Tim Cullen: The Mystery of the Missing Magnetosphere

Posted: April 29, 2012 by Rog Tallbloke in Astronomy, Astrophysics, cosmic rays, Electro-magnetism, Energy, Geomagnetism, Gravity, Solar physics

This is our second guest post by Tim Cullen, and it is a superb piece of work presented in a professionally produced document, which builds on his first post. There are 32 stunning images in this piece, and I cannot do them all justice with wordpress’ limited formatting capabilities. Please download the full article and feast your eyes and feed your mind with Tim’s intriguing and thought provoking work. Here’s the intro and the first few  images as a tempter-taster:

The Mystery of the Missing Magnetosphere
Tim Cullen. Malaga April 2012

Like many a whoduniti drama this investigation is presented in three acts, contains a sting in the tailii and is conducted by an eccentric amateur who leaves the audience to decide whether the story should be filed under fact or fiction.

The mystery began when it was noted that settled scienceiii believes that the Mooniv only has a mini-magnetospherev lurking on the far side of the Moon that is 360 kilometres across and is surrounded by a 300 kilometre thick region of enhanced plasmavi fluxvii caused by the solar windviii.

The diminutive size of the Moon’s magnetosphereix is apparently associated with the Moon’s very weakx external magnetic field which is described as being less than one-hundredthxi that of the Earthxii.

The plot thickens when comparisons are made with other terrestrial planets.

Mercury is described as having a strong magnetospherexiii and a significantxiv magnetic field which is also [contradictorily] weakxv because it is only about 1.1% as strong as the Earth’sxvi i.e. very close to the Moon’s less than one-hundredthxvii that of the Earth.

Mercury’s magnetotailxviii is estimated to vary from 10s Mercury radii to 100s Mercury radiixix and even up to 1.5 million milesxx. Using values from Wikipedia the magnetosphere of Mercury may extend up to a maximum of 100 RM (Mercury radii)xxi i.e. 243,970 kilometres.

Mercury’s magnetosphere Image Credit:Science/AAAS i

Venus lacks an intrinsic magnetic field but a weak external magnetic field is induced by an interaction between the ionosphere and the solar wind that supports an induced magnetosphereii that stretches for some 45,000,000 kilometres into spaceiii.

Therefore, the core of the mystery is:

Why doesn’t the Moon have a large magnetosphere like Mercury and Venus?

Act I – Lumps of Rocks in Space

Perhaps the best way to start the investigation is to remove ourselves from the whole concept of magnetospheres. Let’s begin by simply focusing upon how lumps of rock in space interact with the solar windiv as they travel through the Solar Systemv.

Lumps of rock in space are also known as Cometsvi and Wikipedia informs us (without any sign of blushing and without reference to American astronomer Fred Whipplevii) they are also popularly described as “dirty snowballs”.

Comets are irregular rocky objects varying between 100 metres and 100 kilometres in size (depending upon what reference you read) that form long tailsviii as they eccentrically orbit around the sun.

Comet Hale-Bopp Image Credit: Wikipedia

Comet McNaught Credit: Akira Fujii

Download the full document to feast your eyes and feed your mind.

  1. Tim Cullen says:

    22nd July 2009 Sporadic-E

    Image Credit: G. Chen et al

    The total solar eclipse of 22 July 2009, was visible from some regions of China and the intense sporadic-E (Es) that broke out during the solar eclipse period over the eastern China provided a unique chance to study solar eclipse effects on the Es-layer.

    Solar eclipse effects of 22 July 2009 on Sporadic-E
    G. Chen, Z. Zhao, C. Zhou, G. Yang, and Y. Zhang
    School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China


  2. Origin of the magnetic field inside or outside ? :smile:

    Atmosphere very dense and high-speed rotational equator

    Earth 465 m / s
    Jupiter 12580 m / s
    Saturn 9870 m / s
    Uranus 2590 m / s
    Neptune 2680 m / s

    Atmosphere very dense and low rotational equator
    Venus 1,81 m / s

    Low dense atmosphere and low rotational equator
    Mercury 3,0256 m / s
    Moon 4,627 m / s
    Mars 241 m / s


  3. adolfogiurfa says:

    The more eccentricity the greater the EM field. Mercury has the bigger eccentricity 0.21 and the Moon also has a big one, varying from 0.03 to 0.08
    The universal movements are as sine and cosine. So the eq.for power is multiplied by the constant 1.412 (=sqr.root of 2= sin 45º+ cos 45º). All movements are but projections of these primeval movements.
    Planets do not move along circular or elliptical orbits, that´s a wrong abstraction. The whole solar system moves in direct to the apex and thus they move along spirals, which, if projected on a plane represent the known functions of sine + cosine.
    We should consider planets as seen in galaxy sized parameters as moving waves, not as dead rocks or boring moving pebbles.
    Thus the Max Planck´s equation for energy is generalized if we assume the variability of its constant h and replace it by sine+cosine, giving it back its real wavy nature.
    Pythagoras studied waves of sound with his monocord, and its proportions as the ratios between the two legs of a squared triangle, where sine+cosine represent the resultant field: The hypothenuse of the triangle of forces, where electricity and magnetism alway keep its 90º angle.

