Longstanding Mystery of Sun's Hot Outer Atmosphere Solved

From the National Science Foundation:

Answer lies in jets of plasma

Images showing narrow jets of material streaking upward from the Sun's surface at high speeds.

Narrow jets of material, called spicules, streak upward from the Sun's surface at high speeds. Credit: NASA - click to enlarge

One of the most enduring mysteries in solar physics is why the Sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, is millions of degrees hotter than its surface.

Now scientists believe they have discovered a major source of hot gas that replenishes the corona: jets of plasma shooting up from just above the Sun’s surface.

The finding addresses a fundamental question in astrophysics: how energy is moved from the Sun’s interior to create its hot outer atmosphere.

“It’s always been quite a puzzle to figure out why the Sun’s atmosphere is hotter than its surface,” says Scott McIntosh, a solar physicist at the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., who was involved in the study.

“By identifying that these jets insert heated plasma into the Sun’s outer atmosphere, we can gain a much greater understanding of that region and possibly improve our knowledge of the Sun’s subtle influence on the Earth’s upper atmosphere.”

The research, results of which are published this week in the journal Science, was conducted by scientists from Lockheed Martin’s Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL), NCAR, and the University of Oslo. It was supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), NCAR’s sponsor.

“These observations are a significant step in understanding observed temperatures in the solar corona,” says Rich Behnke of NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, which funded the research.

“They provide new insight about the energy output of the Sun and other stars. The results are also a great example of the power of collaboration among university, private industry and government scientists and organizations.”

The research team focused on jets of plasma known as spicules, which are fountains of plasma propelled upward from near the surface of the Sun into the outer atmosphere.

For decades scientists believed spicules could send heat into the corona. However, following observational research in the 1980s, it was found that spicule plasma did not reach coronal temperatures, and so the theory largely fell out of vogue.

“Heating of spicules to millions of degrees has never been directly observed, so their role in coronal heating had been dismissed as unlikely,” says Bart De Pontieu, the lead researcher and a solar physicist at LMSAL.

Images showing the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, and a jet of hot material.

The Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, is millions of degrees hotter than its surface. Credit: NASA

In 2007, De Pontieu, McIntosh, and their colleagues identified a new class of spicules that moved much faster and were shorter-lived than the traditional spicules.

These “Type II” spicules shoot upward at high speeds, often in excess of 100 kilometers per second, before disappearing.

The rapid disappearance of these jets suggested that the plasma they carried might get very hot, but direct observational evidence of this process was missing.

The researchers used new observations from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on NASA’s recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory and NASA’s Focal Plane Package for the Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) on the Japanese Hinode satellite to test their hypothesis.

“The high spatial and temporal resolution of the newer instruments was crucial in revealing this previously hidden coronal mass supply,” says McIntosh.

“Our observations reveal, for the first time, the one-to-one connection between plasma that is heated to millions of degrees and the spicules that insert this plasma into the corona.”

The findings provide an observational challenge to the existing theories of coronal heating.

During the past few decades, scientists proposed a wide variety of theoretical models, but the lack of detailed observation significantly hampered progress.

“One of our biggest challenges is to understand what drives and heats the material in the spicules,” says De Pontieu.

A key step, according to De Pontieu, will be to better understand the interface region between the Sun’s visible surface, or photosphere, and its corona.

Another NASA mission, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), is scheduled for launch in 2012 to provide high-fidelity data on the complex processes and enormous contrasts of density, temperature and magnetic field between the photosphere and corona. Researchers hope this will reveal more about the spicule heating and launch mechanism.

The LMSAL is part of the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, which designs and develops, tests, manufactures and operates a full spectrum of advanced-technology systems for national security and military, civil government and commercial customers.

-NSF-

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284 thoughts on “Longstanding Mystery of Sun's Hot Outer Atmosphere Solved

  1. My favorite part of the article: “we can gain a much greater understanding of that region and possibly improve our knowledge of the Sun’s subtle influence on the Earth’s upper atmosphere .”
    The sun only has a subtle affect and that is limited to the upper atmosphere. Right. I guess that fully explains why summer is hotter than winter and day generally warmer than night. Subtle influence indeed. Glad we have the best minds available fully engaged in this research.

  2. Does this mean that blog comments about certain “alternative” theories of how the sun works that get appended to almost every web site in the universe (and I assume banned here) might reduce in frequency?
    We can but hope.

  3. Is the first set of images composited? How hot are those white areas? X-Ray, Gamma?
    Cool stuff. I love that there is at least some non-political content here. Keep up the good work! I’m a dedicated fan Anthony.

  4. This doesn’t explain the problem at all.
    The sun’s surface is about 6000 degrees.
    The corona is over a million degrees.
    So how does a jet of material from the surface help?

  5. Josh Grella says: (January 7, 2011 at 6:15 am)
    “I guess that fully explains why summer is hotter than winter and day generally warmer than night.”
    Those differences are due to what is happening on Earth not on the Sun.

  6. Saying the temperture of the corona is millions of degrees is sort of like saying socks in a clothes dryer have an electric charge of 30,000 volts. Sounds scary high but in reality there is so little total electrical energy in those socks it isn’t enough to power a pissant’s Prius halfway around the inside of a Cheerio. Likewise the total energy radiated by the corona is only 0.004% of that radiated by the photosphere. You couldn’t measure its temperature with any kind of actual thermometer – the temperature must be inferred by spectral analysis of the radiation coming from it.

  7. But of course! This also explains how the Earth is heated from it’s surface. There are “Type IIIAGW” spicules that shoot upward at high speeds. Most recently observed at Cancun and at speeches by James Hansen and Michael Mann. Of course there are “Type IVReverse” spicules that are only observed in the vicinity of Al Gore. These suck heat from both the Earth and the atmosphere creating titanic cooling. The formerly mysterious Gore Effect is now fully explained. It was confirmed at Gore’s most recent trip to China and caused over 1200 homes to collapse from snow during one of Gores spittle, uh, spicules filled sermons.

  8. Dave Springer says:
    January 7, 2011 at 7:30 am
    “You couldn’t measure its temperature with any kind of actual thermometer – the temperature must be inferred by spectral analysis of the radiation coming from it.”
    We could extrapolate the anomaly from the next thermometer… if it’s within 1200 light years radius.

  9. Josh Grella says: January 7, 2011 at 6:15 am
    The sun only has a subtle affect and that is limited to the upper atmosphere…. Glad we have the best minds available fully engaged in this research.

