magnetic fields

  1. A New Atmosphere for Mars? A New Home For Us?

    A New Atmosphere for Mars? A New Home For Us?
    Early last month, NASA's Planetary Science Division hosted their annual Planetary Science Vision 2050 community workshop at their headquarters in Washington DC. The world’s greatest minds in science and technology descended upon the workshop to participate in panel discussions and presentations regarding the future of space exploration. Continue reading →
  2. Twinkle, Twinkle Little...Magnet?

    Twinkle, Twinkle Little...Magnet?
    For nearly 50 years, scientists have been studying two distinct types of stars: Pulsars and magnetars. As far as anyone knew, they were right — these two types of stars had very different behaviors, though there has been some evidence that perhaps they were linked. A new transition state may prove further connections between these two types of stars. Continue reading →
  3. The Alien Magnetic Avalanche

    The Alien Magnetic Avalanche
    While astronomers and astrophysicists continue to explore the infinite expanses of outer space, making discovery after discovery, the truth is we have only uncovered the smallest fraction of our universe. There are still plenty of mysteries left out there, some that puzzle scientists to no end. Continue reading →
  4. Stranger Things and Magnetic Fields

    Stranger Things and Magnetic Fields
    Warning! This post may contain spoilers! Last July, Netflix released the first season of the instantly popular Stranger Things. Set in 1983, the eight-part show features a number of odd occurrences in the town of Hawkins, Indiana. There are plant monsters from other dimensions, telepathic tweens, and a menacing government agency bent on keeping it all under wraps. Continue reading →
  5. How Can Magnets Save Bridges?

    How Can Magnets Save Bridges?
    If you’re like a lot people, you might suffer from gephyrophobia, or a fear of bridges. Whether it’s heights or a fear of collapsing, crossing one can be nerve racking. Many are simply afraid of the unknown—the possibility that something might go wrong. These fears aren’t totally unfounded either, according to a 2015 analysis, 61,000 American bridges are deemed “structurally insufficient.” While this could mean a number of things, it’s much higher than we’d like to see. However, new techniques from a familiar source might help put gephyrophobes at ease and help bring this number down. Magnets can now help detect warning signs of potential collapses and prevent them! Continue reading →
  6. Galactic Magnetic Fields

    Galactic Magnetic Fields
    Galaxies have naturally occurring magnetic fields like Earth. But the magnetic field of a galaxy is usually weak in comparison. For example, the Milky Way galaxy has a magnetic field that is 100 times weaker than Earth’s magnetic field. A galaxy can have two different types of magnetic field structures. One type is a large-scale imitation of the overall structure of the galaxy. And the other is small-scale and random. These patterns prevent a compass from working as effectively in space as it does on Earth. If you’re lost in the interstellar space of a galaxy, you would need several measurements of magnetism to help determine your location. Even then, however, you’d need to understand the overall structure of the galaxy to interpret your data. Continue reading →
  7. The Magnetic Field of the Sun

    The Magnetic Field of the Sun
    The magnetic field of the sun plays a huge role in our galaxy. It’s 12,000 times larger than Earth’s magnetic field, extending even beyond Pluto. It has two poles like a bar magnet, and like most stars, the convection of plasma generates its magnetic field. Compared to the magnetic fields of the other planets in our solar system, however, the sun’s magnetic activity is more extensive including solar flares, sunspots, space weather, and pole reversal. Continue reading →
  8. The Magnetic Fields of Our Solar System

    The Magnetic Fields of Our Solar System
    Magnetic fields protect planets and atmospheres from solar particles. The particles from the sun are charged, which means they respond to the magnetic field and move around it. Magnetic fields are generated by the movement of magnetic material located inside the planet, usually at the core. Earth’s magnetic field is generated by liquid metal at the core and Earth’s rapid rotation of 24 hours generates enough movement of the liquid to stimulate a magnetic field. The other planets in our solar system, except for Venus and Mars, all have magnetic fields or traces of magnetism that differ from Earth’s in various ways. So, how are other planetary magnetic fields generated? Continue reading →
  9. What the Weakening of Earth’s Magnetic Fields Actually Means

    What the Weakening of Earth’s Magnetic Fields Actually Means
    Scientists have known that the Earth’s magnetic poles are going to flip for a while. In fact, the poles have shifted many times before, but this time it is happening more rapidly. New data magnetic maps from Swarm, a trio of satellites controlled by the European Space Agency (ESA) reveals that the fields are weakening 10 times faster than first thought. The thought of the planet’s poles flipping sounds pretty scary, but what does it actually mean? Continue reading →
  10. The Technology Behind the Magnetic Levitation Train

    The Technology Behind the Magnetic Levitation Train
    You may have heard of Japan’s Maglev Train-also known as the fastest floating train in the world, clocking in at an impressive 310 plus miles per hour speed. So far the Maglev train is only notably operating as a transport system in Japan, China, and a few other countries, but recent reports suggest that the impressive floating train technology could make its way to the U.S. in the near future. Continue reading →

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