Plasma, magnetic holes and a mud volcano

26 Feb 2011

At .... huge blobs of plasma known as coronal mass ejections cause probems when they collide with the magnetosphere of the earth. They produce aurorae for example, but also feature in comet tails (no this is not Wal speaking but a scientist from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory), solar wind and much of the spiralling material that appears to fall into black holes. Science is now trying to understand plasma.

At ... massive waves in giant magnetic holes on the surface of the Sun have been uncovered by solar scientists at the University of Sheffield and Queens University in Belfast. It is hoped they will help science to understand the secrets of the Sun as the magnetic holes appear to be able to channel energy generated from deep inside the bowels of the Sun. The magnetic field emerging from such holes is one thousand times stronger than the magnetic field of the earth - that is, a single sun spot is stronger than the defence of the whole of the earth (published in Astrophysical Journal Feb 2011).

Finally, the mud volcano on Java is predicted to carry on erupting for 25 years, emitting belches of flammable gases through a lake of sludge. This has produced so much mud that 12 scattered villages have been swallowed up since 2006 - to a depth of 50 feet (published in Journal of the Geological Society Feb 2011) - see ).