    Thank God for the blogosphere. I bet those solar physicists are here right now learning that the sun does more than provide subtle effects in the upper atmosphere. Next week, I’ll tell them that the sun’s gravity doesn’t just influence the tides, but also affects the earth’s orbit.

  10. Why would the corona at millions (poorly quantified) of degrees not be incandescent and obscure the sun’s surface? So these cold spicules shoot up and heat the corona to millions of degrees? Why do the headlines always have an order of magnitude more certainty than the body of the work? For such a major discovery about the corona that has puzzled s. phizz for centuries – there sure seems to be a lot of question marks, even in my comment. I don’t know the existing theories but surely the phenom must involve a quantum (plain Englsh here) jump in particle motion – perhaps some sort of phase change. Are they suggesting that the spicules rush out and swirl the atmospheric particles at enormous speeds – a mechanical phenomenon? Oops another questionmark.

  11. Gary Pearse says:
    “Why do the headlines always have an order of magnitude more certainty than the body of the work?’
    Indeed, a very good question, as are the others in your post. There are still way too many questions for them to act as if the other ideas have been debunked or to even know that they have a good idea at all.

  12. Problem NOT solved, only further conjecture. How can a hot plasma jet exit a cold surface overcoming massive gravity? poorly put I know but several posters here nail the oddities.
    Dreaming up a story is not a solution. Sadly modern astronomy is full of dreams very little fact. Where they obtain facts, disproving the theories, the theories tend to be replaced not with new theories better able to depict the observations , but new dragons, new dreams, new mystical forces or matter.
    reminds me of globull warming models.

  13. “I’m pretty sure temperatures on the sun are controlled by our production of CO2.”
    Obviously true… after all the Sun’s atmosphere is closer to us and our wayward ways than the surface.

  14. If the spicules heat the corona, what heats the spicules? There is no cause and effect shown, only a correlation. Could be equally true that the corona is heating the spicules.
    No, it is not likely that science has the best minds, certainly not in the US. Science related job in the US tend to pay only a fraction of what can be earned in finance, investment, law and medicine. As a result, science has become an easy target for political corruption.
    Consider political office in the US. It costs tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars to campaign for a job that pays hundreds of thousands. Why would anyone do this unless there was some pay-off. The obvious answer is that political office allows you to direct the taxpayers money in such a way as to recoup the investment in gaining office. You take care of your friends and they will take care of you.
    However, to redirect the taxpayers money you need evidence to support this, otherwise it will appear to be corruption. This becomes to the role of science. The low pay of scientists makes them an easy target for manipulation through the control of government grant money.
    As a result taxpayer money is not spent wisely. It is spent to justify the large sums spent in gaining political office, using science to avoid the appearance of corruption. What Climategate exposed was the tip of the iceberg. It doesn’t just involve the scientists. It reaches to the highest political offices and their backers. The money and power that finances the politicians and owns the news outlets. Which is why the institutions involved have worked so hard to cover up the problem and absolve those involved of any wrong doing.

  15. Gary Pearse says:
    January 7, 2011 at 7:59 am
    “Why would the corona at millions (poorly quantified) of degrees not be incandescent and obscure the sun’s surface?”
    Because the density is close to zero. Particles in it are so far apart you can see straight through it almost like it wasn’t there at all.

  16. I am a mortal ordinary sceptic.
    Any element heated up to about ~2000K shows continues spectrum, above that temperature ionisation starts and discrete spectral lines start appearing. With 100% ionisation, elements as such do not exist, just protons (in case of sun one from H or 2 from He, there are small amounts of other heavier elements) and free electrons, i.e. plasma. At this point it is a bit misleading talking about temperature in degrees K, it is more particles energy in eV.
    Very short light wavelengths, as shown in discrete spectral lines, have high energy (in eV) but that does not mean that they have temperatures of millions of degrees K in normal sense of temperature.
    Take example of a neon (argon or other gas tube), its light has very short wavelength (lines towards the high end of spectrum), but the gas inside tube is not heated at many 1000s or hundreds of 1000s degrees K.

  17. tallbloke says:
    January 7, 2011 at 8:28 am
    That is an issue which belongs to the “Holy Index”of forbidden things. Your are risking to be excomulgated or, worse, being prosecuted by the Holy Inquisition of the Post Normal and Progressive Church. 🙂

  18. Dave Springer says:
    January 7, 2011 at 7:30 am
    “You couldn’t measure its temperature with any kind of actual thermometer – the temperature must be inferred by spectral analysis of the radiation coming from it.”
    Which is a another good example of why temperature is not a good measure of the heat content of something.

  19. Tom in Florida says:
    January 7, 2011 at 7:28 am
    Those differences are due to what is happening on Earth not on the Sun.
    I realize that. My point was that they are claiming the sun only has subtle affect on the upper atmosphere. When the Earth wobbles and rotates, it makes the particular location where you are either a little closer or a little farther away from the sun (a relatively small change) or it puts you in direct sunlight or complete darkness. Those changes affect the temperature dramatically throughout all layers of the atmosphere. They seem to be missing the point that a little change in the overall equation can make a huge difference overall. Many “scientists” today make claims about many atmospheric and galactic processes only to find out they were wrong once actual evidence is gathered. They always seem to miss the obvious common sense knowledge that most of us unintelligent rabble (who are obviously just shills for the big oil industry) can see quite easily.


  20. ferd berple says:
    January 7, 2011 at 8:27 am
    No, it is not likely that science has the best minds, certainly not in the US. Science related job in the US tend to pay only a fraction of what can be earned in finance, investment, law and medicine. As a result, science has become an easy target for political corruption.

    Interesting assumption here that the only possible motive that drives the “best minds” is money. Perhaps this says more about you than about scientists?

  21. possibly improve our knowledge of the Sun’s subtle influence on the Earth’s upper atmosphere
    Wow… what else has any effect has any influence what-so-ever on Earth’s upper atmosphere? Ok, lunar tides, a little tug from Jupiter, Earth’s lower atmosphere gets a jab in here & there, but Sol is the 800 pound gorilla.

  22. Murray said, “Can we send some AGW grant-consumers scientists there to collect some core samples? That would surely advance our understanding of the factors on earth.”
    What a dubious idea, you speak as a skeptics or denier or something, give you samples and data…
    Collecting samples, especially correctly, is a tedious task. Millions degrees is a lot, could burn something. I have a better idea. How about we unite and organize a mass movement to protect solar corona from those vicious hot spicules? And get some grants for mitigation studies that do not need any samples? Donations are also accepted, in my personal account…
    Cheers,
    – Al Tekhasski

  23. “Why do the headlines always have an order of magnitude more certainty than the body of the work?”
    Anthony, I’m all for discussing this idea. I appreciate the opportunity, because I am very curious what the answer to this question is.
    But that headline was nothing less than blatantly misleading.

