I find it ironic the iconoclasticism of the EU exclusion principle has such sensitive trip wires with an exclusive set of hot-key buzzwords and forbidden buttons never to be pushed which conjure imagery so powerful as to crowd highly idiosynchronized crania so overwhelmingly there is insufficient elbow room for fine-tuning physical concepts (AKA preconceived notions). The iconoclasm of the EU exclusion principle can’t possibly apply to ionized matter or polar molecules can it? Is it because I mentioned gravity?
I did not imply “that ion beams from CMEs are making it all of the way through the atmosphere”.
That the solar wind and CMEs are ionized particles is well understood. Hydrogen and Oxygen are among the positive ions, and electrons are negative ions. When the twain shall meet in the right circumstances, they join, this is also well understood.
I am so sorry the word “cometary” appears to have conjured a vision of a full blown comet with a tail.
I used the word “cometary” in a context intended to be understood as “comet like” or “similar to comets” simply to provide an image of molecular clouds of water molecules coagulating in discrete masses bound by water’s polar attraction to itself.
I did not intend to imply, nor, as I understand his literature, did Prof. Louis Franks, that the masses of water entering the atmosphere are of the same high density as water and ice we experience here on Earth, or has been found in the comets from the outer solar system we see plunging into the Sun in SOHO images (what do you think happens to that water, by the way – where does it go?).
If you study Prof. Franks several texts, he describes the water comets as “the size and weight of a small house”. Do some math; what would the mass density be with the weight-to-volume ratio of a house? Large or small, a house has a lot of empty volume.
The point is, the masses of water entering the atmosphere are not very dense and Prof. Franks described them as such, in fact he describes them as “a cloud”. His mass reference is “20 to 40 tons”.
Do some more maths; on Earth, water weighs 62.4 lbs per cubic foot. 30 tons is less than 1000 cubic feet, smaller than a 10’ cube. Use some logic people. The “Solar Water” or “Comet (like) Water” is in the forms of diffuse cloud-like masses. Envision them as regions of high humidity within the Solar System. Water’s polar attraction to itself (the reason it has surface tension) results in clumps of humidity, but in the vast emptiness of space the density is low compared to our usual consideration of the terms “humidity”, “comet”, “cloud”, “ice”, “water”, “etc,” in terrestrial conditions we are familiar with.
A substantial amount of the matter entrained in soar wind and CMEs is atoms other than H and He. About 3% of the solar wind is positive ions of the composition shown in this image. About .75% of the solar mass and ejecta is Oxygen.
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/gallery/ ... 1_prev.jpg
A CME can be 20 to 30 Billion tons of solar matter. Again, do the math, .75% of 20-30 Billion is a lot of Oxygen. Do some more maths and postulate how much Oxygen in a CME may fall into the influence of Earth’s magnetic and gravity fields. Assuming Physical Laws are the same throughout the local universe, the positive ions of Oxygen and Hydrogen and the negative ions (electrons) take part in electro-chemical reactions when the conditions are right, such as when they are trapped in Earth’s magnetosphere and cool below their ionization energy in the shadow of the planet. The other positive ions besides Oxygen are taking part in chemical reactions of their own when their conditions are right, but this particular discussion is about H and O and the necessary electrons to = H2O.
When the Solar Wind and CME mass enters the Earth’s magnetic field, as described in the links below, what do you think happens to the H and O and electrons? The Solar Wind giveth, and the Solar Wind taketh away, is obvious.
Sorry to cut and paste, but I think some here need to study some information about this.
First, if you haven’t partaken of Dr. Pollack’s lecture about water’s electrical properties, this is it … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd614bK3 ... re=related
… and it should be enjoyed first to make it easier to understand this conjecture that water is entering the atmosphere and with it the associated energies of electrical charge and inertia of mass in motion.
This is the CME that hit us on the 20th-21st of May. http://www.thesuntoday.org/thesuntoday/ ... im-den.gif
Click the link to see a graphic of the Sun’s and the solar wind’s electromagnetic properties and mass ejecta in the Solar System with the solar wind and the CME in motion over several days, and the impact of the CME with Earth.
This is information about the magnetic portals through which solar matter from the Solar Wind and CMEs enters Earth’s atmosphere.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunea ... rtals.html
› Play/Download video
A NASA-sponsored researcher at the University of Iowa has developed a way for spacecraft to hunt down hidden magnetic portals in the vicinity of Earth. These gateways link the magnetic field of our planet to that of the sun, setting the stage for stormy space weather. The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission will study these portals. Credit: Science@NASA
A favorite theme of science fiction is "the portal"--an extraordinary opening in space or time that connects travelers to distant realms. A good portal is a shortcut, a guide, a door into the unknown. If only they actually existed....
It turns out that they do, sort of, and a NASA-funded researcher at the University of Iowa has figured out how to find them.
"We call them X-points or electron diffusion regions," explains plasma physicist Jack Scudder of the University of Iowa. "They're places where the magnetic field of Earth connects to the magnetic field of the Sun, creating an uninterrupted path leading from our own planet to the sun's atmosphere 93 million miles away."
Observations by NASA's THEMIS spacecraft and Europe's Cluster probes suggest that these magnetic portals open and close dozens of times each day. They're typically located a few tens of thousands of kilometers from Earth where the geomagnetic field meets the onrushing solar wind. Most portals are small and short-lived; others are yawning, vast, and sustained. Tons of energetic particles can flow through the openings, heating Earth's upper atmosphere, sparking geomagnetic storms, and igniting bright polar auroras.
