Just like atmospheric conditions can affect weather on the ground, experts say the sun is responsible for weather in___________.
They say the Sun’s atmosphere emits high energy solar winds that __________ the Earth continuously with electromagnetic energy.
Nicola Fox is with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.
«You could really think of it as us living in the atmosphere of the Sun,» Fox explained. «So, if the Sun changes, the Earth will feel its effects. So, if the Sun __________, the Earth will catch a cold.»
But until now, space scientists have been unable to __________ the source of energy releases in the earth’s atmosphere that are responsible for the spectacular light show, aurora borealis, in the extreme northern and southern latitudes.
The same energy releases are responsible for dangerous sub-storms that __________ ground-based __________ and communications systems.
Scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles discovered the source of the space __________ using five satellites of the U.S. space agency’s THEMIS program.
The researchers explain that the Sun’s and Earth’s electromagnetic fields normally __________ past one another in many different directions.
But when enough energy builds between the two fields, they __________ and right themselves in a process scientists call reconnection.
David Sibek is THEMIS project scientist with the U.S. space agency NASA.
He says reconnection releases a huge amount of electrical __________ into the magnetosphere that surrounds the planet.
«When reconnection occurs, that current is broken and it __________ to the Earth so you have like a short-circuit out in the Earth’s magnetic field,» explained Sibek. «And it’s that current that’s going to power the aurora and __________ into the Earth’s ionosphere and cause power line disruption in Canada for example by __________ transformers.»
Scientists say it is important to know about sub-storms in order to take __________ to protect valuable technical __________, and possibly the lives of __________ astronauts.
The discovery of the __________ behind sub-storms is reported in the journal Science.