  24. Millions of degrees- can be misleading to the layperson in the same way as saying that the vacuum of space is -273 celcius. In truth, a vacuum has no temperature- you could say neutral. I always used to think that a person exposed to space would instantly freeze solid- not true. The first worry with exposure are the body tissues exploding due to the pressure gradiant. Astronauts have to worry more about overheating during spacewalk than the freezing, as without atmosphere, body heat has no where to escape.

  25. The physics here is interesting and should be considered. Maybe it is the explanation. But the author’s of the work carry nothing like that certainty, and Anthony seeks to put the debate to rest with a strongly worded headline.
    Even if you think this is the probable explanation, I think you’ll have to agree that this headline was a serious overreach.

    This doesn’t explain the problem at all.
    The sun’s surface is about 6000 degrees.
    The corona is over a million degrees.
    So how does a jet of material from the surface help?

    I believe what they’re saying is that the jets are very hot, and there are many of them.

  26. ferd berple says:
    January 7, 2011 at 8:27 am
    If the spicules heat the corona, what heats the spicules?
    Good question. The problem has not been solved, just moved elsewhere. Now, everything explosive that happens is caused by strong electric currents. There are several ways to get electric currents. One basic mechanism is ‘induction’: rapid changes in the magnetic field induces electric currents. There are several ways to get changes in the magnetic fields [e.g. reconnection, or just movements of plasma pushing the field around], so there are many details to work out. One thing that is often [almost always, in fact] overlooked is that the corona is very tenuous. The [less conspicuous – nice pun here] chromosphere where the spicules live has hundreds of times more mass and energy than the corona.

  27. Josh Grella says:
    January 7, 2011 at 9:33 am
    Those changes affect the temperature dramatically throughout all layers of the atmosphere. They seem to be missing the point that a little change in the overall equation can make a huge difference overall.
    Those changes are not ‘little’. Day-night is 100% effect. Varying distance is 7%, which is 70 times larger than the solar cycle variation of solar energy output. [and the distance effect is even hard to see: right now we are closest to the Sun]

  28. Re: “What say the Electric Sun people?”
    If you guys don’t find this “explanation” to be satisfactory, then you really need to read Zirker’s Journey from the Center of the Sun. And you will come to see that this entire solar model is in no way better than Wal Thornhill’s plasma glow discharge model for the Sun.
    The entire model is constructed in an ad hoc manner: Looks like we have these big bubbles of gas. Let’s call them supergranules and propose that they represent convection. But, it looks like we have enigmatic temperatures in the corona. Okay … hmm … Let’s suppose that magnetic fields can do things which we’ve yet to observe in the laboratory … Etc.
    It’s just barely “science”, and it certainly has very little to do with the laboratory.
    Yes, the SSM does indeed provide a way in which the thermonuclear core idea can *possibly* be made to work. But, that’s perhaps the best way to put it right there.
    And, what are your expectations? If you expect that the behavior of the Sun should *naturally* follow from some sort of underlying physics which has been validated within the laboratory, then you unknowingly are in the electric sun camp. We can explain all of these features with laboratory plasma physics. Conventional solar physicists just opt not to, because they are in love with the idea of the thermonuclear core. After all, it’s what they were taught in college.
    I see a few of you guys complaining that this article isn’t very convincing. But, so long as you refuse to seriously consider alternative ideas, you are bound to making the SSM work. I suggest learning to love it.
    Studying the behavior of a laboratory glow discharge, and inferring the behavior of the Sun from those observations is hardly speculative. People just choose to not follow this line of investigation BECAUSE THEY DON’T LIKE THE IDEA OF AN EXTERNALLY POWERED SUN.
    This is conclusion-driven science, and it’s not very different from claiming that the universe *must* dominated by gravity even as galactic rotation curves are easily reproduced by tweaking the cosmic plasma models such that they more closely represent our laboratory observations.
    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m becoming more cynical by the day that the answers will be found here on wattsupwiththat. There’s quite a bit of assertions that it-just-can’t-be and far too few questions … and far too few people willing to read things which they don’t already believe. Starting to think that this forum is just like most others.
    Anybody know where the critical thinkers are out there? I’d like to build a solar model.

  29. PaulM says:
    January 7, 2011 at 7:27 am
    This doesn’t explain the problem at all.
    The sun’s surface is about 6000 degrees.
    The corona is over a million degrees.
    So how does a jet of material from the surface help?
    I think of the the corona as being the hot end of a gas flame (analogy) . I used to use a oxy/propane gas cutter when i worked in industry and i always wondered why the part of the flame two thirds of the way from the gas nozzle was the hottest and why the nozzle was never melted away. But thinking about it the gas was under pressure and the igniting part of the gas was well away from the nozzle on ignition. Maybe something is igniting away from the sun (at least expanding and exploding). But i’m not a physicist just a humble caulker burner (was).
    Martin in England

  30. Like others, I’m not understanding how these plasma jets are able to heat the corona to millions of degrees. Something must be missing in this article if it pretends to “explain” anything. What temperature is the plasma? What heats the plasma? And what keeps it hot as it disperses through the corona?

  31. As PaulM points out the photosphere of the sun is 6000 degrees. So, we have these high speed spicules going from the surface to the photosphere carrying mass at, uh, 6000 degrees?? Oh wait, they said the spicules were hot enough to add to the heated mass of the corona.
    But, where is the explanation for how those spicules get heated to millions of degrees again??? ““One of our biggest challenges is to understand what drives and heats the material in the spicules,” says De Pontieu.”
    So, they really don’t have an answer of any kind, just observations that hot material is being injected into the corona. Barring Star Trek transporters, I think we could have guessed that one.

  32. steveta_uk,
    ” Perhaps this says more about you than about scientists?”
    Perhaps it says more about what we in the US have been seeing in many science fields for years. People ideologically, monetarily, and SAFETY driven rather than driven by an interest in the best Science that can be practiced.
    I would point out that we have been seeing some of the same through Climate Gate that isn’t primarily a US problem also. Then there is the IPCC which is truly a multi-national effort in corruption like virtually everything else done around the UN!!

