Three ways to travel at (nearly) the speed of light

One hundred years ago today, on May 29, 1919, measurements of a solar eclipse offered verification for Einstein's theory of general relativity. Even before that, Einstein had developed the theory of special relativity, which ...

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

Magnetic field lines tangled like spaghetti in a bowl might be behind the most powerful particle accelerators in the universe. That's the result of a new computational study by researchers from the Department of Energy's ...

Macroscopic phenomena governed by microscopic physics

It has been difficult to simultaneously obtain micro- and macroscopic information in outer space. Global images of distant astrophysical phenomena provide macroscopic information, however local information is inaccessible. ...

Scientists provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"—the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but ...

Saturn found to have noontime auroras

An international team of researchers has found that Saturn's fast rotation speed makes it possible for the planet to experience noontime auroras. In their paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, the group describes ...

Reconnection tames the turbulent magnetic fields around Earth

When the solar wind - which is really a driving rain of charged particles from the sun - strikes Earth's protective magnetic field, the shock generates roiling, turbulent magnetic fields that enshroud the planet and stretch ...

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