Skip to comments.A Giant Breach in Earth's Magnetic Field
Posted on 12/16/2008 2:11:19 PM PST by TaraP
Dec. 16, 2008: NASA's five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a breach in Earth's magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist. Solar wind can flow in through the opening to "load up" the magnetosphere for powerful geomagnetic storms. But the breach itself is not the biggest surprise. Researchers are even more amazed at the strange and unexpected way it forms, overturning long-held ideas of space physics.
"At first I didn't believe it," says THEMIS project scientist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "This finding fundamentally alters our understanding of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction."
The opening was hugefour times wider than Earth itself," says Wenhui Li, a space physicist at the University of New Hampshire who has been analyzing the data. Li's colleague Jimmy Raeder, also of New Hampshire, says "1027 particles per second were flowing into the magnetospherethat's a 1 followed by 27 zeros. This kind of influx is an order of magnitude greater than what we thought was possible."
The event began with little warning when a gentle gust of solar wind delivered a bundle of magnetic fields from the Sun to Earth. Like an octopus wrapping its tentacles around a big clam, solar magnetic fields draped themselves around the magnetosphere and cracked it open. The cracking was accomplished by means of a process called "magnetic reconnection." High above Earth's poles, solar and terrestrial magnetic fields linked up (reconnected) to form conduits for solar wind. Conduits over the Arctic and Antarctic quickly expanded; within minutes they overlapped over Earth's equator to create the biggest magnetic breach ever recorded by Earth-orbiting spacecraft.
So this explains why the American people lost their minds and elected Barack Hussein Obama?
Can Obama part the solar sea, too?
Are we gonna die ?
Does this mean we all die?
Please let it be so.
maybe those tin foil hats WOULD have worked this time...
"Don't put my faith in nobody, not even a scientist"--Bob Dylan
Here is why they can’t believe their ears: The solar wind presses against Earth’s magnetosphere almost directly above the equator where our planet’s magnetic field points north. Suppose a bundle of solar magnetism comes along, and it points north, too. The two fields should reinforce one another, strengthening Earth’s magnetic defenses and slamming the door shut on the solar wind. In the language of space physics, a north-pointing solar magnetic field is called a “northern IMF” and it is synonymous with shields up!
“So, you can imagine our surprise when a northern IMF came along and shields went down instead,” says Sibeck. “This completely overturns our understanding of things.”
Northern IMF events don’t actually trigger geomagnetic storms, notes Raeder, but they do set the stage for storms by loading the magnetosphere with plasma. A loaded magnetosphere is primed for auroras, power outages, and other disturbances that can result when, say, a CME (coronal mass ejection) hits.
And Gorebull warming.
Betting the “breach” is normal, based on the solar cycle. Gives the earth time to charge it’s batteries for the next solar cycle onslaught.
Give em a day or so and they’ll figure out what calamity this will cause, how much to tax us to prevent it, and which magnets need to be banned.
ROFLMTO...that is just too funny!!
Would be a freaky science fiction novel, breach in the magnetic field, the only survivors on the planet are a dozen or so Ron Paul supporters wearing tin foil hats.
Danger Will Robinson Danger bla bla bla......
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