  33. Having read a bit on the subject it is clear to me the search for an explanation for the high temperatures in the corona must continue. Basically the claim is that jets hot enough to maintain the coronal temperature leap from a 6000 C surface and maintain a much larger surface at 2 million degrees. Ri-i-ight.
    If one were to claim that the spicules are in fact conducting large currents, which would provide the energy in an electrical form rather than from thermal mass, the question arises as to what is driving that enormous current.
    It seems more likely that the charge maintained by the corona relative to the surface draws the spicules aloft rather than they are driven upwards from below.
    I remind readers that a plasma does not contain ‘particles’ in the regular sense. Think quantum fields and field effects. Waves, not bits. If it is hot and tenuous, it can still be electrically conductive.
    It would be interesting to know if the spicules are actually an electrical connection downwards providing heat to the surface. Does the surface heat up following a spicule connection?

  34. Oh, and one other solar observation. When are they going to do some splainin’ bout those COOL areas seen under sunspots?

  35. I think it is pretty funny. Plasma people gave the reason many years ago. Nobody listened. Now so called mainstream people have said the same. Is the mainstream claiming credit here?

  36. What may not be commonly appreciated is that these spicules (and perhaps “ordinary” ones at that) can increase the coronal temperature by energy addition. Any spicule will inject a mass of plasma into the corona with a velocity that will be dissipated by viscous effects. All the kinetic energy of the spicule will be transformed into thermal energy of the plasma. The question then becomes: what is the population of the plasma at that energy level? A Maxwellian temperature distribution will mandate a particular population density at a given energy. If the population is locally higher than that (by virtue of high-speed spicule deposition), the energy must equipartion through subsequent collisions. This can result in readjustment of the population energy spectrum…which means the temperature can increase. Such a process can continue until the energy loss mechanisms balance the energy addition, and the temperature reaches an equilibrium level.
    Please don’t confuse this process with the ordinary thermal energy equilibriation process of dumping a pint of cold water into a bucket of warm water (as the conventional remarks about the “ordinary” spicules seem to reflect). If the kinetic energy of the cold water was high enough, the combined mass would be turned to steam. It is well known in weapons engineering that, above a certain projectile velocity, there is no point to incorporating any explosive in the projectile, because the specific kinetic energy of the projectile is greater than the specific heat of explosion of TNT. This is the mechanism of depleted uranium kinetic energy penetrators: once they hit the target, they convert to molten metal during the penetration and finally exit as hot uranium vapor and droplets.
    Another example of this effect is the fact that helium “boils away” from our atmosphere into space. The fact that helium is at ambient air temperature means only that its atoms are distributed across the kinetic energy spectrum in a Maxwellian manner. The helium atoms above escape velocity go into space. Since their departure depletes the distribution, the distribution readjusts to move more helium atoms into that part of the spectrum, and the boil-off process continues. (Which is why we hoard helium in underground storage; it cannot be recovered from the atmosphere.)
    Still another example of the general point is that one can use high-intensity infrared radiation to heat an object to a temperature at which that object would emit ultraviolet radiation (I’ve seen this done: the creation of artificial lightning bolts in open air). From the Stefan-Boltzmann law, this sounds like something at a “lower” temperature causing something to assume a “higher” temperature, but it would be a misreading of what is going on. The issue is energy addition and reaching an equilibrium with loss processes.

  37. So essentially they just need some more cash to really figure out what’s what before they need even more cash to start figuring out why, and later more cash to why that is, and then some more to really truly understand it all, plus some extra to put it all together . . . At age 65 they give thanks and tell everyone to have a blast and don’t spend all the money at once.

  38. @NSF
    > In 2007, De Pontieu, McIntosh, and their colleagues identified a new class of
    > spicules that moved much faster and were shorter-lived than the traditional
    > spicules.
    Hmm, I’m a bit skeptical about this. It’s true that ordinary spicules cover the entire sun (like blades of grass cover your lawn). But the ‘plasma jets’ depicted in the figures at the top of the article appear to be those associated with “active regions” like sunspots etc. So these would not blanket the entire chromosphere and would still leave the question begging for areas outside of the active regions.
    This is a press release, so might be a case where the reporter got his facts mixed up after interviewing the scientists.
    Dr. Svalgaard, what is your take on this article?

  39. From the posted article:
    “The high spatial and temporal resolution of the newer instruments was crucial in revealing this previously hidden coronal mass supply,” says McIntosh.
    “Our observations reveal, for the first time, the one-to-one connection between plasma that is heated to millions of degrees and the spicules that insert this plasma into the corona.”
    These seem to be the money quotes in terms of the actual proposed mechanics.
    But what does it say?
    Simply that these spicules provide the “mass” for the corona.
    But that does not explain the temperature.
    Now, the actual peer-reviewed paper in Science might have the missing observations & measurements and analysis & interpretation which explains how the spicules transfer energy into the corona from the photosphere or from below it (according the “nuclear furnace” model).
    But this press release doesn’t supply that information.
    Instead, readers are supplied with an unsupported conclusion, really just an assumption, which given the comments so far, it seems readers have implicitly picked up on.
    Is the energy “concentrated” in the spicules, somehow, then released into the corona?
    It isn’t explicitly stated.
    Why the “we have the mystery solved” headline atop the press release?
    Because this conundrum (6,000 degree photosphere, two million degree corona) threatens the mainstream model.
    Perhaps, there is pressure from an alternative hypothesis that would upset (a lot of) somebodies applecart.
    A poorly explained press release is worse than no press release at all.
    Why?
    Because then credibility is sacrificed and once lost is hard to get back.

  40. Right, so we have observed a new phenomena and we can rush into fevered speculation about what it might do and this will keep us going to the next new phenomena which we can spin out to the next ……. (this is how our science progresses says -insert National Scientific Body here)

  41. John Day says:
    January 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm
    Dr. Svalgaard, what is your take on this article?
    The plasma in the spicules has a range of temperatures, most of it below 100,000K, but enough of the plasma has temperatures above 1 million K that when injected into the corona it simply heats the corona [pouring hot water into cold]. One must remember that the corona is VERY tenuous and the chromosphere [with the spicules] is much denser and has much, much more mass that the corona, so it doesn’t take much. Actually most of material in the spicules falls right back onto the Sun, but enough [and it only takes a small fraction] makes it into the corona. Hot gas expands and if hot enough can escape the gravitational clutch of the Sun, resulting in the solar wind. The headline is a bit overhyped, but so are they all.
    The problem has not really been solved, just moved to the spicules.

  42. Okaaaaay…as I understand it, the surface of the sun is 6,000 degrees while the corona is a couple of millions of degrees. Assuming that the corona isn’t plugged into Al Gore’s mantle, the question is why the corona is so hot. Except Vulk says that temperature really isn’t the correct measurment but rather the energy of the emitted waves(?) So, is there some mechanism for the heat of the spiricles to be translated into motion for photon emission? Or is that even an intelligent/relevant question.

