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Earth's Space-Storm Shield Offers Protection -- At a Price - 09 May

Photograph of press conference participants

Photograph of press conference participants. Seated, left to right: Steve Fuselier, Don Mitchell, Dick Fisher, John Foster, Janet Kozyra.

New observations from a NASA spacecraft reveal that a layer in the Earth's outer atmosphere acts like a heat shield by absorbing energy from space storms and reducing their ability to heat the lower atmosphere. However, it imposes a heavy toll for its services by creating a billion-degree cloud of electrified gas, or plasma, that surrounds the planet.

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See also:
Showstack, R., IMAGE Results Illustrate Earth's Active Role in Space Storms, EOS Transactions, A.G.U., 83, 230, 21 May 2002.

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