Okay, this is getting downright embarrassing...MGmirkin wrote:(New Finding Shows Super-Huge [Electric] Space Tornados Power the Auroras)
http://www.universetoday.com/2009/04/23 ... e-auroras/
(Magnetic Tornadoes Could Liberate Mercury's Tenuous Atmosphere)
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/messe ... adoes.html
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 112255.htm
So, apparently now Mercury has been found to exhibit "magnetic tornadoes" akin to the "magnetic flux ropes" connecting the Earth back to the Sun and the "flux transfer events" observed to "leak" through the magnetosphere every 8 minutes here at Earth... Why don't they call them "electric tornadoes in space"? Probably more accurate!The spacecraft encountered magnetic "tornadoes" – twisted bundles of magnetic fields connecting the planetary magnetic field to interplanetary space – that were up to 500 miles wide or a third of the radius of the planet.
"These 'tornadoes' form when magnetic fields carried by the solar wind connect to Mercury's magnetic field," said Slavin. "As the solar wind blows past Mercury's field, these joined magnetic fields are carried with it and twist up into vortex-like structures. These twisted magnetic flux tubes, technically known as flux transfer events, form open windows in the planet's magnetic shield through which the solar wind may enter and directly impact Mercury's surface."
Jeebus! How many more times do we have to read about these things being "unexpectedly observed" before they start taking the "plasma globe" analogy more seriously? At some point, "anecdotal evidence" hits a tipping point and becomes a "trend." I say the tipping point is upon us! I for one am tired of the B$!
As noted elsewhere, plasma is not a superconductor. It has non-zero valued resistance. Ergo magnetic field lines cannot be "frozen in" to plasma. It simply doesn't work that way. Are electric currents "frozen in" as well? If there's a constant magnetic field, then a constant current must be flowing nearby.
So, it seems like what they're seeing is yet another manifestation of spiraling / inflowing Birkeland currents.