of course, the applied science or engineering of buffons

Give me a fucking break - is a historical term that goes back to the early days of buffoonery, similar to the whole Eureka thing with Archemedes. It doesn't translate well from its original language, pig-latin.

I hope that helps
1 / 5 (1) Jan 03, 2013
No, Superior would have gotten us Anti-Gravity a few decades ago. Just sheeples going about their daily, mainstream educated grinds. Nothing more.

It's quite obvious the ego card trumps any real "Science" these days.

More news stories

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...