Electromagnetism news

Electro-magnetic spiders

I think I've already posted this one but it has popped up again at http://spaceweather.com (July 20th 2018) ... did you know spiders can fly? Obviously they can't - but they do have a most amazing way of elevating themselves and travelling long distances (from a spider's perspective). Biologists even have a word for the process - ballooning. Spiders can spin a strand of silk and as it juts into the air, off they go - flying. Originally, researchers thought they were riding currents of air - but it is not as simple as that.

Green Flash on Mars

At http://spaceweather.com ... (13th July 2018) a green flash on Mars as it is approaching the Earth on the nearest point of its orbit. Mars is now an especially bright object in the night sky. Not quite as bright as Venus but still the brightest object apart from Venus, the Sun, and the Moon. See video evidence of the green flash.

Enceladus

Robert sent in the link www.centauri-dreams.org/2018/07/10/listening-in-on-enceladus/ ... (but see also https://phys.org/print450428555.html ) ... new research from NASAs Cassini spacecraft's final orbits show a powerful and dynamic interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its moon Enceladus. The waves are said to move onmagnetic field lines connecting Saturn directly to Enceladus - an electrical circuit between to cosmic bodiews, as the energy flows back and forth.

Comet Brightness

At http://spaceweather.com (July 4th 2018) ... Comet PanSTARRS, the so called Green Comet, a green blob against the backdrop of stars, has just increased in brightness - dramatically. It actually brightened sixteen fold - according to Michael Jager, an Austrian amateur astronomer (in the late hours of July 2nd).

Fusion Energy

At www.space.com/40988-beam-target-fusion-reactor.html ... this is one the SIS chairman Tony Haynes (sadly, recently deceased) would have enthused about - a new approach that uses electrical and magnetic fields to create a hybrid fusion device. Could this possibly be the fusion break-through so eagerly sought after for so long? It is known as 'beam target fusion' as it does not try to fuse atoms but rather, hits a beam of atoms against a solid target - the atoms from the beam fuse with the atoms of the target.

Noctilucent Tornado

At http://spaceweather.com/ (June 25th 2018) there is a nice image of noctilucent clouds over Meghara in Co Derry. It was taken by Martin McKenna who said, their brightness and complexity has been getting more enhanced since the solstice, with whirls and knots glowing electric blue above a yellow midnight sun horizon. The tornado was once such formation - morphing into a succession of dynamic shapes (a wdge, a funnel, angel wings, an electrified smoke ring, and finally a long rope that resembled a tornado, reaching towards the far side of the sky.

Sprite at Night

   .... this image comes courtesy of http://spaceweather.com (June 23rd 2018) a sprite above a thundercloud taken by a pilot flying to Las Vegas from London, Brian Whittaker. The green bands are not auroral in nature but air glow - caused by chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere. Whittaker comments, the sprites are really high up in the atmosphere and he has probably missed them in the past by looking downwards.

Jelly Fish Sprites

Storms and lightning over central Europe produced a spectacular display of sprites - see http://spaceweather.com (11th June 2018). Some 250 sprites were seen in just four and a half hours from the vantage point of the Czech republic (looking across the Hungarian Plain). The jelly fish sprites (see below) were very large - at the same time there was strong cloud to ground strokes inside a convective storm.

 

 

Electric Dark Matter

At https://phys.org/print446911328.html ... Does dark matter carry an electric charge is the headline - which turns out to be a bit of PR. Astronomers, it is said, have produced a new model for the invisible matter that is supposed to make up most of the universe - the so called dark matter (unseen and unverified). These particular astronomers and modellers think dark matter might have an electric charge. However, this is just a 'tiny' electric charge - so they are not jumping in with both feet.

NASAs Space Engine Tested

Spaceflight is difficult. Blasting heavy cargoes and spacecraft to respectable speeds over interplanetary distances requires so much propellant to sent rockets to far away places - unless you have an engine that can generate thrust without fuel. Scientists at NASA have been building and testing the EmDrive - which is said to produce thrust simply by bouncing microwaves around inside a closed cone shaped cavity. Sounds wonderful. No fuel is required.