Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Strange Portal Connects Earth to Sun

You gota love it when science sounds like the best SF story you ever read. Here is an example that Shaun Saunders sent inf from Live Science . The article talks about magnetic portals open up every eight minutes or so to connect our planet with Sol. Once open, loads of high-energy particles can travel the 93 million miles through the conduit. Called a flux transfer event, or FTE, not only exist but are possibly twice as common as anyone ever imagined. Ten years ago, many scientist would have told you that such events did not take place, but recent evidence have made the FTE events irrefutable. There is little doubt that the atmospheres of Earth and Sol interacted. Particles from the solar corona are constantly bouncing off the magnetic bubble of Earth. The main difference is that the connections were thought to be constant and unchanging which is far from the case. During the formation of an FTE - on the side of Earth facing the sun, our magnetic field presses against the sun's magnetic field. It would appear that about every eight minutes, the two fields briefly reconnect, forming a portal through which particles can flow. The portal takes the form of a magnetic cylinder about as wide as Earth. The most important thing to consider about FTEs is that when in effect they add massive amounts of energy to Earth's magnetosphere.

<- for more read the Live Science article ->


Shaun said...

If these flux events are adding huge amounts of energy to our magnetosphere (and on a regular basis), why are we worried about oil and coal (or nuclear) for energy???

Visions of Tesla come to mind.

Beam Me Up said...

well first off, the last place I would consider draining off energy from would be the Earth's magnetosphere. Without it, due to deepspace cosmic radiation, life on Earth would be impossible. There has been consternation lately about this field weakening. In my mind that if there is a "device" in place that would re-establish the magnetosphere - it would be a good thing. But as an "alternative" energy source? Nope - there are far easier ways to gain access to solar energy than traveling several thousand miles into space. It would be analogous to going to Titan to siphon up the volatile chemicals available there. Yes, there is enough energy there that we would never have to worry about oil again, but the net effect of gathering such energy would be a loss.

dulaman said...

"to connect our planet with Sol"???

What is "Sol"?

Maybe... Sol is the Latin name of the Sun, as well as the modern word for "Sun" in the Spanish, Portuguese, Galician, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish languages. In Persian, it refers to a "solar year".

Dave Tackett said...

"Sol" is a common enough astronomical term used to refer to our sun. A specific example is the luminosity of a star is measured in units (Lsol)and a significant percentage of astronomical maps label the Sun as "Sol"

It is also very commonly used in SF and by people familiar with this genre.

Beam Me Up said...

Dave, you are very diplomatic! Sun and Sol are interchangeable in my mind and as such I use each term equally. It is such a well worn term in the genre that I never would suspect that it would engender confusion. Honestly, I still am having a hard time believing that a true fan of science and or science fiction finds the term Sol confusing.