News of the WeekAstrophysics

Cluster Reveals Earth's Rippling Magnetic Field

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Science  23 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5508, pp. 1466-1467
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5508.1466b

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PARIS-- Four satellites flying in unison have revealed a hidden wild side to Earth's magnetosphere, the magnetic field enveloping the planet that acts like a gigantic deflector shield against blasts of solar radiation. The unprecedented view, unveiled here last week at European Space Agency headquarters, could help scientists devise better defenses against crippling magnetic storms.