Tails of Magnetospheres and Stringy Things
In this thread I have suggested that an electrical discharge drives global tectonics. Similar discharges drive tectonic and atmospheric activity on other terrestrial bodies; but where is the source of the postulated discharge?
In 1973 Ralph Juergens, in a remark that to my knowledge has largely gone unnoticed, stated that he thought it possible that planetary magnetospheres intercept electrons bound for the Sun: ‘I would speculate, therefore, that the earth's negative charge represents that of electrons intercepted on their way to the sun by the earth's tail-like sheath, and that this charge is built up to a point where the earth re-emits electrons into the solar discharge. If so, variations in earth-sun electric currents may be held accountable for such phenomena as geomagnetic disturbances, ionospheric disturbances, high-altitude expansions and contractions of the terrestrial atmosphere, and variations in the cosmic-ray flux reaching the earth.’ (1)
Earth’s tail-like sheath, the magnetotail, intercepts electrons headed toward the Sun, is Juergens correct?
It is known that particles can enter and leave the magnetosphere at the Polar Cusps, conventionally it is thought that this is due to a Sun-Earth connection but is this really the case?
The discovery of ‘stringy things’ or flux ropes connecting Venus to the heliospheric plasma has been well documented. The structures were initially revealed by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and later detected by the SOHO spacecraft 1.5 million kilometres from Earth. (2, 3)
The Venusian tail was found to exhibit a ‘double-lobed’ structure and researchers were puzzled by the fact that the tail held together over tens of millions of kilometres.
Descriptions of Earth’s magnetosphere understandably tend to focus on the near-Earth environment but should we be focussing our attention further afield? Events in the magnetotail are known to influence the evolution of the magnetosphere as a whole. ‘The magnetotail is also the main source of the polar aurora. Even before the space age observers noted that in the arctic winter, when the sky was dark much of the time, the brightest auroras were seen in the hours around midnight. It was widely believed then that auroral electrons came from the Sun, and the fact that aurora seemed concentrated on the side facing away from the Sun puzzled everyone. Those observations made much more sense after satellites discovered and mapped the magnetosphere's long tail.’ (4)
Notice that it was ‘widely believed’ that electrons came from the Sun- it was not confirmed.
The magnetotail displays a ‘lobed’ structure but we could just as easily replace this term with ‘double-lobed’ which is the terminology used at Venus. ‘Most of the volume of the tail is taken up by two large bundles of nearly parallel magnetic field lines. The bundle north of the equator points earthwards and leads to a roughly circular region including the northern magnetic pole, while the southern bundle points away from Earth and is linked to the southern polar region.
‘These two bundles, known as the "tail lobes", extend far from Earth: ISEE-3 and Geotail found them well-defined even at 200-220 RE (Earth radii) from Earth. At those distances the lobes are already penetrated by some solar wind plasma, but near Earth they are almost empty.’ (4)
Furthermore, the tail lobes connect the distant magnetotail to the Auroral Ovals at the Earth’s poles. ‘Field lines starting from points…inside the auroral oval, which includes the magnetic pole, extend to even greater distances. Early researchers, who believed auroral electrons came from the Sun could not understand why the aurora was absent from the vicinity of the magnetic pole itself. From satellite data we now know that field lines inside the oval extend to the "tail lobes," the twin bundles of field lines that extend down the Earth's magnetic tail. Ultimately they probably lead into the solar wind, somewhere far on the nightside of the Earth. But the wind there is flowing rapidly away from Earth and its ions are not likely to reverse their direction and head upstream, back towards the Earth. Hence one expects very little plasma to come from that direction.
