A new analysis of satellite data could upend conventional wisdom about how solar storms produce their dangerous radiation—not from X-shaped mergers of magnetic field lines but from swirling vortices.
Plasma Waves Pinpointed at the Site of Magnetic Reconnection
When the Earth's and the Sun's magnetic fields meet, they realign in explosive and mysterious reconnections. Data suggest that plasma waves called kinetic Alfvén waves play a key role.
Lab Experiment Tests What Triggers Massive Solar Eruptions
In a first-of-its-kind demonstration, scientists provide experimental support for a possible mechanism behind the formation of coronal mass ejections.
Jupiter's Auroras Recharge Between Solar Storms
New research suggests that Jupiter's magnetic field replenishes its stock of plasma during lulls in solar activity, creating spectacular displays when a solar storm hits.
Tracking Ions at the Edge of the Atmosphere
The first results from a recently launched satellite hold promise for studying solar storms, the very top of Earth's ionosphere, and how the atmosphere is evolving.
Did Solar Flares Cook Up Life on Earth?
Scientists have found that "super" solar flares could have warmed the ancient planet and jump-started life.
Toward an Understanding of Earth-Affecting Solar Eruptions
Coronal mass ejection forecasting improves with technological developments and increasing availability of data.
Radiation Belt Processes in a Declining Solar Cycle
The Van Allen Probes began an extended mission in November to advance understanding of Earth's radiation belts.
Satellite Shows Earth's Magnetic Field Bent During a Solar Storm
When solar storms strike, they weaken Earth's defenses against harmful radiation. New satellite measurements reveal just how much.
Solar Storms Are More Predictable Than Hurricanes
An encouraging new study finds that solar storms don't propagate chaotically like hurricanes—their arrivals are more predictable, which should make it easier for our planet to prepare for them.