Surprise method of transferring energy from solar wind to Earth's magnetosphere

What would happen during a magnetic reversal?

9 Sep 09 – “This discovery is like finding it got hotter when the sun went down,” said Larry Lyons, UCLA professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and a co-author of the research.

The sun emits a stream of ionized particles – the solar wind – that bombard the earth and other planets in the solar system.


The solar wind (electric currents) bombard the earth SOHO image composite by Steele Hill (NASA)

“Charged particles carry currents, which cause significant modifications in the Earth’s magnetosphere,” says this article by  Stuart Wolpert. This region is where substorms (energy releases in space) wreak havoc on satellites, power grids and communications systems.

“The rate at which the solar wind transfers energy to the magnetosphere can vary widely,” says Wolpert. “But what determines the rate of energy transfer is unclear.”

“We thought it was known, but we came up with a major surprise,” said Lyons.

“There is a transfer of energy from the solar wind to the particles in the magnetosphere,” Lyons said. The first critical step is to understand how the energy gets transferred from the solar wind to the magnetosphere.”

“The energy of the particles and the fields in the magnetosphere can vary by large amounts. It can be 10 times higher or 10 times lower from day to day, even from half-hour to half-hour. These are huge variations in particle intensities, magnetic field strength and electric field strength,” Lyons said.

“The next question is discovering what that is,” said Lyons. “We have some ideas of what that may be, which we will test.”

And my next question would be, “What would happen if our magnetosphere temporarily disappeared during a magnetic reversal, and all of those electric currents shooting from the sun – those “energy releases” – bombarded the earth?” Could they create explosions above our heads? Could they have carved out the Carolina Bays?

See entire article:
http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/scientists-
discover-surprise-in-101025.aspx
Thanks to L. Gardy LaRoche and Charles Patrick for this link


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