Archive for the ‘Electro-magnetism’ Category


Still plenty of work for scientists to do to gain a better understanding of our rotating Earth’s electromagnetic processes.

Scientists assumed Earth’s mantle, the layer stretching from the crust to a depth of 255 miles, was magnetically dead. New research suggests they were mistaken, reports Phys.org.

Most scientists thought Earth’s magnetism was powered by materials in the crust and core, but according to a new study published this week in the journal Nature, hematite, a common iron oxide, retains its magnetic qualities at high temperatures.

“This new knowledge about the Earth’s mantle and the strongly magnetic region in the western Pacific could throw new light on any observations of the Earth’s magnetic field,” Ilya Kupenko, mineral physicist and researcher from the University of Munster in Germany, said in a news release.

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‘The coronal heating problem in solar physics relates to the question of why the temperature of the Sun’s corona is millions of kelvins higher than that of the surface. Several theories have been proposed to explain this phenomenon but it is still challenging to determine which of these is correct’ — Wikipedia.

It’s one of the greatest and longest-running mysteries surrounding, quite literally, our sun—why is its outer atmosphere hotter than its fiery surface?

University of Michigan researchers believe they have the answer, and hope to prove it with help from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, says Phys.org.

In roughly two years, the probe will be the first manmade craft to enter the zone surrounding the sun where heating looks fundamentally different than what has previously been seen in space.

This will allow them to test their theory that the heating is due to small magnetic waves travelling back and forth within the zone.

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A computer-generated image of Apple’s first Irish data centre [credit: Apple]


Data centres consume a lot of electricity so this could be a big deal if scalable as claimed here.

Superfast data processing using light pulses instead of electricity has been created by scientists, reports Phys.org.

The invention uses magnets to record computer data which consume virtually zero energy, solving the dilemma of how to create faster data processing speeds without the accompanying high energy costs.

Today’s data centre servers consume between 2 to 5% of global electricity consumption, producing heat which in turn requires more power to cool the servers.

The problem is so acute that Microsoft has even submerged hundreds of its data centre services in the ocean in an effort to keep them cool and cut costs.

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Earth’s magnetic field keeps weakening at a faster rate. Should we be concerned?

The Next Grand Minimum

Earth’s magnetic field is getting significantly weaker, the magnetic north pole is shifting at an accelerating pace, and scientists readily admit that a sudden pole shift could potentially cause “trillions of dollars” in damage. Today, most of us take the protection provided by Earth’s magnetic field completely for granted. It is essentially a colossal force field which surrounds our planet and makes life possible. And even with such protection, a giant solar storm could still potentially hit our planet and completely fry our power grid. But as our magnetic field continues to get weaker and weaker, even much smaller solar storms will have the potential to be cataclysmic. And once the magnetic field gets weak enough, we will be facing much bigger problems. As you will see below, if enough solar radiation starts reaching our planet none of us will survive.
But now we are being told that data collected…

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Solar flare erupting from a sunspot [image credit: space.com]


Another of the sun’s secrets comes into view.

The sun’s magnetic field is ten times stronger than previously believed, new research from Queen’s University Belfast and Aberystwyth University has revealed.

The new finding was discovered by Dr. David Kuridze, Research Fellow at Aberystwyth University, reports Phys.org.

Dr. Kuridze began the research when he was based at Queen’s University Belfast and completed it when he moved to Aberystwyth University in 2017. He is a leading authority on the use of ground-based telescopes to study the sun’s corona, the ring of bright light visible during a total eclipse.

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During a total solar eclipse, the Sun’s corona and prominences are visible to the naked eye [image credit: Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be ]


The Sun continues to pose questions for scientists, such as the way solar cycle variability works and the surprisingly intense heat of its corona, compared to its surface.

A team of scientists who collected numerous observations of last summer’s total solar eclipse via telescopes and electronic cameras has used the data to better understand motions within the solar corona, the Sun’s outer atmosphere, says Space Reporter.

Jay Pasachoff of Williams College in Williamstown, MA, who led the team in observing the eclipse in Salem, Oregon, presented their findings to the 232nd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in early June.

His team has observed numerous solar eclipses during various times in the 11-year sunspot cycle.

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Active solar regions
[image credit: NASA/Goddard]


Very interesting, bearing in mind that magnetism is caused by moving electric charges. The corona has frequencies.

New research undertaken at Northumbria University, Newcastle shows that the sun’s magnetic waves behave differently than currently believed, reports Phys.org.

Their findings have been reported in Nature Astronomy.

After examining data gathered over a 10-year period, the team from Northumbria’s Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering found that magnetic waves in the sun’s corona – its outermost layer of atmosphere – react to sound waves escaping from the inside of the sun.

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Field lines of the bar magnet [image credit: brilliant.org]


A magnetic field line is more a trajectory than an actual entity, despite being discussed as though it really exists. But they are ‘found’ in space just as they are in bar magnets.

