Heart of the black auroras revealed by Cluster 09 April 2015 Most people have heard of auroras - more commonly known as the Northern and Southern Lights - but, except on rare occasions, such as the recent widespread apparition on 17 March, they are not usually visible outside the polar regions. Less familiar are phenomena known as black auroras, dark patches which often subdivide the glowing curtains of red and green light. Read more
Cluster is currently investigating the Earth's magnetic environment and its interaction with the solar wind in three dimensions. Science output from Cluster greatly advances our knowledge of space plasma physics, space weather and the Sun-Earth connection and has been key in improving the modeling of the magnetosphere and understanding its various physical processes.
Origin of high-latitude auroras revealed 18 December 2014 Auroras are the most visible manifestation of the Sun's effect on Earth, but many aspects of these spectacular displays are still poorly understood. Thanks to ESA's Cluster and NASA's IMAGE satellites working together, a particular type of very high-latitude aurora has now been explained. Read more
Working life extensions for ESA’s science missions 20 November 2014 Continuing operations of ten space science missions have been extended by ESA’s Science Programme Committee (SPC). Read more
A mixed-up magnetic storm 28 August 2014 The Sun is a variable star, experiencing 11-year-long cycles of activity which impact our planet and near-Earth space. Forecasting the changing space weather and the effects it will have on Earth remains a challenge, as illustrated by an unusual magnetic storm that was observed by ESA's Cluster quartet and one of the Chinese-ESA Double Star spacecraft. Read more
Cluster helps to model Earth's mysterious magnetosphere 07 May 2014 For many years, scientists have been striving to understand the constantly changing structure and behaviour of the huge magnetic bubble that surrounds our planet. One approach – pioneered by Russian scientist Nikolai Tsyganenko - has been to develop models based on data sent back by spacecraft, such as ESA's Cluster quartet. Read more