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The Sun, Van Allen belts, and plasma in Saturn’s magnetosphere

6 December 2013

At http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/05/giant-convection-cells-found-on-th… … NASA solar scientist David Hathaway has published a new paper (see Dec 6th issue of Science journal) which says long lived convection cells have been found on the Sun. Massive, long lasting plasma flows transport heat from the depths of the Sun to the surface – which suggests an old explanation for why the Sun rotates fastest at its equator. There is a video at the link.

At http://phys.org/print305380511.html … NASAs twin Van Allen probes have observed a construct of three Van Allen belts – high energy radiation belts that girdle the planet. The latest discovery is that high energy particles (cosmic rays) populating the Van Allen belts can be accelerated in conjunction with ultra low frequency electromagnetic waves operating on a planetary scale – which have been compared to what happens in the Large Hadron Collider. The magnetosphere, which contains the Van Allen belts, revs up particles to ever higher speeds. What is further interesting is that a similar particle accelerator process has been seen on a microscopic scale – a miniature version of what is happening on a planetary scale.

At http://phys.org/print305396102.html … Saturn's magnetosphere has been studied for 30 years or so, not least by the Cassini spacecraft which has been orbiting the planet since 2004. Fundmental differences between Saturn's magnetosphere and that of the Earth have been observed. Read the link.

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