    And, we should remark, also, that such planetary fields can be negative, as Mercury and Moon, and also positive, as Jupiter and Neptune.

  4. Joe Lalonde says:


    There is a direct link of weight/gravity with velocity. On Venus, the gases weight 400 times more than they do on our planet due to the slowness of planetary velocity.
    On our planet when you go deeper in water, the velocity is less and less as you go to the core as the weight increases more and more.

  5. wayne says:

    Quite interesting, especially the NOAA POES hemispheric power data between July 18th and July 27th, 2009. This is about 10 pages above the bottom of the paper. The two side-bands are clearly visible and there is even a tailing off from the center (~ July 22, 8 UTC) to the right on the following days, a asymmetric component, though I’m not sure where that fits in the theory for it is said that the moon has no detectible dust tail. Possibly that is after-effects in our high atmosphere after the event and not from the tail from the moon itself as it passes.

  6. Joe Lalonde says:
    April 30, 2012 at 3:04 am

    “…..Michele, There is a direct link of weight/gravity with velocity.”

    I want see weight/gravity link …. 30 June 1908 00:14 UTC on the Podkamennaya Tunguska River




  7. A boy of Lucca is in moderation :smile:

    [Reply] I will visit Lucca again. It is a beautiful place. :)

  8. tallbloke says:

    Tim, this is a really well put together paper (Over 50 downloads so far). One aspect that seems to be a puzzle is what happens to lunar dust heading into Earth’s atmosphere. I wonder what the key indicator which would leave a signature is.

  9. Tim Cullen says:

    Michele Casati says: April 30, 2012 at 12:18 am
    Origin of the magnetic field inside or outside?

    A very interesting question, one I would like to answer.
    I still a have a way to go down that path, one step at a time.

    However, this paper is a big step down that path.
    I understand a lot more about planetary charge accumulation and discharge.
    Now I can see a plasma sheath mechanism that supports your 1908 Tunguska blast theory.

  10. Tim Cullen says:

    tallbloke says: April 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm
    One aspect that seems to be a puzzle is what happens to lunar dust heading into Earth’s atmosphere. I wonder what the key indicator which would leave a signature is.

    From my perspective it is a wider issue regarding the erosion of the lunar surface in the form of ionised particles, gas particles and some small dust particles.

    The ionised particles create the Moon’s plasma sheath [that operates in dark mode] with the neutral gas and dust particles entrained in the sheath’s core.

    Therefore, when the Earth passes through the Moon’s plasma sheath during a solar eclipse [New Moon configuration] the Moon deposits erosion debris into the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

    The Polar Cusps channel the ionised particles [from the Moon] down into the atmosphere until they collide with atmospheric particles and produce Aurorae. More globally, the ionised particles also trigger electrical discharges between the layers of the atmosphere: sprites, elves and lightning.

    The Lunar gas and small dust particles deposited into the upper atmosphere cause three, otherwise, mysterious phenomena:
    1) The sporadic Sodium Layer at an altitude of around 80 to 105
    2) Sporadic-E radio wave propagation in the upper atmosphere.
    3) The formation of Noctilucent clouds at altitudes of around 76 to 85 kilometres.

  11. Tim Cullen says:

    Another signature of lunar dust being deposited upon Earth would be its natural accumulation in our seas and oceans.

    Perhaps the Moon’s sodium tail is responsible for the enhanced level of sodium found in sea salt:

    Chloride     Cl-   55.03
    Sodium       Na+   30.59
    Sulfate      SO42-  7.68
    Magnesium    Mg2+   3.68
    Calcium      Ca2+   1.18
    Potassium    K+     1.11
    Bicarbonate  HCO3-  0.41
    Bromide      Br-    0.19
    Borate       BO33-  0.08
    Strontium    Sr2+   0.04
    Miscellaneous       0.01

    This extra sodium would effect the calculations of John Joly who estimate the age of the oceans to be about 80 to 100 million years based upon the rate at which the oceans should have accumulated salt from erosion processes.

    Perhaps Lord Kelvin was right when he estimated that the Earth was more than 20 and less than 40 million year old, and probably much nearer 20 than 40.


  12. Michele Casati says: April 30, 2012 at 12:18 am
    Origin of the magnetic field inside or outside?

    “……..A very interesting question, one I would like to answer.
    I still a have a way to go down that path, one step at a time……”

    Hi, Tim
    I have a second question or meditation… :smile:

    1889 – International Bureau of Weights and Measures -
    MKS or CGS ?

    My comment traslate con goggle.


  13. [...] ESA article was flagged up by Ulric Lyons and I though it was a good followup to Tim Cullen’s recent post on [...]

  14. [...] my pleasure to publish this guest post by Tim Cullen, an independent solar system researcher. His previous post here didn’t get the attention it deserved due to the other events occurring around the same time, [...]