  43. I think Leif often claims more confidence in standard models than can be justified, but what he said here is fair and then some:

    “If the spicules heat the corona, what heats the spicules?
    Good question. The problem has not been solved, just moved elsewhere. Now, everything explosive that happens is caused by strong electric currents. There are several ways to get electric currents. One basic mechanism is ‘induction’: rapid changes in the magnetic field induces electric currents. There are several ways to get changes in the magnetic fields [e.g. reconnection, or just movements of plasma pushing the field around], so there are many details to work out. “

    My contention is that electrical behaviour and plasmas in space have often been given short shrift in favour of the gravitational force. Gravity is certainly of profound importance, and lends itself to nicer, neater equations, but cosmic plasmas seems to also be ubiquitious, and electrical force underrated at the large scale.
    It’s certainly not my contention that the “Electric Universe” model is correct in all respects. I disagree vehemently with its most well known proponents on some tangential issues, and am still learning about the core issues.
    However, I firmly believe they’re right insofar as electricity and plasmas in space are not fully understood, and of greater importance than most people realize, even if their theories ultimately don’t stand up.
    I still think they’ll have made a contribution, and it behooves us to maintain an open mind, particularly when the standard models’ predictions don’t always work, the electric models’ (plural: there are different electric models) predictions sometimes do, and much is unknown and unsettled.
    I am very suspicious of “settled science”. I prefer curious science.

  44. “Anthony seeks to put the debate to rest with a strongly worded headline.”
    No, Anthony used the headline from the press release, itself.

  45. There is a controversy between two rival schools of thought (contrary to what some from the “magnetic reconnection” camp would have you believe):
    From Interspace News (February 27, 2008):
    “There is a lot of excitement over this project [THEMIS] in the research community, [Dr. Vassillis] Angelopoulos [THEMIS principal investigator at University of California Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory in Berkeley, Calf.] said. For more than three decades, scientists around the globe have been embattled about where these lights originate so brilliantly and suddenly. And like the two polar caps at opposite ends of the planet, there are also opposing viewpoints.”
    So, the THEMIS principal investigator for NASA knows there are opposing schools of thought.
    Back to the news article:
    “In the Reconnection Theory camp, members say the magnetosphere on the night side is like two rubber bands that stretch, snap and then reconnect into “U” shape bands that release their energy — much like a slingshot. That action would then accelerate the particles toward Earth causing the light show.”
    “On the other side of the hypothesis is the Current Disruption Theory, which says at the onset of a substorm, higher frequency instabilities are excited so that the plasma and electromagnetic field form a turbulent state, which then short circuits the current that is now forced to go directly into the atmosphere. This current accelerates the electrons that in return cause the light show.”
    http://www.interspacenews.com/FeatureArticle/tabid/130/Default.aspx?id=524
    Two schools of thought: The Magnetic Reconnection Theory versus The Current Disruption Theory.

  46. Oh no! The Sun’s atmosphere is hotter than it’s surface? Alarum! Solar Warming! We’re all going to die!
    Sorry, it’s Friday night with a nice warming Scotch in a cold Canadian snowfall.
    Actually, it is interesting to ponder this: The “We’re all goinjg to die” brigade often advocate the reduction of the human population to prevent us all from dieing

  47. Thanks for a good science story. We so often get into polemics, it’s good to get back to some basic science, in a field where it is still OK to say “We don’t know”.

  48. Grey Lensman: Problem NOT solved, only further conjecture. How can a hot plasma jet exit a cold surface overcoming massive gravity? poorly put I know but several posters here nail the oddities.
    Youth, this kind of muddied thinking is inexcusable for a Lensman! If you are to triumph against Boskone you must learn not to jump to conclusions, but to truly think!. Consider the following:
    Sol’s gravity isn’t that strong. Wikipedia reckons the escape velocity for Sol is only 617.5km/s. Sounds impressive, but just remember how much sheer mass gets hurled out during a coronal mass ejection or similar – which have velocities of between 20km/s and 3200km/s (!). And the average CME has a mass of 1.2 trillion kg.
    As for these spicules, the real question is just where the energy comes from (please bear in mind I’m not a scientist, merely working this out as I go along & reading around for it). Some things to consider:
    1. Magnetic currents powered from deep within the sun stirring up the surface plasma in a particular region – that is, transferring energy to the hot gases near the surface. Whilst some of this energy would be lost to the surrounding gases, we’ve seen with CMEs that magnetic fields can do this on a colossal scale, so assuming that it can happen on a smaller scale (and regular spicules are on the order of 500km in diameter and 10,000s of km long, so “small” is relative) seems reasonable.
    2. Shockwaves in the hot gases near the surface. It’s a fairly well known phenomenon that if you compress a gas, you heat it up. Apply a shockwave in one direction and you’ll heat up the gas and – due to inertia – encourage it to find a new equilibrium by expanding in the direction of the shockwave.
    3. Remember that the spicules don’t need to entirely overcome gravity. They can fall back into the photosphere later (or for that matter, disappear off into the sunset to join the solar wind), just so long as they first dump a lot of energy into the corona.
    As also noted above, the corona really is very (VERY) thin. Wikipedia reckons it to be one trillionth the density of the photosphere… itself a fraction of the density of Earth’s sea level atmosphere (2e-4kg/m^3 vs 1.2kg/m^3).
    In other words, there’s not very much of a corona – size (or at least volume) is in this case very deceptive. Adding 1 litre of boiling water to a swimming pool with only 100 litres of cold water in it will have a much greater effect on temperature than doing the same to the same swimming pool when it’s full.

  49. “The findings provide an observational challenge to the existing theories of coronal heating.”
    Observation of the real world – what a novel concept for theoreticians.

  50. Electric forces are 10^39 stronger than the gravitational force, so overcoming “massive gravity” is not a problem for solar plasma eruptions.

  51. “No, Anthony used the headline from the press release, itself.”
    Well, okay, fair observation, and I stand corrected. Nonetheless, the headline is wrong-headed, and it shouldn’t surprise me that it comes from a government agency.
    This is a promising theory, but it’s way premature to say that.

