Cold plasma has been well-hidden. Space physicists have long lacked clues to how much of this electrically charged gas exists tens of thousands of miles above Earth and how the stuff may impact our planet's interaction with the sun. Now, a new method developed by Swedish researchers makes cold plasma measurable and reveals significantly more cold, charged ions in Earth's upper altitudes than previously imagined.
"The more you look for low-energy ions, the more you find," said Mats André, a professor of space physics at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Uppsala, Sweden, and leader of the research team. “We didn’t know how much was out there. It’s more than even I thought."
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