The power of artificial intelligence: it finds magnetic eruptions in space

The power of artificial intelligence: it finds magnetic eruptions

Many phenomena occurring in outer space are recorded by human-made devices. The recording, made over several hours, gives the researchers the basis for many days of analysis. Depending on the viewing point, the images are ranked, transmitted from the space rovers, and analyzed. And again, a record is kept, so that later, over the course of many months, one can get one rational grain of all the information received.

The study of space data is one of the important components in the scientific basis of the space observations. Only a person is capable of analyzing and considering the information received. It has been that way until now.


The astronomers were the first to use an artificial intelligence algorithm that became a kind of "virtual helping hand." Matthew Argall, who is a space physicist at the University of New Hampshire, announced the launch of a new large-scale NASA mission, MMS. It embeds machine learning into its operations. The algorithm has only one task. The hardware detects when a space probe crosses the magnetic fields of the Earth and the Sun and vice versa.

But it is just the first and trial algorithm that may be followed by the new, more functional ones. Our planet is surrounded by an invisible force field that can be compared to a giant bubble. The magnetic field serves the Earth in different ways.

Protects against dangerous cosmic rays that would otherwise expose all life on the planet to mortal danger. It also defines the patterns of movement of particles in the near-Earth space. But the Earth's magnetic field is in many ways inferior to the Sun's magnetic field. Particles of the solar wind carry it beyond the orbit of Neptune. And the particles around the magnetic field of the Sun form lines of force, in fact, in contact with the magnetic field of the Earth, forming an invisible border, it is called the magnetopause.


It is not constant and needs to be monitored, because under the certain conditions the solar wind can break through the magnetic field of our planet. The place of such hack is called the electron diffusion zone, and the detection of such zones is the main task of the new mission.

When the diffusion particles enter into a chain reaction, the aurora borealis are formed, which poses a risk to the operation of equipment on spacecraft. The mission will be monitored not only by the NASA employees, but also by the specialists from the Atmospheric and Space Physics Laboratory in Boulder.