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Observations Around Solar System With Parker Solar Probe’s 7th Solar Encounter

6 min read

During Parker Solar Probe’s seventh swing by the Sun, culminating in its closest solar approach, or perihelion, on Jan. 17, 2021, celestial geometry posed a special opportunity. The configuration of this particular orbit placed Parker Solar Probe on the same…

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Lunar Gateway Instruments to Improve Weather Forecasting for Artemis Astronauts

5 min read

One of the first things people want to know before taking a trip is what the weather will be like wherever they are headed. For Artemis astronauts traveling on missions to the Moon, two space weather instrument suites, NASA’s HERMES…

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Aurora Mysteries Unlocked With NASA’s THEMIS Mission

6 min read

A special type of aurora, draped east-west across the night sky like a glowing pearl necklace, is helping scientists better understand the science of auroras and their powerful drivers out in space. Known as auroral beads, these lights often show…

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In Solar System’s Symphony, Earth’s Magnetic Field Drops the Beat

4 min read

Space isn’t silent. In fact, an entire orchestra of instruments fills our near-Earth environment with eerie sounds. Scientists have long known about space phenomena involving electromagnetic waves travelling around Earth that resonate like string instruments and whistle like wind instruments.…

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The Case of the Relativistic Particles Solved with NASA Missions

3 min read

Encircling Earth are two enormous rings — called the Van Allen radiation belts — of highly energized ions and electrons. Various processes can accelerate these particles to relativistic speeds, which endanger spacecraft unlucky enough to enter these giant bands of…

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Pulsating Aurora Mysteries Uncovered with Help from NASA’s THEMIS Mission

3 min read

Sometimes on a dark night near the poles, the sky pulses a diffuse glow of green, purple and red. Unlike the long, shimmering veils of typical auroral displays, these pulsating auroras are much dimmer and less common. While scientists have…

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All Missions On Board for NASA Heliophysics Research

4 min read

Scientists have been studying the near-Earth environment for the better part of a century, but many mysteries — like where the energetic particles that pervade the area originate and become energized — still remain. In a new type of collaborative…

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NASA’s THEMIS Sees Auroras Move to the Rhythm of Earth’s Magnetic Field

7 min read

The majestic auroras have captivated humans for thousands of years, but their nature – the fact that the lights are electromagnetic and respond to solar activity – was only realized in the last 150 years. Thanks to coordinated multi-satellite observations…

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