plasma in 3D

6 Jun 2015

At ...

  Cleo Loi, a student at the University of Sydney, has found that by using telescopes in a certain way she could see plasma structures way up high in the atmosphere. The above image is an artist's impression.

She detected the existence of tubular plasma structures in the atmosphere surrounding Earth. Her discovery was initially met with disbelief - but she was undaunted. She went on to prove her point.

She had access to a radio telescope in Western Australia and looked at space in 3D - and the image above reflects the 3D effect. There is a complex of multi layered ducts caused by ionisation (as a result of the solar wind inter-acting with the Earth's magnetosphere). The abstract then makes a strange allegation - 'for over 60 years scientists believed these structures existed ...' - which I thought should read, some scientists - or even a minority of scientists.

Cleo Loi has produced the evidence but the plasma tubes are at an altitude of around 600km, in the ionosphere. Strips of high density plasma alternate with strips of low density plasma and align with Earth's magnetic field lines (just like the aurorae).