New research describes striking similarity of laboratory research findings with observations of the four-satellite Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission that studies magnetic reconnection in space, reports ScienceDaily.

As on Earth, so in space.

A four-satellite mission that is studying magnetic reconnection — the breaking apart and explosive reconnection of the magnetic field lines in plasma that occurs throughout the universe — has found key aspects of the process in space to be strikingly similar to those found in experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).

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Last Wednesday I attended the talk by Professor Valentina Zharkova hosted by the GWPF in London. She delivered a superb lecture including news of new work improving her model by including quadrupole magnetic parameters. In the Q & A session that followed, I got the opportunity to point up the connection between her model output and Rick Salvadors.

zharkova salvador models

I got a very positive response, including an invitation to collaborate on further work. We discussed this further over dinner, when I gave her a printed copy of Rick’s 2013 PRP paper.

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In the solar system and the universe too, ‘weird’ may well be another way of saying ‘we haven’t figured it out yet’.

Planet Pailly

When I did my yearlong Mission to the Solar System series back in 2015, the planet Neptune stood out as having the weirdest and wackiest magnetic field.  Here’s a totally legit photograph from 1989 taken by the Voyager 2 space probe.  As you can see, Neptune is really confused about how magnetic fields are supposed to work.

But since 2015, science has learned more about the other three gas giants in our Solar System.  Neptune’s magnetic field is still really weird, but it’s no longer clear that it is the definitive weirdest.

  • Jupiter: Based on data from the Juno mission, it looks like Jupiter has three poles instead of two.  There’s a north pole, right about where you’d expect it to be.  Then the magnetic field lines emanating from the north pole connect to two separate south poles.  The first south pole is about where you’d expect a south pole…

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I was at the Dodger game Saturday when the power went out….completely.  It was the 12th inning, with the score tied at 4-4 (Dodger Vs Padres).  This was a serious matter!

I thought I was joking when I told my friends “It’s probably caused by massive ground currents from a CME (coronal mass ejection)”.  Lo and behold, when I woke up Sunday morning, I discovered that a surprisingly significant stream of energy from an earthbound solar filament hit the ionosphere at the same time as the outage.

The following chart shows measurements of the Earth’s geomagnetic field in the time period when the power outage occurred:

glenn1

UTC is 7 hours ahead of PST, so the power outage at Dodger Stadium, which occurred in Los Angeles at 9:44 p.m., shows up on the chart on August 26th at 04:44 a.m.  That appears to be exactly when the KP Index from NOAA hit Kp = 7.0, categorized as a “Severe Storm”.

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Volcanic eruption


‘The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora was one of the most powerful in recorded history, with a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 7’, says Wikipedia.

The unusually cold year of 1816 has been linked to one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions in recorded history, and now we may know how, says New Atlas.

A new paper explains how electrified ash from the eruption could have “short-circuited” the Earth’s ionosphere and triggered the “Year Without A Summer.”

The year 1816 was a weird one, climatically speaking. Months that would normally be warm and pleasant were cold, rainy and overcast, leading to crop shortages across much of the Northern Hemisphere.

A new paper out of Imperial College London explains how electrified ash from the eruption could have “short-circuited” the Earth’s ionosphere and triggered the “Year Without A Summer.”

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Solar flare [image credit: NASA/SDO]

The “entangled magnetic ‘rope’ forms” leading to eruptions sound similar to Birkeland currents, which can become like ‘twisted or braided rope’ and also feature in auroras.

A single phenomenon may underlie all solar eruptions, according to researchers from the CNRS, École Polytechnique, CEA and INRIA in an article featured on the cover of the February 8 issue of Nature.

They have identified the presence of a confining ‘cage’ in which an entangled magnetic ‘rope’ forms, causing solar eruptions, reports Phys.org.

It is the resistance of this cage to the attack of the rope that determines the power and type of the upcoming flare.

This work has enabled the scientists to develop a model capable of predicting the maximum energy that can be released during a solar flare, which could have potentially devastating consequences for the Earth.

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Pipeline corrosion


The technical term for the alleged problem seems to be
stray current corrosion. However in the reported incident the pipeline itself may or may not have been partly to blame, as it was ‘finally damaged by a digger’
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Scientists say the sun may be corroding New Zealand’s pipelines, and might have played a role in Auckland’s recent fuel crisis – but not in the way we might think,
says the NZ Herald.

Geomagnetic storms are a temporary disturbance of the magnetosphere, which surrounds our planet and is formed by the interaction of the solar wind and Earth’s magnetic field.

When giant explosions on the sun – or solar flares – send energy, light and high-speed particles into space, the solar wind shock waves typically strike Earth’s magnetic field 24 to 36 hours later.

Coronal mass ejections – eruptions of gas and magnetised material from the sun – similarly have the potential to wreak havoc on satellites and Earth-bound technologies, disrupting radio transmissions and causing transformer blowouts and blackouts.

