Electromagnetism news

Lopsided Core ... of the Earth...

At www.physorg.com/print191053615.html April 21st ... the inner core at the centre of the earth is growing as a result of crystalliation of iron in the liquid 'outer core' - so much so the 'solid core' permanently drifts eastwards. Why is the inner core asymmetrically out of shape? New light has been shed on this by research published in Science on April 16th. Variations in the core appear to match up directly with the shape of the earth's magnetic field.

Fireballs ... and fire ...

At http://cosmictusk.com April 20th ... reports of a fireball over Wisconsin were accompanied by reports of fires breaking out on the ground. This prompted Bob Kobres (see www.abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ ) to check his files and he found something similar occurred in Jordan on April 18th 2001 (almost exactly 9 years ago). Eyewitness reports again reported ground fires and tree fires. The general public might think there is nothing peculiar about this, as fireballs = fire. Right? No.

Electricity in Clouds

At http://sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/59172 April 11th ... it is thought ash particles generated lightning storms when Mount Rinjani in Indonesia erupted in 1995. Now, this idea is being expanded in a Nature Physics paper to suggest colliding dust grains charge each other to create electricity.

Aurorae

Aurorae (see www.thunderbolts.info March 29th) has an interesting article on the recognition that aurorae had electro-magnetic properties. In 1740 Anders Celsius, the inventor of the centigrade scale named after him, interpreted aurorae as an electro-magnetic anomaly after he noticed a large compass needle on his desk top changed orientation whenever an aurorae was visible in the sky above Uppsala in Sweden. In 1861 Benjamin Marsh theorised that an auroral streamer is a current of electricity that originates in the upper parts of the atmosphere.

Geo Neutrinos

At www.physorg.com/print188837054.html reports on a delicate instrument under a mountain in central Italy that is observing and detecting rare particles - geo neutrinos. The instrument has discovered a well defined signal above background noise of geo neutrinos deep inside the earth. Geo neutrinos are produced, it is thought, during radioactive decay processes affecting uranium, thorium, potassium and rubidium that is normally found in ancient rocks.

Are Venus and Earth in a long distance relationship?

This is the title of an article in New Scientist (you can also look at the online version at www.newscientist.com March 16th) and speculates on whether the earth is tugging at the core of Venus, exerting control over it's spin. Whenever Venus and Earth arrive at the closest point in their orbits Venus always presents the same face towards us. This may mean Earth's gravity is tugging subtly on Venus, an idea raised many years ago and now disregarded since it was realised Venus was spinning too fast to be in gravitational resonance.

The Magnetic Universe

http://www.australasianscience.com.au/bi2009/301Gaensler.pdf  .. from this site a pdf article can be accessed, Bryan Gaensler, 'The Magnetic Universe' - magnets are everywhere, even in lodestone, and for centuries navigation relied on the fact a compass will always point north. Migrating birds use magnetic fields and this is because the entire earth is a weak magnet.

Frankenstein and the Comet of Yore

www.thunderbolts.info March 9th ... 'Frankenstein's Comet: Sparks of Life' ... this is unfortunately a very short piece on what is a very interesting aspect of the past. Basically, the author draws a comparison with the Frankenstein story, bringing a monster to life with the aid of high voltage electricity passed through a lifeless corpse - but basically possessing the feasibility of life.

Oh to be a Sunbeam

www.thunderbolts.info March 10th ... 'The Sunbeam of Yore' explores features associated with  the axis mundi or world axis - a column of dazzling light visible in the sky. For example, Sumerian temples, such as that of Gudea of Lagash, 'made Ningursu's house come out like the Sun from the clouds' - a sunbeam, so that it 'rises like the Sun over the Land ... and illuminates the assembly like a delightful moonlight'.