Sun Sparks

Jan 18, 2019 The Sun is not a ball of (con)fusion. “In a low density plasma, localized space charge regions may build up large potential drops over distances of the order of some tens of the Debye lengths. Such regions have been called electric double layers. An electric double layer …

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Frostbite

Jan 15, 2019 Does water ice exist on Mars? “He who cannot put his thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of dispute.”— Friedrich Nietzsche Mars is mysterious. Although it is the most extensively studied celestial body—from the days of Giovanni Schiaparelli to the Curiosity rover wandering its …

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Alpha, Beta, Gamma

Jan 14, 2019 Gamma-rays from electric particle accelerators in space. Gamma-rays are the highest energy wavelength in the electromagnetic spectrum, according to physicists. They are “electromagnetic particles” called photons. Since matter is thought to exist as both waves and particles, and photons are a class of particle called “bosons”, they …

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Plasma Filaments

Jan 9, 2019 Plasma is electrically ionized. In plasmas, thermal and other energy sources strip electrons from atomic nuclei. When excess charge develops in various regions, due to gravity or other influences, electric discharges can take place, forming electromagnetic sheaths along the discharge axes. If there is enough charge flow, …

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(486958) 2014 MU69

Jan 7, 2019 New Horizons recently flew by the most distant object imaged by any spacecraft. The Kuiper Belt theory is the creation of astronomer Kenneth Edgeworth from Ireland and also, separately, by American astronomer Gerard Kuiper in 1951. The first Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) was discovered in 1992. Sometimes …

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