A Particle Accelerator in the Sky

12 Sep 2020

At https://phys.org/news/2020-09-giant-particle-sky.html ... the earth's magnetic field traps high energy particles in order to thwart their entry into the atmosphere. When the first satellites were launched into space, scientists like James Van Allen, discovered high energy regions, now known as the Van Allen belts. They look like two giant doughnut shaped formations encompassing the planet in a sort of sheaf. A new study from Germany shows that electrons in these radiation belts can be accelerated to very high speeds, locally. The magnetosphere seems to work like a particle accelerator speeding up electrons. Is this what happens on the Sun?

In 2012 NASA launched the Van Allen Probes to traverse the belts and take measurements. The new study is part of the analysis of the information beamed back by the space mission. The study shows that electrons reach incredible energies locally, in the heart of the Van Allen belts. They increase their energy from plasma waves, a very efficient process, we are told. They hope these findings will help scientists unlock the processes involved on the Sun, which also involves particle acceleration, and not only that, near the outer planets of the solar system and even in distant corners of the universe. Something similar is happening all around our planet, throughout space.

At https://phys.org/news/2020-09-reveals-important-factors-eruptive-charact... ... another study reveals important features determining the eruptive character of huge solar flares. What powers a solar eruption? What triggers it? Observations from the satellite of the Solar Dynamics Observatory, and data collected between 2010 and 2019, includes 322 large solar flares. They were able to study each individual flare. The results distinguish between solar flares and coronal mass eruptions, two different beast according to this research.

At https://phys.org/news/2020-09-hubble-ingredient-current-dark-theories.html ... new Hubble data suggests there is an ingredient missing from current dark matter theories. Another atempt to keep mainstream thinking on hold. The researchers assume dark matter is a reality, yet alone the mainstream theory on how it works. It does not emit, shine a torch, absorb or even reflect light, and is only known from gravitational pull on visible matter in space. However, something is missing from the mainstream mantra, we are told. It must be. See the video  at the link which elaborates on the distorted images in the distant background galaxies. This distortion, we are assured, is caused by dark matter. Are they? Seems like this group of researchers have a job for life.