‘Yet something does flow earthwards on those field lines, a thin "polar rain" of fast electrons, with energies around 500 electron volts (ev). Solar wind protons have about 1000 ev each, but the electrons which move along with them, being about 2000 times lighter, also have a much smaller average energy. Electrons of 500 ev are a completely different population, easily able to outrace the solar wind and follow field lines in any direction. They are too few to produce a visible aurora, but instruments aboard satellites readily observe them. They provide the best evidence that the tail lobes are indeed connected to the solar wind.’ (5)
From the distant magnetotail electrons flow toward the Earth, ‘In 1976 it was discovered that when the interplanetary field lines pointed away from the Sun, the polar rain was much more intense in the northern cap then in the southern one, while when they pointed towards the Sun, the southern cap received the bigger share. Clearly, those electrons must have come from the Sun, and favored the pole with the direct sunward connection. It was also evident that the interplanetary field lines were somehow linked through the tail lobes to the appropriate polar caps, although how and where that connection is made is still not known for sure.’ (5)
Notice that the electrons are assumed to come from the Sun this is despite the fact that the electrons arrive at Earth from the anti-sunward direction. I suggest that this assumption should be challenged and Juergens’ proposal be given some consideration.
Following Juergens each planet is highly negatively charged. Although in this thread we have considered some planets to be electron deficient it must be remembered that we are referring to relative potentials. Each planet is immersed in a plasma that carries an even greater charge in the negative sense- we can consider a planet to be a ‘virtual anode’. A planet then, attempts to intercept electrons taking part in the solar discharge but to do so the planet is compelled to ‘reach-out’ in the anti-sunward direction to a ‘virtual cathode’. At the virtual cathode electrons are available in greater quantities, to meet the requirements of the planetary discharge, than at a planets’ local environment, it is these electrons that are mistakenly believed to come from the Sun. The extent of the magnetotail is a reflection of the potential difference between a planet and its environment, to paraphrase Juergens: ‘this happens, not because the electrified sun repels the tail material, but because voltage differences between the planet and the interplanetary plasma vary sharply with direction, and because sheath thicknesses are dictated not only by voltage differences, but by gas pressure as well.’ (6)
Travelling over interplanetary distances inflowing electrons become organised into stringy things or double-lobes i.e. Birkeland current filaments, which then arrive at a planets’ polar regions.
The Sun-Earth connection is somewhat of a misnomer, the electrical characteristics of a planets’ environment change in response to changes in the local heliospheric plasma, although these changes may originate with the Sun itself there is no direct connection as such, therefore the Earth’s magnetic polarity does not alternate in step with the solar cycle.
Magnetosphere Characteristics: Earth and Venus
Planetary magnetotails form in essentially the same manner but individual characteristics are determined at the virtual anode i.e. the planet. A planet such as the Earth as I have suggested has an abundance of free electrons which leads to an active magnetic field and magnetosphere. Venus, however, would appear to have a deficit of free electrons- the result is a ‘collapsed’ magnetosphere (induced magnetosphere) residing in the Venusian atmosphere and a comet-like tail.
Popular explanations of how aurorae occur invoke the concept of ‘magnetic reconnection’, from an Electric Universe position this is somewhat problematic.
I would suggest that magnetotails are formed by current flowing from a virtual cathode to a virtual anode, electrons participating in the solar discharge are intercepted by magnetotails. Acceleration of particles in the tail region and not magnetic reconnection generate aurora. Magnetospheres are not directly connected to the Sun, rather they respond to varying changes in potential over their length, for example when encountering an expanding Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) although, as Juergens suggested, magnetospheres may re-emit electrons to participate in the solar discharge- we could speculate that this would occur during changes in the dynamic pressure and hence potential of the solar wind- just as would be expected during a CME event.
When we observe a comet we see that when the comet is not at ‘rest’ with its environment tails form and the comet’s surface becomes ‘geologically’ active. Activity subsides when the comet leaves the inner solar system and is electrically at ‘rest’ with its environment. With this in mind we can think of Earth’s geological activity as being driven by a similar electrical discharge the origin of which lies in the magnetotail.
1. Juergens. Ralph. E, et al., ‘On Cosmic Electricity’ Pensee, Vol. 3 No 3: (Fall 1973) “Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered V”
6. Juergens. Ralph. E, ‘Reconciling Celestial Mechanics and Velikovskian Catastrophism’ Pensee, Vol. 2 No 3: (Fall 1972) “Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered II”