Portals to the Sun found in Earth’s magnetic field.
NASA funded research at the University of Iowa has found previously hidden ‘portals’ between the magnetic fields of the Earth and the Sun. They create an uninterrupted path along the 93 million mile distance between the two planets, allowing tons of energetic particles to flow uninterrupted between them.
On Earth they can heat the upper atmosphere, sparking geomagnetic storms, and igniting bright polar auroras. They are typically located a few tens of thousands of kilometres from Earth where the geomagnetic field meets the onrushing solar wind. The portals can open and close dozens of times per day, although some appear to be large and open for much longer periods.
The information about the portals was discovered from data taken from NASA’s Polar spacecraft which spent years in our magnetosphere in the 1990’s.
NASA is planning a mission called “MMS” (Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission), due to launch in 2014, to study the phenomenon. Bristling with energetic particle detectors and magnetic sensors, the four spacecraft of MMS will spread out in Earth’s magnetosphere and surround the portals to observe how they work.