Here is more information on where and how they spotted this phenomenon:
In a region of space about 12,000 miles from Earth’s surface, two spacecraft separated by a narrow patch of space — about as wide as Rhode Island — identified a region where the tangle of plasma waves gives way to a very regular structure. The scientists detected the invisible structure using a spectrogram — a visual representation of the spectrum of frequencies in space. Through this lens, they observed a stack of 13 equally spaced, zebra-like stripes.
The team also observed something more curious: Each stripe, or plasma wave, appeared to be a multiple, or harmonic, of a proton gyrofrequency — the frequency at which protons gyrate around the Earth’s magnetic field line. The researchers performed some calculations to estimate the growth rate of each plasma wave, and discovered that the very orderly waves likely originated from the gyrating protons.
Yuri Shprits, a visiting associate professor in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, says the striped structure could indicate a region in space in which new and different interactions may take place.
“This structure is pretty close to the Earth, which is important because people want to understand the environment where satellites operate,” Shprits says. “Usually plasma undergoes a number of different instabilities, and waves tend to move from one region in space to another, so everything you see is noisy, very short-lived, and on smaller scales. But this structure seems to be very persistent, highly coherent in space, and was remarkably organized and structured, which we didn’t know could exist to such high degree.”
It seems as if almost yearly now, what we once thought to be certain in space, such as the big bang and other theories are being disproven and remodeled. The unusual properties of these plasma waves will certainly contribute to new theories on what we thought were true about astrophysics.
thanks to MIT for the great info
thanks to NASA for the pic