NASA’s spacecraft has made an interesting discovery; the spacecraft has helped scientist to uncover the mystery behind the Earth’s magnetic field. This mystery is one that has kept many scientists in laboratories with a solution. The discovery reveals the link between the two most important processes in the plasma universe; turbulence and magnetic reconnection.
NASA launched four spacecraft that focuses on finding the mystery behind magnetic reconnection. The magnetic area around the earth is called the Magnetosphere. The four spacecraft deployed to the Magnetosphere fly so close to the area that they are able to observe events in the area more closely.
These spacecraft called Magnetospheric Multiscale Spacecraft (MMS), are unlike others which were used in previous missions. These MMS are able to capture data faster but they cannot capture the process of turbulence reconnection. The MMS cannot capture this process because the process happens too fast and that beats the speed of the MMS.
The sun releases wind called Plasma. Plasma becomes very turbulent when it reaches the Magnetosphere. The data gathered from the spacecraft has helped scientist to understand what causes the turbulence. The findings will help scientists to make hypothesis about the magnetic fields of other planets. The magnetic field that scientists are trying is known to shield the earth from solar wind.
NASA will rely on the discovery that was published in the journal Nature to explain a lot more phenomenon. Two years ago, NASA discovered the process that is now described as magnetic reconnection. The discovery was published in “Science” at that time.
It is this discovery that scientists are building on to make several other discoveries. It is evident that there will be more discoveries in the future. Scientists will understand Earth and its atmosphere a lot more as they make more discoveries. The more we understand the planet, the more prepared we are for any form of eventuality.
NASA has plans for other several other missions this year. One of the prominent missions is the Expedition series of missions. NASA’s next mission which will happen on May 19th is the GRACE-FO mission. The GRACE-FO mission will succeed the GRACE mission that tracked the movement of water on the Earth surface.
The GRACE-FO mission will track water giving more accurate measurements and it will also test some advanced technology as well. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is the launch vehicle for the GRACE-FO mission. The Falcon 9 will launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.