In Deutschland versinkt die Sonne schon vor dem Ende des Transits hinter dem Horizont (in Berlin beginnt der Sonnenuntergang gegen 16.20 Uhr). Der Transit dauert aber noch bis um 19:04 Uhr.
„Magnetic fields appear to play an essential role in making planets habitable, so I wanted to find out how Earth’s magnetic field compared to those of other potentially habitable planets,“ she said.
Ms McIntyre said Earth’s strong magnetic field had probably played an important role in protecting the atmosphere from the solar wind and keeping the planet wet and habitable.
„Venus and Mars have negligible magnetic fields and do not support life, while Earth’s magnetic field is relatively strong and does,“ she said.
The Cassini spacecraft has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004, and after many years analyzing the data collected, Cassini has observed the first FTE at Saturn.
„If we’ve learned anything from IBEX so far, it is that the models that we’re using for interaction of the solar wind with the galaxy were just dead wrong,“ David McComas, principal investigator for the IBEX program, said during a NASA press conference Thursday.
For starters, it’s been assumed that the heliosphere’s expansion and contraction follows the sun’s roughly 11-year activity cycle, during which the flow rate of charged particles, or solar wind, fluctuates.
The high energy radiation is important because it is absorbed high in the atmosphere of a planet, causing the gas to be heated. For the Earth, the gas is heated to temperatures of more than 1000 degrees Celsius in the upper region known as the thermosphere. This is the region in which spacecraft such as satellites and the International Space Station fly. When orbiting young stars with high activity levels, the thermospheres of planets are heated to much higher temperatures which, in extreme cases, can cause the gas to flow away from the planet.