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Discovery of moving Plasma Tubes above the Earth

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2 years 4 months ago #104213 by eansbro
eansbro created the topic: Discovery of moving Plasma Tubes above the Earth
An Australian scientist has discovered that giant, invisible, moving plasma tubes fill the skies above Earth.

It’s a finding that was initially met with a considerable degree of scepticism within the field of astrophysics, but a University of Sydney undergraduate student Cleo Loi, 23, has proven that the phenomenon exists.

By using a radio telescope in the West Australian outback to see space in 3D, Ms Loi has proven that the Earth’s atmosphere is embedded with these strangely shaped, tubular plasma structures. The complex, multilayered ducts are created by the atmosphere being ionized by sunlight.

“For over 60 years, scientists believed these structures existed, but by imaging them for the first time, we’ve provided visual evidence that they are really there,” said Ms Loi, of the Australia Research Council Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO).

“We measured their position to be about 600km above the ground, in the upper ionosphere, and they appear to be continuing upwards into the plasmasphere.

“This is around where the neutral atmosphere ends, and we are transitioning to the plasma of outer space.

“We saw a striking pattern in the sky where stripes of high-density plasma neatly alternated with stripes of low-density plasma. This pattern drifted slowly and aligned beautifully with the Earth’s magnetic field lines, like aurorae.

“We realized we may be onto something big.”

Geophysical Research letters (American Geophysical Union) journal 25 May 2015

Real-time imaging of density ducts between the plasmasphere and ionosphere

Abstract

Ionization of the Earth's atmosphere by sunlight forms a complex, multilayered plasma environment within the Earth's magnetosphere, the innermost layers being the ionosphere and plasmasphere. The plasmasphere is believed to be embedded with cylindrical density structures (ducts) aligned along the Earth's magnetic field, but direct evidence for these remains scarce. Here we report the first direct wide-angle observation of an extensive array of field-aligned ducts bridging the upper ionosphere and inner plasmasphere, using a novel ground-based imaging technique. We establish their heights and motions by feature tracking and parallax analysis. The structures are strikingly organized, appearing as regularly spaced, alternating tubes of overdensities and underdensities strongly aligned with the Earth's magnetic field. These findings represent the first direct visual evidence for the existence of such structures.


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