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Cold Plasma

26 January 2012

'Low energy ions: a previously hidden solar system particle population' is the title of a paper in Geophysical Research Letters – see www.physorg.com/print246632486.html. Cold plasma in the upper atmosphere are low energy ions that couldn't be seen, or could not be detected, until recently. These electrically charged, and yes, they did mention the word electric, affect how the earth's system interacts with the Sun – and there is an abundance of cold plasma up there. The discovery, it is suggested, will help scientists interpret what is happening around the other planets. The more they looked for low energy ions the more they found them, according to the Swedish space physicists. However, it is hot plasma that arrives on the solar wind – and it is this that creates auroral light shows. An EPA satellite equipped with a detector with thin wire arms that measure the electric field s the satellite rotates has provided the new information. Strong electric fields were found and the field did not appear to fluctuate – to their surprise, even as the satellite rotated. It seems that cold plasma was in effect altering the structure of the electric field.

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