  52. Mark
    Thank you, I specialise in thinking outside the box but do not wish to do others thinking for them. Thus I asked them to think.
    Thinkers know that the universe functions on simplicity, simple is simple does. Thus the simplest explanation of what you see is Most probe the correct solution.
    Thus in the case of the sun, what you see can be replicated and scaled in the lab, simply, using electricity and magnetism.
    QED

  53. Are we divided by a common language in this argument?
    I’ve been exploring the concept of ether in another discussion, and thought this is what was happening. Today I found this:
    Ether space time and cosmology: new insights into a key physical medium
    The necessity of ether is not questioned today even by those who pretend to do so but do not hesitate to attribute qualities to the vacuum. Ether theory plays a creative role, even if given different names: (vacuum, fundamental plenum or cosmic substratum).
    Htt://www.ufindbook.com/ebook-science-engineering/ether-space-time-cosmology-new-insights-into-a-key-physical-medium.html

    To take this further:
    Relativity – Mass Increase is a FRAUD
    Relativists, or more specifically, mathematicians, have no clue what the word MASS means. They have never defined this word consistently. This is why they use the word MASS synonymously with WEIGHT, and with a multitude of many other terms as well, …. and they do so whenever it suits their arguments!
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Relativity-Mass-Increase-is-a-FRAUD

    Apart from the shouting, what think ye all of this? Is this true?

  54. James F. Evans says:
    January 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm
    There is a controversy between two rival schools of thought (contrary to what some from the “magnetic reconnection” camp would have you believe)
    There are not two schools of thought. These things are the result of electric currents [and their rapid changes]. The currents are driven by transient electric fields [there are no other kinds] which are created by a variety of processes involving plasma moving in and across magnetic fields [induction, reconnection, etc]. We have discussed this so many times. Go back and review some of all that nauseating detail.
    Robert of Ottawa says:
    January 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm
    As also noted above, the corona really is very (VERY) thin.
    As a good illustration, if you were standing on one of those spicules the pressure of the whole of the corona above you on your outstretched hand is smaller than the pressure under one foot of a tiny spider crawling over said hand on Earth.
    Jack Simmons says:
    January 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm
    Many of the questions raised by readers here can be answered by reading this book
    I can recommend that book strongly.

  55. Re: “I remind readers that a plasma does not contain ‘particles’ in the regular sense. Think quantum fields and field effects. Waves, not bits. If it is hot and tenuous, it can still be electrically conductive.”
    Plasmas can conduct even when they are cool and tenuous. There is actually a “dark mode” (in addition to the “glow” and “arc” modes) of the plasma V-I curve. This is *incredibly* important for every single person on WUWT to realize.
    This dark mode appears to cause *MASSIVE* confusion for the physics establishment. People tend to assume that a lack of EM emissions means a lack of electrical current. And when they don’t see every single element of the circuit lit up like a Christmas Tree, they ignore the fact that those few components that they *DO* see are lined up in a filamentary web …
    If you ask me, it is this unfounded expectation that conduction requires an emission which is causing all of the problems in solar physics today. Electricity is a bitch to see, even down here on Earth. Making matters worse is that, within the plasma universe view, the Sun’s power input is an electron drift through the heliosphere. This is not something which people are going to observe without trying. We’re talking about a *net* movement of *random* electron motions.
    Measuring that would require multiple probes, right?

  56. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm (Edit)
    John Day says:
    January 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm
    Dr. Svalgaard, what is your take on this article?
    (and the reply) The plasma in the spicules has a range of temperatures, most of it below 100,000K, but enough of the plasma has temperatures above 1 million K that when injected into the corona it simply heats the corona [pouring hot water into cold]. One must remember that the corona is VERY tenuous and the chromosphere [with the spicules] is much denser and has much, much more mass that the corona, so it doesn’t take much. Actually most of material in the spicules falls right back onto the Sun, but enough [and it only takes a small fraction] makes it into the corona.
    So, please continue.
    “Temperature” of mass – as we coommonly use the term about mass and gasses, so I am assuming it extends into plasmas – is directly and only proportional to the (average) speed of the molecules/ions in the gas/plasma.
    At some convenient point, we (solar experts) have decided that the sun’s “atmosphere” stops and the sun’s “surface” begins.
    So, if the atmosphere is extremely “thin” compared to the “surface”of the sun, then the average distance traveled of the particles in the “atmosphere” must be many thousand times further than those ions/particles down under the “surface” of the sun. Distance between collisions in a gas is directly related to density of the gas and so it is related to temperature of the ions/molecules in the gas, right?
    So, how much is this extreme temperature difference between the “atmosphere” and the “surface” of the sun due to the different densities of the material in each “phase.”
    Or does my analogy break down, as if you were trying to describe the difference in temperature between the ocean surface and the water valor immediately above the ocean surface?

  57. RACook
    Perhaps this might answer your question.
    Firstly plasma is not gas, its the fourth sate of matter. So consider this
    Quote
    After all, stars are not composed of hot air, not even really hot air: they’re composed of plasma. Plasma is electromagnetically active. The fast-moving particles are really ions; their movement is otherwise known as an electrical current. That current generates an inwardly directed magnetic force that constricts the current into a filament—called a jet by plasma-impaired astronomers and a Birkeland current by plasma physicists. Electrical forces accelerate the ions, electrons, and charged dust to different velocities, which astronomers interpret as different temperatures.
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/00current.htm
    Unquote
    It might clear your mind

  58. Myrrh says:
    January 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm
    Relativity – Mass Increase is a FRAUD
    Relativists, or more specifically, mathematicians, have no clue what the word MASS means. They have never defined this word consistently. This is why they use the word MASS synonymously with WEIGHT, and with a multitude of many other terms as well, …. and they do so whenever it suits their arguments!
    Apart from the shouting, what think ye all of this? Is this true?

    No, it is pure nonsense.
    Chris Reeve says:
    January 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm
    Making matters worse is that, within the plasma universe view, the Sun’s power input is an electron drift through the heliosphere.
    As is that.
    racookpe1978 says:
    January 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm
    So, if the atmosphere is extremely “thin” compared to the “surface”of the sun, then the average distance traveled of the particles in the “atmosphere” must be many thousand times further than those ions/particles down under the “surface” of the sun.
    Yes, this is the case. But the temperature is not really a measure of the density, but is a measure of the average [random] speed of the particles. If you jerk the particles [molecules, atoms, ions, etc] around more, they are said [i.e. defined] to have a higher temperature.

  59. Additionally, ionized oxygen has been measured at 200million kelvin at up to 1 or 2 solar diameters distance from the sun. So – the OBSERVED picture of Sol and its atmosphere has temperature DECREASING as we get closer to Sol. And of course, sunspots allow us to glimpse inside the sun where it is OBSERVABLY even cooler than the surface. Does this not suggest that energy is coming from without, rather than within, the Sun?

