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An electromagnetic shower

2 December 2013

The last post was about stellar wind directing material to or from a black hole but what is the connection between the two – one emitting a sort of solar wind and the other throwing out X-rays. The latest post by Tim Cullen just happens to have a bearing – go to http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/cosmic-ray-blues-electromagnet… … as he turns his attention to mainstream treatment of cosmic rays – and electromagnetic radiation from space. The post is reblogged at Tall Bloke's Talk Shop and brought to a wider audience, with a knowledgeable group of commenters. The big question – are cosmic rays electromagnetic radiation?

In some text books high energy photons such as X-rays and gamma rays are still referred to as cosmic rays whereas the new nomenclature, in science, is that particles are cosmic rays while X-rays and gamma rays are just that – what the label says. In reality they are electromagnetic radiation – which is interesting as black holes emit lots of X-rays.

Tim Cullen's slant is that astrophysicists and astronomers study stellar cosmic rays – and largely ignore the solar wind (and therefore solar cosmic rays). Settled science also likes to say cosmic rays mainly originate @outside' the solar system whil the really way out astrophysicists simply ignore solar cosmic rays because they are after a different kind of fish on the end of their lines, the more exciting galactic and extragalactic cosmic rays.

At http://icecube.wisc.edu/about/facts … we learn that 275 million cosmic rays are detected by Ice Cube every day … yes, every day. These people are also not too interested in solar cosmic rays – they have black holes in their telescopes. Other scientists also ignore the mundane every day kind of solar cosmic ray as their personal interests latch on to solar flares and coronal mass ejections.

Cosmic rays trigger electromagnetic showers in the atmosphere – which emit photons. Earth scientists also prefer to ignore low energy solar cosmic rays so little is known about electromagnetic showers in the atmosphere, or what is actually going on in relation to them. It seems that what he calls the D Layer, towards the bottom of the ionosphere, experiences a 'daily' charge up of nitrogen molecules which flouresce through red, orange, yellow at sunrise. The fully charged D Layer can be expected to be a blue flourescing 'smog' of positron, electrons and photons (a blue sky) that surrounds a central white light (the Sun). The daily 'run down' of the D Layer in the ionosphere is associated, he suggests, with the daily run down of nitrogen molecules which would flouresce through yellow, orange and red at sunset.

I can remember reading, some years ago, that the Sun is yellow rather than white, because it is absent of the blue element – and here is one reason why that may be so. A full reading of the post at the link above is recommended – it is part of what is going to be several further posts on the role of nitrogen in the earth system. Excellent.


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