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Plasma fountain

The Earth's "plasma fountain", showing oxygen, helium, and hydrogen ions which gush into space from regions near the Earth's poles. The faint yellow area shown above the north pole represents gas lost from Earth into space; the green area is the aurora borealis-or plasma energy pouring back into the atmosphere.[1]

Plasma Fountain is in the North Pole of the Earth. This figure depicts the oxygen, helium, and hydrogen ions that gush into space from regions near the Earth's poles. The faint yellow gas shown above the north pole represents gas lost from Earth into space; the green gas is the aurora borealis-or plasma energy pouring back into the atmosphere.

DiscoveryEdit

The plasma fountain was discovered using data from the Retarding Ion Mass Spectrometer instrument on the Dynamics Explorer spacecraft, in the 1980s. Recently, the SCIFER sounding rocket was launched into the plasma heating region of the fountain.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Plasma fountain Source, press release: Solar Wind Squeezes Some of Earth's Atmosphere into Space

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