Space physicists hope to “see” magnetosphere soon


  • Julie Wakefield


Seeing is believing, or so Missourians say. While the world has witnessed the disruptive effects of Earth's magnetosphere on radio and satellite communications and on electrical power networks, space physicists' vision to understand the magnetosphere and to predict its effects on “space weather” has been somewhat blocked. Mainly, scientists have been limited by their inability “see” or image this comet-shaped region—defined by the interaction between Earth's magnetic field and the charged particles of the solar wind—in its entirety.

But such observational limits may soon be overcome; results presented at AGU's Spring Meeting in Baltimore may usher in a whole new era in space physics.