Magnetic pumping pushes plasma particles to high energies

As you walk away from a campfire on a cool autumn night, you quickly feel colder. The same thing happens in outer space. As it spins, the sun continuously flings hot material into space, out to the furthest reaches of our ...

A stellar achievement: Magnetized space winds in the laboratory

New insights have been gained about stellar winds, streams of high-speed charged particles called plasma that blow through interstellar space. These winds, created by eruptions from stars or stellar explosions, carry with ...

Scientist explores a better way to predict space weather

Findings recently published by a Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) space scientist shed new light on predicting the thermodynamics of solar flares and other "space weather" events involving hot, fast-moving plasmas.

The true power of the solar wind

The planets and moons of our solar system are continuously being bombarded by particles hurled away from the sun. On Earth this has hardly any effect, apart from the fascinating northern lights, because the dense atmosphere ...

As solar wind blows, our heliosphere balloons

What happens when the solar wind suddenly starts to blow significantly harder? According to two recent studies, the boundaries of our entire solar system balloon outward—and an analysis of particles rebounding off of its ...

How the building blocks of life may form in space

In a laboratory experiment that mimics astrophysical conditions, with cryogenic temperatures in an ultrahigh vacuum, scientists used an electron gun to irradiate thin sheets of ice covered in basic molecules of methane, ammonia ...

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