From east coast of Virginia on July 4 were launched two small NASA rockets, directed on an orbit for research of electric whirlwinds in Earth upper atmosphere. Two small NASA rockets started within 15 seconds from the NASA spaceport on the State of Virginia. The mission is to investigate global electric whirlwinds in Earth ionosphere with help of the devices installed on Black Brant V and Terrier-Improved Orion rockets probes. By the words of representatives of NASA they prepared Black Brant V and Terrier-Improved Orion start for show of fireworks in honor of the Independence Day. Start of NASA rockets On the Fourth of July were part of mission of Daytime Dynamo, the joint project with Japanese agency of space researches to study movement of electric whirlwinds in Earth ionosphere at distance between 30 and 600 miles (48 and 965 kilometers) over a surface.
In December 2011 the comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3), endured extremely close rapprochement with the Sun. The comet helped scientists to probe structures of a magnetic field in the closest vicinities of a star where no spacecrafts can get. Comet Lovejoy C/2011 W3 was found by the Australian astronomer Terry Lovejoy on November 27, 2011. Calculations showed that on the night of December 16 the comet will fly by at the minimum distance from the Sun — only in 140 thousand kilometers from a star surface. It is more than 100 times shorter than a distance between the Sun and Mercury, and is twice less, than distance from the Moon to Earth. Scientists were sure, that the comet completely will evaporate even before perihelion passing. However the comet safely rounded the Sun and left on the other hand that became sensation for astronomers.
According to a recent study, tens of billions of planets around red dwarfs are likely capable of containing liquid water, dramatically increasing the potential to find signs of life somewhere other than Earth. Red dwarfs are stars that are fainter, cooler and less massive than the sun. These stars, which typically also live longer than Class G stars like the sun, are thought to make up about 80 percent of the stars in the Milky Way, astronomers have said.
The Uranus aurora photos were captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, marking the first time the icy blue planet’s light show has been seen by an observatory near Earth. Until now, the only views of auroras on Uranus were from the NASA Voyager probe that zipped by the planet in 1986. Hubble recorded auroras on the day side of Uranus only twice, both times in 2011, while the planet was 2.5 billion miles (4 billion kilometers) from Earth.
Sun spewed a two million mile per hour stream of charged particles toward the invisible magnetic fields surrounding Earth, known as the magnetosphere on April 5, 2010. As the particles interacted with the magnetic fields, the incoming stream of energy caused stormy conditions near Earth. Some scientists believe that it was this solar storm that interfered with commands to a communications satellite, Galaxy-15, which subsequently foundered and drifted, taking almost a year to return to its station.
Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C., discovered the odd, newly identified features, which they call coronal cells, by studying the sun’s ultraviolet emissions at temperatures around 1.8 million degrees Fahrenheit (999,700 degrees Celsius). According to reserachers the pattern of cells, which have bright centers and dark boundaries, look similar to bubbles that rise to the top of boiling water. But, the scientists were surprised to find these features higher up in the corona, a part of the sun’s atmosphere that is typically dominated by bright loops and dark coronal holes.
Magnetic phenomenon that causes auroras on Earth has now surprisingly been discovered creating giant magnetic bubbles around Venus, a planet without a magnetic field. The Northern and Southern Lights on Earth are caused by magnetic lines of force breaking and connecting with each other. This process, known as magnetic reconnection, can explosively convert magnetic energy to heat and kinetic energy.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft has captured video of a massive solar tornado five times wider than the Earth twisting its way across the surface of the sun. As said researchers NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) looked on as the huge, swirling storm raged on Sept. 25, 2011, spinning solar gas at speeds up to 186,000 mph (300,000 kph. Here on Earth, tornado wind speeds top out at around 300 mph (483 kph).
According to Nasa scientists a recent spate of furious eruptions on the surface of the sun hurled a huge amount of heat toward Earth. This is the biggest dose our planet has received from our closest star in seven years. Although the influx of solar energy puffed up the atmosphere, increasing drag on low-orbiting satellites, it caused fewer disruptions to electronic infrastructure such as electronic grids than some expected.