Minimize Swarm Scientific Highlights
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ESA's unexpected fleet of space weather monitors

29 June 2018

A team of researchers, supported under ESA's Basic Activities, has recently investigated a resourceful new method of monitoring space weather. They utilised the data from the Swarm and GOCE Earth Explorer missions, and from LISA Pathfinder to investigate whether platform magnetometer data could also be used for space weather diagnostics.

 

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Swarm turns to whistlers and storms

13 April 2018

The batch of new results from ESA's Swarm mission has not only included the highest-resolution map of the magnetic field generated by Earth's crust and a map of the tiny magnetic signals from the oceans, but also, remarkably, some unexpected insight into lightning in the upper atmosphere and geomagnetic storms.

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Swarm tracks elusive ocean magnetism

10 April 2018

The magnetic field is arguably one of the most mysterious features of our planet. ESA's Swarm mission is continually yielding more insight into how our protective shield is generated, how it behaves and how it is changing. Adding yet another string to its bow, Swarm is now tracking changes in the magnetic field produced in the oceans in more detail than ever before.

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Getting to know Steve

16 March 2018

Steve – a strange shimmering ribbon of purple light in the night sky – was discovered in 2016, but now, thanks to ESA's Swarm mission, more is known about this weird feature of the aurora.

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Swarm trio becomes a quartet

22 February 2018

With the aim of making the best possible use of existing satellites, ESA and Canada have made a deal that turns Swarm into a four-satellite mission to shed even more light on space weather and features such as the aurora borealis.

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Swarm details energetic coupling

15 February 2018

The Sun bathes our planet in the light and heat it needs to sustain life, but it also bombards us with dangerous charged particles in solar wind. Our magnetic field largely shields from this onslaught, but like many a relationship, it's somewhat complicated. Thanks to ESA's Swarm mission the nature of this Earth–Sun coupling has been revealed in more detail than ever before.

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When Swarm met Steve

21 April 2017

Thanks to social media and the power of citizen scientists chasing the northern lights, a new feature was discovered recently. Nobody knew what this strange ribbon of purple light was, so... it was called Steve.

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Supersonic plasma jets discovered

23 March 2017

Information from ESA's magnetic field Swarm mission has led to the discovery of supersonic plasma jets high up in our atmosphere that can push temperatures up to almost 10,000°C.

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Swarm detects asymmetry

22 March 2017

Strong electric currents in the upper atmosphere are known to vary according to the season, but ESA's Swarm mission has discovered that this seasonal variation is not the same in the north and south polar regions.

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Unravelling Earth's magnetic field

21 March 2017

ESA's Swarm satellites are seeing fine details in one of the most difficult layers of Earth's magnetic field to unpick - as well as our planet's magnetic history imprinted on Earth's crust.

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Release of Swarm-Aurora and the Conjunction Finder

07 February 2017

Are you working on auroral science? You can use Swarm magnetic field mission data along with in-situ and ground-based data through a new easy-to-use web interface; Swarm-Aurora.

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There's a jet stream in our core

19 December 2016

We would normally associate jet streams with the weather but, thanks to ESA's magnetic field mission, scientists have discovered a jet stream deep below Earth's surface - and it's speeding up.

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Swarm reveals why satellites lose track

28 October 2016

Satellite engineers have been puzzling over why GPS navigation systems on low-orbiting satellites like ESA's Swarm sometimes black out when they fly over the equator between Africa and South America. Thanks to Swarm, it appears 'thunderstorms' in the ionosphere are to blame.

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Magnetic oceans and electric Earth

04 October 2016

Oceans might not be thought of as magnetic, but they make a tiny contribution to our planet's protective magnetic shield. Remarkably, ESA's Swarm satellites have not only measured this extremely faint field, but have also led to new discoveries about the electrical nature of inner Earth.

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Earth's magnetic heartbeat

10 May 2016

With more than two years of measurements by ESA's Swarm satellite trio, changes in the strength of Earth's magnetic field are being mapped in detail.

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Seven ESA satellites team up to explore Earth's magnetic field

01 July 2015

For the first time ever, two of ESA's flagship space missions - Cluster and Swarm - have joined forces to simultaneously measure the properties of Earth's magnetic field at two different altitudes.

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Magnetic complexity begins to untangle

22 June 2015

After a year in orbit, the three Swarm satellites have provided a first glimpse inside Earth and started to shed new light on the dynamics of the upper atmosphere - all the way from the ionosphere about 100 km above, through to the outer reaches of our protective magnetic shield.

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Swarm reveals Earth's changing magnetism

19 June 2014

The first set of high-resolution results from ESA's three-satellite Swarm constellation reveals the most recent changes in the magnetic field that protects our planet.