Linked with a Star

Aurora Australis over the Bellingshausen Sea. Photographer unknown.

Aurora Australis over the Bellingshausen Sea. Photographer unknown.

 

Feb 27, 2013

Our fortunes are inextricably connected to the Sun’s activity. 

Now that is the wisdom of a man, in every instance of his labor, to hitch his wagon to a star, and see his chore done by the gods themselves.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Many Picture of the Day articles discuss the linkages between galactic electric currents, solar electric currents, and terrestrial electric currents. Earth is connected to a circuit that flows through the cosmos, but that circuit is difficult to perceive.

In recent years, the discovery of a “previously unknown” mechanism for transmitting energy from the Sun into Earth’s magnetosphere was announced. Charged particles called the solar wind erupt from the Sun in all directions, but how the electric charge is transferred to the magnetosphere is a mystery.

Natural processes depend on energy input of some kind that then changes from one form to another: chemical energy is released by fire, which is then changed into heat energy that can boil water and drive pistons with kinetic energy. Consensus views also suggest that this holds true for the geomagnetic relationship between the Sun and Earth.

According to scientists, when the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) slants to the South there is faster “reconnection” between interplanetary and terrestrial field lines, initiating a rapid release of magnetic fields and plasma from Earth’s sunlit side. How this happens, as well as how it begins, are still controversial subjects. In nature energy cannot be destroyed, as the conservation of energy law states, instead it changes state.

For example, when electricity powers a motor and spins a shaft, the electromagnetic force is converted to kinetic energy through angular momentum. It is thought that so-called “magnetic energy” can also reappear in different forms. During “reconnection” events, conventional viewpoints say that some of the magnetic energy becomes heat, increasing the velocity of plasma ions and electrons that drive electric currents in a circuit linking the plasma sheet with Earth.

Said Larry Lyons, UCLA professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences: “We all have thought for our entire careers—I learned it as a graduate student—that this energy transfer rate is primarily controlled by the direction of the interplanetary magnetic field.”

Astrophysicists have found that the (IMF) can fluctuate in both intensity and orientation. When the UCLA team analyzed radar measurements of the ionosphere, auroral substorms were seen in that part of Earth’s upper atmosphere ionized by solar radiation. The results surprised them.

According to Lyons: “Any space physicist, including me, would have said a year ago there could not be substorms when the interplanetary magnetic field was staying northward, but that’s wrong. Generally, it’s correct, but when you have a fluctuating interplanetary magnetic field, you can have substorms going off once per hour.”

In the electric Sun hypothesis, there is no “magnetic reconnection,” so there is no mystery. The Sun is an anode, or positively charged electrode in the vast electric motor of the galaxy. The cathode is an invisible “virtual cathode,” called the heliosphere, at the farthest limit of the Sun’s coronal discharge, billions of kilometers from its surface. This is the double layer that isolates the Sun’s plasma cell from the galactic plasma that surrounds it.

In the Electric Universe model, most of the voltage difference between the Sun and the galaxy occurs across the heliospheric boundary sheath. Inside the heliopause the weak electric field centered on the Sun is enough to power the solar discharge. As the theory states, an e-field focused on the Sun accelerates charged particles: the faster they accelerate, the stronger the field. It is that change in particle acceleration that causes the IMF variability and the changes to the electrical input to Earth’s magnetosphere.

Stephen Smith

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