  60. Grey Lensman says:
    January 7, 2011 at 11:20 pm
    Firstly plasma is not gas, its the fourth sate of matter.
    Plasma in the sun and in space is a gas too. And an almost perfect gas at that. In addition to sharing characteristics with a gas [e.g. compressibility], a plasma has some additional properties, so it is more correct to say that a plasma is a special type of gas.

  61. Floyd says:
    January 7, 2011 at 11:44 pm
    And of course, sunspots allow us to glimpse inside the sun where it is OBSERVABLY even cooler than the surface. Does this not suggest that energy is coming from without, rather than within, the Sun?
    No, a sunspot’s magnetic field hinders the free flow of heat from below and diverts it around, away from the spot, which then becomes cooler [and appears darker]. It does not mean that the sun ins cooler on the inside. We can measure the sound speed inside the sun [using helioseimology – same way as we prospect for oil in the Earth] and find that is matches that of a hot interior. [the sound speed is higher in hot material – For a given ideal gas the sound speed depends only on its temperature – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_sound ]. We can even measure the temperature this way.

  62. The sun does not “heat” the corona as a stove burner heats a pot of water. It is more like a microwave heats a cup of water. Enough energy and the water in the cup vaporizes without heating the cup. Direct transfer of electro-motive-force (emf) energy to the material. This causes the material to radiate energy as if it was very hot! The sun surface material radiates as if it were 6,000 degrees, the coronal material radiates as if it were 1,000,000,000 degrees. The coronal material is very thin, a vacuum with only a few very high energy ions per square meter. “Heat” in degrees is not a measurement energy in an object, it is a measurement of temperature of the object.
    ‘ A 100 degree ball of lead has more energy then a 100 degree ball of feathers.’ pg 😉

  63. No and again no. Plasma is plasma and gas is gas. Two different things with very different properties. Fundamental physics

  64. Chris Reeve:

    We can explain all of these features with laboratory plasma physics.

    That’s fine.

    BECAUSE THEY DON’T LIKE THE IDEA OF AN EXTERNALLY POWERED SUN.

    That’s impugning motives.
    To get into the state our sun is, being able to spread such a huge quantity of energy around for so long, the source of this energy must have a greater potential of whatever (2nd LoT). Since we seem unable to measure this let alone see it even we on earth are in between the source (external what?) and the sink (sun) and the mechanism how the transfer works is well known, as you tell (or have been told), we for sure would be able to link into this primary transfer and use it to our advantage, preferably at night. Hey, the source is more powerful than the sun’s output! Would be heaven for all perpetual motion machinists.
    OTOH, we tested the thermonuclear reaction in the lab. Well, the lab was unrecognizable afterwards but… the scientists work on the problem and in about 50 years they may perhaps tell us that in about 50 years… they will have it under control.

  65. @myrrh

    To take this further:
    Relativity – Mass Increase is a FRAUD
    Relativists, or more specifically, mathematicians, have no clue what the word MASS means. They have never defined this word consistently. This is why they use the word MASS synonymously with WEIGHT, and with a multitude of many other terms as well, …. and they do so whenever it suits their arguments!
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Relativity-Mass-Increase-is-a-FRAUD
    Apart from the shouting, what think ye all of this? Is this true?

    Absolute and total nonsense. The guy in your link says:
    “There is no difference whatsoever between MASS and WEIGHT. The only reason the “MASS is not equal to WEIGHT” fallacy is perpetuated by the mathematicians,”
    If this were true, then the “weightless” astronauts and objects you see floating around inside orbiting spacecraft would also have zero mass, right?
    Then try this little “thought experiment”:
    You’re an astronaut floating inside a spacecraft in outer space. Also floating in front of you are two large painted spheres, one meter in diameter. One is made of solid lead, the other is styrofoam. But they’re coated with a paint that makes them look identical from the outside. How can you tell which one is the lead sphere?
    Answer: Punch each sphere as hard as you can with your fist. The styrofoam sphere will fly away across the room. The lead sphere, even though it’s “weightless”, still has enormous mass and will resist your effort to put it into motion (Newton’s First Law). In fact, if you hit it hard enough, you’ll probably break the bones in your fist.
    In other words, it will still feel and act “heavy” even though it’s floating around with zero weight.
    That’s why it takes a lot more fuel to accelerate a big rocket ship through space than an astronaut with only a jetpack.
    So mass is a fundamental property of matter, whereever it may be located in the universe.

  66. Glad to see the concept of the Electric Universe is beginning to surface in the mainstream blogosphere – it would be good to have a proper discussion rather than supercilious comments decrying it.

  67. “The American Institute of Physics has just recently announced that they will now officially recognize the Plasma Universe as an official field of study in physics”
    I have seen this statement repeated verbatim on quite a number of EU sites. However, I have not been able to Google-fu any confirmation of it. Does anyone have such a link?

  68. John Day says:
    January 8, 2011 at 6:48 am
    Absolute and total nonsense.
    Indeed, along with most other comments that any thread on the sun eventually degenerates into. It is a travesty that a ‘skeptical’ blog is burdened with the nonsense from the usual suspects and geniuses polluting the site.

  69. ‘taint solved once you read past the headline….. anyway, what do the plasma physicists think of it all?

  70. Dr. Svalgaard: “There are not two schools of thought.”
    From Interspace News (February 27, 2008):
    “There is a lot of excitement over this project [THEMIS] in the research community, [Dr. Vassillis] Angelopoulos [THEMIS principal investigator at University of California Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory in Berkeley, Calf.] said. For more than three decades, scientists around the globe have been embattled about where these lights originate so brilliantly and suddenly. And like the two polar caps at opposite ends of the planet, there are also opposing viewpoints.”
    So, the THEMIS principal investigator for NASA knows there are opposing schools of thought.
    Back to the news article:
    “In the Reconnection Theory camp, members say the magnetosphere on the night side is like two rubber bands that stretch, snap and then reconnect into “U” shape bands that release their energy — much like a slingshot. That action would then accelerate the particles toward Earth causing the light show.”
    “On the other side of the hypothesis is the Current Disruption Theory, which says at the onset of a substorm, higher frequency instabilities are excited so that the plasma and electromagnetic field form a turbulent state, which then short circuits the current that is now forced to go directly into the atmosphere. This current accelerates the electrons that in return cause the light show.”
    http://www.interspacenews.com/FeatureArticle/tabid/130/Default.aspx?id=524
    To highlight: “…there are also opposing viewpoints.” — an in substance summary of Dr. Vassillis Angelopoulos, THEMIS principal investigator at University of California Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory in Berkeley, California.
    Dr. Svalgaard, you are entitled to your own opinion (and what school of thought you subscribe to), but you are not entitled to make up your own facts.
    So, yes, there are two schools of thought: The Magnetic Reconnection Theory versus The Current Disruption Theory.
    Or does Dr. Vassillis Angelopoulos not know what he is talking about?

