Cluster takes a tilt at radio wave sources 26 November 2013 A new study using ESA's Cluster mission has shown improved precision in determining the source of a radio emission produced by the Earth. The experiment involved tilting one of the four identical Cluster spacecraft to measure the electric field of this emission in three dimensions for the first time. 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.
Cluster shows plasmasphere interacting with Van Allen belts 10 September 2013 Near-Earth space is populated by charged particles - electrons and ions - which occupy regions known as the plasmasphere and the Van Allen radiation belts. Over the past decade, the four identical spacecraft of ESA's Cluster mission have made numerous studies of these regions, and a recent paper has revealed intriguing links between these overlapping regions. Read more
Wobbly magnetic reconnection speeds up electrons 18 July 2013 Scientists have discovered a long-sought piece in the puzzle of where high-energy particles in Earth's magnetosphere come from. Using data from ESA's Cluster mission, they found that magnetic reconnection can accelerate electrons to very high energies, as long as reconnection happens at a variable pace rather than steadily. Read more
Cluster discovers steady leak in Earth's plasmasphere 02 July 2013 A steady wind, discovered by ESA's Cluster mission, is slowly escaping from Earth's plasmasphere - the torus of plasma that surrounds our planet's atmosphere. The outflow amounts to almost 90 tonnes a day. Predicted by theory two decades ago, this is one of the main mechanisms that replenishes Earth's magnetosphere with fresh plasma. Read more