World According to Hannah Banana
lickypickystickyfree:

the-star-stuff: Giant Veil of “Cold Plasma” Discovered High Above Earth 
Clouds of charged particles stretch a quarter the way to the moon, experts say.
Clouds of “cold plasma” reach from the top of Earth’s atmosphere to at least a quarter the distance to the moon, according to new data from a cluster of European satellites.
Earth generates cold plasma—slow-moving charged particles—at the edge of space, where sunlight strips electrons from gas atoms, leaving only their positively charged cores, or nuclei.
Researchers had suspected these hard-to-detect particles might influence incoming space weather, such as this week’s solar flare and resulting geomagnetic storm. That’s because solar storms barrage Earth with similar but high-speed charged particles.
Still, no one could be certain what the effects of cold plasma might be without a handle on its true abundance around our planet.
“It’s like the weather forecast on TV. It’s very complicated to make a reasonable forecast without the basic variables,” said space scientist Mats André, of theSwedish Institute of Space Physics.
“Discovering this cold plasma is like saying, Oh gosh, there are oceans here that affect our weather,” he said.
llustration courtesy J. Huart, ESA


WHAT?

lickypickystickyfree:

the-star-stuff:
Giant Veil of “Cold Plasma” Discovered High Above Earth

Clouds of charged particles stretch a quarter the way to the moon, experts say.

Clouds of “cold plasma” reach from the top of Earth’s atmosphere to at least a quarter the distance to the moon, according to new data from a cluster of European satellites.

Earth generates cold plasma—slow-moving charged particles—at the edge of space, where sunlight strips electrons from gas atoms, leaving only their positively charged cores, or nuclei.

Researchers had suspected these hard-to-detect particles might influence incoming space weather, such as this week’s solar flare and resulting geomagnetic storm. That’s because solar storms barrage Earth with similar but high-speed charged particles.

Still, no one could be certain what the effects of cold plasma might be without a handle on its true abundance around our planet.

“It’s like the weather forecast on TV. It’s very complicated to make a reasonable forecast without the basic variables,” said space scientist Mats André, of theSwedish Institute of Space Physics.

“Discovering this cold plasma is like saying, Oh gosh, there are oceans here that affect our weather,” he said.

llustration courtesy J. Huart, ESA

WHAT?

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