Earth’s Electrical Dynamics

A gigantic looping prominence on the Sun. Credit: NASA/SDO. Click to enlarge.

August 4, 2020

The Sun causes Earth’s magnetosphere to oscillate.

Planetary scientists are slowly coming to realize that Earth’s ionosphere is connected to the Sun by “ropes” of electric charge.That idea is a basic tenet of Electric Universe theory. Earth has a plasmasphere, so it is electrically active, coupled to circuits that are part of its relationship to the Sun and to other planets and moons.

Earth’s electric field at its surface measures between 50 and 200 volts per meter, otherwise known as the “fair weather field”. However, the average potential voltage between ground and the ionosphere, called “the atmospheric electric potential”, is 240,000 volts, but can reach as much as 400,000 volts. At 100 to 200 kilometers high, there is an area of peak amplitude known as “the dynamo region”, where there is the greatest conductivity in Earth’s magnetic field, or its “maximum electric equipotential”. The maximum electric charge flow along Earth’s geomagnetic equator takes place in the dynamo region.

NASA’s THEMIS spacecraft discovered a type of space weather that acts like a magnetospheric earthquake, also contributing to the Northern Lights. “Spacequakes” are thought to initiate energetic responses on the Sun and in Earth’s magnetosphere called, magnetic reconnection. Many Picture of the Day articles take issue with the concept, since it involves the reification of an abstraction.

Since physical processes require an energy input that changes from one form to another, consensus views also suggest that this holds true for geomagnetic phenomena. How this energy is released, as well as what winds it up, are still controversial subjects. It is a maxim that energy in nature cannot be destroyed, it changes from one form to another.

When electricity powers a motor, the flow of electric charge is converted to kinetic energy. When friction stops motion, its kinetic energy converts to heat. Magnetic energy is also thought to reappear in different forms. Some becomes heat, increasing the velocity of plasma ions and electrons. Some of the energy is thought to end up driving electric currents in a circuit linking the Sun with Earth.

The problem is that magnetic field lines are only convenient concepts. They are not contours of constant magnetic field strength, they only indicate the field’s direction: they are a schematic diagram. In regions where those diagrammed lines are close together, the field is stronger. When they are widely separated, it is weaker. Magnetic lines of force do not actually exist in three-dimensional space anymore than do lines of latitude or longitude. Most importantly, magnetic lines of force do not move anymore than lines of longitude do.

In an Electric Universe, electric charge separation occurs in the upper atmosphere because “tidal winds” move the ionospheric plasma against Earth’s magnetic field, inducing powerful electric fields and charge flow (electric currents). The tidal wind charge effect is connected to the Sun by incoming Birkeland currents described in other Pictures of the Day.

As Earth rotates, a 140,000 ampere current is generated through transformer action: the aforementioned dynamo region acts as the primary coil, while Earth is the secondary. Transformer action, along with other electromagnetic induction events, creates bands of oppositely charged plasma that move east and west around the planet, following the geomagnetic equator.

There is no such thing as “magnetic merging” or “reconnection”. The energy comes from electric currents, which, unlike nonexistent magnetic field lines, can move, touch, and merge.

Stephen Smith

The Thunderbolts Picture of the Day is generously supported by the Mainwaring Archive Foundation.

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