Electromagnetism news

Lightning caused by cosmic rays?

On May 8th, BBC2 television's 'Nature's Wildest Events' had a piece on lightning - with the admission scientists did not know what actually caused it to happen. This was a bit of a surprise as the BBC is inclined to endorse and recite the consensus view, on almost anything. At http://phys.org/print287054805.html ... we learn that a paper in the journal Physical Review Letters, by two Russian physicists, A Gurevich and A Karashtin, claim to have found evidence to support the idea lightning is caused by cosmic rays.

Energy from Plasma

Tony Haynes is going to give an update on his research into plasma energy at the next study group meeting - and all members are welcome to attend (see Tony on video on our web site). At http://phys.org/print286441345.html ... fusion power and the attempt to control turbulence in super hot electrically charged gas = plasma (see also http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice and http://pop.aip.org/resource/1/phpaen/v20/i3/p032510_s1

Anatomy of a solar flare

This one goes back to 2008. At http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/15dec_solarfla... ... Richard Mewaldt of CalTech describes what was discovered after a huge solar flare in 2006 as captured by the Solar X-Ray Imager on board a satellite. A burst of hydrogen atoms arrived first. These are electrically neutral and shoot straight out of the Sun without magnetic interference. Thirty minutes later they were followed by a storm of ionised material; such as protons, helium, oxygen and iron.


At Hossein Turner's place, http://hozturner.blogspot.co.uk/feeds/posts/default ... a link to a video of electrictiy in the sky is at www.circuitsinourskies.com/index.html


At http://spaceweather.com March 15th, news of a geomagnetic storm warning, a CME on the Sun that is earth facing. Direct hit expected, on sunday the 17th.

The Met Office has predicted a return to colder weather next week in the UK, and today, the 16th, it is snowing in New York (and no doubt elsewhere in the US).

The story is also at http://phys.org/print282578267.html - but here the only worry is with satellites and communications systems. The weather is not mentioned.

Source of the Solar Wind?

At http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/nasa-solar-wind-energy-source-... ... NASA think they might have found the origin of solar wind via the WIND spacecraft )see http://science.nasa.gov/media/medialibrary/2013/03/08/splash_big.jpg). The source of the heating of the solar wind appears to be ion cyclotron waves and these are made of protons tha circle in wave like rhythms around the Sun's magnetic field. Ion cyclotron waves emanate from the Sun and accelerates the solar wind.

The mathematics of the solar wind

At http://phys.org/print280693945.html ... scientists are looking further into the solar wind, the stream of particles and electro-magnetic waves that originate in the Sun and are deflected, mostly, by the protective bubble around the Earth, the magnetosphere. Alfven waves have now been mathematically equated - by a scientist at NASA Goddard. These equations can now be used to predict and evaluate the imput of the solar wind and the consequence of this is that they will be embedded in climate models.

Supernova Saturn

At www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/02/saturns-shockwaves-reach-supernova... ... the Cassini spacecraft is said to have struck a strong blast of solar wind as it orbited the planet Saturn - and super high energies. It continues by comparing this to the acceleration of energy around distant supernovae. They are referring to the shock waves created as the solar blast strikes Saturn's magnetic field.

Monsoons in China fluctuate with Solar Activity

This is an interesting scenario and is used by Pierre Gosselin at http://notrickszone.com/2013/02/07/monsoons-in-china-fluctuate-in-sync-w... ... as a discovery disputing co2 influenced warming - yet it is the possibility it may pump up the role of the Sun and CMEs that might well in the long term be significant.

Fifty Million Cosmic Rays

At http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/nasa-balloon-mission-detects-5... ... the balloon mission over the Antarctic has discovered large numbers of cosmic rays according to a press release - some 50 million and counting. See also www.wff.nasa.gov/baloons