NASA is planning a mission called "MMS," short for Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, due to launch in 2014, to study the phenomenon. Bristling with energetic particle detectors and magnetic sensors, the four spacecraft of MMS will spread out in Earth's magnetosphere and surround the portals to observe how they work.
Just one problem: Finding them. Magnetic portals are invisible, unstable, and elusive. They open and close without warning "and there are no signposts to guide us in," notes Scudder.
Actually, there are signposts, and Scudder has found them.
Portals form via the process of magnetic reconnection. Mingling lines of magnetic force from the sun and Earth criss-cross and join to create the openings. "X-points" are where the criss-cross takes place. The sudden joining of magnetic fields can propel jets of charged particles from the X-point, creating an "electron diffusion region."
To learn how to pinpoint these events, Scudder looked at data from a space probe that orbited Earth more than 10 years ago.
"In the late 1990s, NASA's Polar spacecraft spent years in Earth's magnetosphere," explains Scudder, "and it encountered many X-points during its mission."
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Data from NASA's Polar spacecraft, circa 1998, provided crucial clues to finding magnetic X-points. Credit: NASA Because Polar carried sensors similar to those of MMS, Scudder decided to see how an X-point looked to Polar. "Using Polar data, we have found five simple combinations of magnetic field and energetic particle measurements that tell us when we've come across an X-point or an electron diffusion region. A single spacecraft, properly instrumented, can make these measurements."
This means that single member of the MMS constellation using the diagnostics can find a portal and alert other members of the constellation. Mission planners long thought that MMS might have to spend a year or so learning to find portals before it could study them. Scudder's work short cuts the process, allowing MMS to get to work without delay.
It's a shortcut worthy of the best portals of fiction, only this time the portals are real. And with the new "signposts" we know how to find them.
› MMS Mission site
› NASA THEMIS site
› Polar Mission site
› Magnetic Portals Connect Earth to the Sun
Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA
More about the “Portals”.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/sc ... 0oct_ftes/
Oct. 30, 2008: During the time it takes you to read this article, something will happen high overhead that until recently many scientists didn't believe in. A magnetic portal will open, linking Earth to the sun 93 million miles away. Tons of high-energy particles may flow through the opening before it closes again, around the time you reach the end of the page.
"It's called a flux transfer event or 'FTE,'" says space physicist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Ten years ago I was pretty sure they didn't exist, but now the evidence is incontrovertible."
Indeed, today Sibeck is telling an international assembly of space physicists at the 2008 Plasma Workshop in Huntsville, Alabama, that FTEs are not just common, but possibly twice as common as anyone had ever imagined.
Right: An artist's concept of Earth's magnetic field connecting to the sun's--a.k.a. a "flux transfer event"--with a spacecraft on hand to measure particles and fields. [Larger image]
Researchers have long known that the Earth and sun must be connected. Earth's magnetosphere (the magnetic bubble that surrounds our planet) is filled with particles from the sun that arrive via the solar wind and penetrate the planet's magnetic defenses. They enter by following magnetic field lines that can be traced from terra firma all the way back to the sun's atmosphere.
"We used to think the connection was permanent and that solar wind could trickle into the near-Earth environment anytime the wind was active," says Sibeck. "We were wrong. The connections are not steady at all. They are often brief, bursty and very dynamic."
Several speakers at the Workshop have outlined how FTEs form: On the dayside of Earth (the side closest to the sun), Earth's magnetic field presses against the sun's magnetic field. Approximately every eight minutes, the two fields briefly merge or "reconnect," forming a portal through which particles can flow. The portal takes the form of a magnetic cylinder about as wide as Earth. The European Space Agency's fleet of four Cluster spacecraft and NASA's five THEMIS probes have flown through and surrounded these cylinders, measuring their dimensions and sensing the particles that shoot through. "They're real," says Sibeck.
Now that Cluster and THEMIS have directly sampled FTEs, theorists can use those measurements to simulate FTEs in their computers and predict how they might behave. Space physicist Jimmy Raeder of the University of New Hampshire presented one such simulation at the Workshop. He told his colleagues that the cylindrical portals tend to form above Earth's equator and then roll over Earth's winter pole. In December, FTEs roll over the north pole; in July they roll over the south pole.
Right: A "magnetic portal" or FTE mapped in cross-section by NASA's fleet of THEMIS spacecraft. [Larger image]
Sibeck believes this is happening twice as often as previously thought. "I think there are two varieties of FTEs: active and passive." Active FTEs are magnetic cylinders that allow particles to flow through rather easily; they are important conduits of energy for Earth's magnetosphere. Passive FTEs are magnetic cylinders that offer more resistance; their internal structure does not admit such an easy flow of particles and fields. (For experts: Active FTEs form at equatorial latitudes when the IMF tips south; passive FTEs form at higher latitudes when the IMF tips north.) Sibeck has calculated the properties of passive FTEs and he is encouraging his colleagues to hunt for signs of them in data from THEMIS and Cluster. "Passive FTEs may not be very important, but until we know more about them we can't be sure."
There are many unanswered questions: Why do the portals form every 8 minutes? How do magnetic fields inside the cylinder twist and coil? "We're doing some heavy thinking about this at the Workshop," says Sibeck.
Meanwhile, high above your head, a new portal is opening, connecting your planet to the sun.
Author: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA
2008 Huntsville Plasma Workshop -- home page
Below: In a presentation at the 2008 Plasma Workshop, Robert Fear of the University of Leicester, UK, presented some alternatives for the magnetic topology of FTEs. Possibilities include ropes (left column), cylinders (middle column), or bubbles (right column): abstract.
Space Weather resources:NOAA Space Weather prediction Center; Spaceweather.com
NASA's Future:US Space Exploration Policy