magnetic field

Magnetic Kappa Ceti

Nearly four billion years ago, life arose on Earth. Life appeared because our planet had a rocky surface, liquid water, and a blanketing atmosphere. But life thrived thanks to another necessary ingredient: the presence of…


Ion thunderstorms!

Satellite engineers have been puzzling over why GPS navigation systems on low-orbiting satellites like ESA’s Swarm sometimes black out when they fly over the equator between Africa and South America. Thanks to Swarm, it appears…


Not your average magnet

Strong magnetic fields are common in stars, an international group of astronomers has found, and are not rare as previously thought. These findings will dramatically impact our understanding of how stars evolve and potentially lead…



The large magnet in the sky

Our Galaxy’s magnetic field is revealed in a new image from ESA’s Planck satellite. This image was compiled from the first all-sky observations of ‘polarised’ light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way. Light…


Swarming out there

ESA’s three-satellite Swarm constellation was lofted into a near-polar orbit by a Russian Rockot launcher this afternoon. For four years, it will monitor Earth’s magnetic field, from the depth of our planet’s core to the…


No Swarming on Halloween

Three-satellite Swarm mission carved into a Halloween jack-o’-lantern – the artistry of geomagnetist Victoria Anne Ridley from the British Geological Survey, Edinburgh, UK. Swarm is planned for launch in November. … (ESA) Despite All Hallow’s…