Aurora borealis

By | Science & Technology
Aurora borealis in Finnish Lapland.Credit@flickruser-VisitFinland

Evidence on how Earth may be connected to the magnet and electrical energies of the Sun may have been verified by NASA. Previously only speculation, evidence of the paths of particles and waves have been demonstrated for the first time, an innovative discovery.

Planet Earth may be connected to the Sun and other stars by invisible energies. The Earth’s magnetosphere supports to transmit this and usually protects the planet from solar and cosmic radiation, when it is strong and extends out into the solar system the field lines of the sun periodically reconnect with the field lines of Earth. The “reconnection” accelerates particles like electrons and protons and allows some to breach the barrier. When some of these particles enter the poles of the Earth, the interaction of these particles with certain atoms emits a light, a different colour for different atoms. Mankind knows the reactions of waves and particles with atoms as the auroras.

Likewise, via Birkeland currents, the Earth is connected via streaming electrons to the sun and even other stars and planets. When the electrical activity of the galaxies is pictured it appears to be like the electrical connections which exist between the neurons in the human brain. This electrical connection has additionally been deemed to be identical to the connection seen in a battery. Electrical grids and certain communication devices are sometimes affected by the solar wind and the plasma associated with it; usually when the sun is at its highest level of activity. Predicting and understanding solar phenomena may support towards protecting electrical and communication technologies.

New breakthrough’s in the understanding of magnetic reconnection came in a study by NASA’s Magnetosphere Multiscale (MMS) Mission, launched in march 2015. The spacecraft measured thousands of reconnection events by travelling through the point where Earth’s field lines join the sun’s field lines. This is where electrons and protons are accelerated and later breach the magnetic boundary. NASA embarked on more than 4000 journeys through the magnetic boundaries protecting the Earth, gathering extensive information on the movement of particles and how the magnetic field fluctuates. Analysing each reconnection event showed the differing nature of the connection’s, some are explosive and some occur mildly with few particles colliding.

Using four satellites precisely 10 kilometres apart, MMS used a GPS to maintain this distance and track the movement of electrons much quicker than earlier satellites. Tim Moore at NASA Says; “Satellite measurements of electrons have been slow by a factor of 100 to sample the magnetic reconnection region. The precision and speed of MMS, however opened up a new window on the universe, a new “microscope” to see reconnection.” Dr Jonathon Eastwood also commented; “There have been theories about the movement of electrons in magnetic reconnection for decades, though this is the first proof of what they do. It may be known what might be there – although knowing and actually measuring are two different things.”

The observations verify the crescent model which speculated the journey electrons may take across the magnetic boundary, characterised by the crescent shape of magnetic lines around the Earth. Dr Eastwood commented; “This is the first time we have flown through the heart of a reconnection event. While the data support the crescent theory, some measurements do differ from what we might expect, throwing up new questions about the dynamics.”  “Understanding the fundamental physics of this process may have a real impact on the understanding of disruptive space weather events.”

The reconnection events were observed at the day side of Earth and also at the night side region of the magnetosphere called the magnetotail, where many of the stronger geomagnetic effects emerge. In this region electrons pass the Earth to be sling-shot back with additional energy, creating the beautiful displays of the auroras.

The understanding of the connection between this planet and the rest of the solar system may be further appreciated as a result of NASA’s study. In the future analysing the Birkeland currents from other stars and perhaps other galaxies, may provide valuable physical information on the wider nature of the universe.

What invisible energies link the earth to other stars and the sun?


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