“We’re vulnerable to these as we’ve become more and more technologically dependent,” said Otago University’s Professor Craig Rodger.

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Mars [image credit: ESA]

Invisible goings-on at Mars. Having referred to ‘the magnetotail found at Venus, a planet with no magnetic field of its own’, it seems clear that such things must have a lot to do with the electro-magnetic forces being delivered in the solar wind, as this ScienceDaily report explains.

Mars has an invisible magnetic “tail” that is twisted by interaction with the solar wind, according to new research using data from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft.

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft is in orbit around Mars gathering data on how the Red Planet lost much of its atmosphere and water, transforming from a world that could have supported life billions of years ago into a cold and inhospitable place today.

The process that creates the twisted tail could also allow some of Mars’ already thin atmosphere to escape to space, according to the research team.

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As long time regulars at the Talkshop know, our ongoing research into the links between planetary motion and solar variation has occasionally borne fruit in unexpected ways. The ‘shorthand’ for the sum of all planetary vectors is the Sun’s motion with respect to the barycentre of the solar system. This is the path the Sun is forced to follow by the ongoing evolution of the motion of all the planets. We have found various tantalising near-correlations between aspects of this motion and solar activity levels suggestive of some kind of mechanistic linkage.

We have been ridiculed for years by the WUWT wankers among others for working on this theory. Various other solar researchers have attempted ‘disproofs’ of a planetary effect on solar activity too. They all tell us the planets are “too small and too far away to affect the Sun”.

Last year, we featured a post concerning the work of Shepherd, Zharkov and Zharkova, who have been coming at the solar variation problem from another angle. They resolved the solar-hemispheric components of the solar polar fields into two separate curves, representing shallow and deep solar ‘dynamos’.

ApJ501502_aptepseps.dvi

Combining the curves together produces a good representation of changing solar activity levels. Their prediction is, like ours from our planetary model, for a big solar slowdown extending through the middle decades of this century. The mainstream climate scientists tried to get the press release revoked…

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One high-altitude nuclear test even managed to create its own artificial aurora. Others knocked out orbiting satellites.

Our Cold War history is now offering scientists a chance to better understand the complex space system that surrounds us, says Phys.org.

Space weather — which can include changes in Earth’s magnetic environment— is usually triggered by the sun’s activity, but recently declassified data on high-altitude nuclear explosion tests have provided a new look at the mechanisms that set off perturbations in that magnetic system.

Such information can help support NASA’s efforts to protect satellites and astronauts from the natural radiation inherent in space. From 1958 to 1962, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. ran high-altitude tests with exotic code names like Starfish, Argus and Teak.

The tests have long since ended, and the goals at the time were military. Today, however, they can provide crucial information on how humans can affect space.

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Quote: ‘Flying through Steve, the temperature 300 km above Earth’s surface jumped by 3000°C’.

Thanks to social media and the power of citizen scientists chasing the northern lights, a new feature was discovered recently, as ESA reports.

Nobody knew what this strange ribbon of purple light was, so … it was called Steve. ESA’s Swarm magnetic field mission has now also met Steve and is helping to understand the nature of this new-found feature.

Speaking at the recent Swarm science meeting in Canada, Eric Donovan from the University of Calgary explained how this new finding couldn’t have happened 20 years ago when he started to study the aurora.

While the shimmering, eerie, light display of auroras might be beautiful and captivating, they are also a visual reminder that Earth is connected electrically to the Sun.
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Aurora over Antarctica [image credit: spacefellowship.com]

Aurora over Antarctica [image credit: spacefellowship.com]


ScienceDaily reports on the latest advances in understanding how the solar wind interacts with Earth. Note the seasonal aspects and the electric current findings.

A team of National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported researchers at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) discovered new evidence about how Earth’s magnetic field interacts with solar wind, almost as soon as they finished installing six data-collection stations across East Antarctic Plateau last January.

Their findings could have significant effects on our understanding of space weather. Although invisible to the naked eye, space weather can have serious, detrimental effects on modern technological infrastructure, including telecommunications, navigation, and electrical power systems.

The researchers for the first time observed that regardless of the hemisphere or the season, the polar ionosphere is subject to a constant electrical current, produced by pressure changes in the solar wind.

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wpid-PRP-Censured.jpgA new paper is in the works from a group of mainstream solar physics theorists who work with dynamo models. It explores the possibility that the Sun’s dynamo is modulated by planetary motion – something we’ve been working on here at the talkshop for the last six years. It finds that the gravitational interaction of the motions of Venus, Earth and Jupiter (VEJ) could be involved with both the 11.07 and 22.14 Schwabe and Hale solar cycles.

I’m not going to post the paper yet, as it is still undergoing peer review at a major journal, but I thought it would be fun to provide a teaser. Here’s part of the bibliography. If you look at the top and bottom references, they are to papers by Nicola Scafetta and  Ian Wilson which were published in our special edition of Pattern Recognition in Physics at the end of 2013.

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