  71. It’s rather simple: A neutral gas is not subject to electromagnetic forces, i.e., the magnetic force and the electric force; a plasma is subject to electromagnetic forces, i.e., the magnetic force and the electric force.
    Why?
    Because there are free electrons and ions in a body of plasma.
    That is why plasma is treated as a seperate state of matter.

  72. James F. Evans says:
    January 8, 2011 at 8:55 am
    So, yes, there are two schools of thought: The Magnetic Reconnection Theory versus The Current Disruption Theory.
    Or does Dr. Vassillis Angelopoulos not know what he is talking about?

    He is talking about the initiation of a substorm. Since the 1970s we have known that what happens is a disruption of a current in the magnetosphere diverting particles Earthwards. See e.g. Figure 15 of http://www.leif.org/research/Geomagnetic-Response-to-Solar-Wind.pdf from 1973. I described it thus: “The process may be described as a local collapse or disruption of the magnetotail current […] The plasma moving rapidly towards the earth is partly injected into the trapping region and partly spirals down along field lines (your beloved Birkeland currents) where precipitating electrons cause brilliant, rapidly moving auroras. Thus the disrupted magnetotail current establishes a new circuit from the dawnside tail to the dawnside auroral oval along the geomagnetic field lines, flows then in the ionosphere to the duskside oval and finally up to the duskside magnetotail as shown in Figure 15”
    What the THEMIS issue is, is what causes the disruption: local reconnection or turbulent instabilities that occur in any plasma. Both could be involved, these are details. What you ignore [but Angelopoulos and every space physicist well know is that the very existence of the magnetotail and the pent-up energy that is being released depends on and owe their existence to magnetic reconnection on the front side of the magnetosphere that sweep the field lines into the tail, thus setting the stage for the disruption.

  73. James F. Evans – when I was studying for my El-mech HND, we had it drummed into us that magnetic reconnection was impossible. James Clerk Maxwell’s work on electro-magnetism supports this view. Has magnetic reconnection been empirically observed anywhere to support the theory?

  74. James F. Evans says:
    January 8, 2011 at 8:55 am
    So, yes, there are two schools of thought: The Magnetic Reconnection Theory versus The Current Disruption Theory.
    Look carefully at the diagram in your link as see if you can spot the arrow labeled “Region of Tail Reconnection”. You see, as the field lines are continuously swept into the tail by reconnecting with the solar wind at the front, they must disconnect from the solar wind and reconnect [north with south] in order to return to the Earth whence they came. In the meantime the configuration that is being stressed by all that reconnection is highly unstable and often the tail current disrupts, as simple as that. The confusion that some people have is whether this reconnection in the tail is the sole trigger of the substorm. Since the current disruption occurs much closer to the Earth than the reconnection point, there should really nit have been any confusion. It is good that Angelopoulos is seeing the light.

  75. stu says:
    January 8, 2011 at 9:36 am
    Has magnetic reconnection been empirically observed anywhere to support the theory?
    Yes, “This paper reviews the progress in understanding the fundamental physics of magnetic reconnection, focusing on significant results in the past decade from dedicated laboratory experiments, numerical simulations [using Maxwell’s equations], and space astrophysical observations”
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/Yamada-Reconnection.2007.pdf

  76. James F. Evans says:
    January 8, 2011 at 8:55 am
    Or does Dr. Vassillis Angelopoulos not know what he is talking about?
    He has revised his view, as he well should:
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 116, A00I17, 18 PP., 2011
    doi:10.1029/2010JA015877
    Revised timing and onset location of two isolated substorms observed by Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions During Substorms (THEMIS)
    J. Liu, V. Angelopoulos,M. Kubyshkina, J. McFadden, K.-H. Glassmeier, C. T. Russell
    We report timing analysis on two previously published substorm events captured by the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions During Substorms (THEMIS) spacecraft. During the 29 January 2008 0713 UT substorm, the solar wind velocity had a strong southward component corresponding to a 6.5° southward tilt of the magnetotail. Viewed in a rotated system, the magnetic field at the most distant probe, P1 (XGSM = −29.5 RE), shows a bipolar magnetic signature interpreted herein as a tailward moving plasmoid; P2 (XGSM = −18.5 RE) also observed magnetic signatures indicating tailward motion at onset. P3 (XGSM = −10.8 RE) and P4 (XGSM = −10.6 RE) captured dipolarization fronts and earthward flows at the same time. After allowing for the more general case of different magnetosonic speeds on the two sides of the reconnection site, timing of the first signatures in space and ground reveals that tail reconnection initiated at ∼18 RE down tail, ∼2 min prior to auroral intensification. Allowing for different magnetosonic speeds on either side of the reconnection site is warranted by the large separation between the inner (10–12 RE) and outer (25–30 RE) probe locations and differing ion temperatures and equatorial magnetic fields expected at those locations. The same technique was applied for the 2 February 2008 0740 UT substorm event during which midtail data from P2 were unavailable. A previous study obtained a reconnection site location of XGSM = −11∼−17 RE assuming the same propagation speed on both sides of the reconnection site. Relaxation of the constant-speed condition results in a reconnection location of ∼22 RE and an inferred reconnection time of ∼3–4 min before the auroral intensification. Our results are consistent with other THEMIS event studies that are unaffected by large solar wind deflections or incomplete probe coverage, suggesting that reconnection triggering of substorm onset is a common occurrence.

  77. tallbloke says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:03 am
    Scott is a well-known crank.
    A reprehensible and disgusting slur. You should be ashamed.

    Calling a spade a spade. What makes him a crank is not that he is wrong on this or that point [every scientist is wrong now and then], but that he is wrong on every point he makes. Or, perhaps, even worse, ‘not even wrong’.

  78. Video of presentation given by Donald Scott to NASA available here:
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/mmarchives/090608_gsfcdsp.htm
    WARNING BIG DOWNLOAD – 200 Meg!
    Discussion and links to slides etc here:
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=22224&sid=f32798dac61e8c1331b30fe1d56fda26
    Worthwhile and meaningful criticism of Scott here:
    http://dealingwithcreationisminastronomy.blogspot.com/2009/03/donald-scott-of-electric-sky-presents.html

  79. Scott is a well-known crank.
    This is why he is a crank:
    “Crank” is a pejorative term used for a person who unshakably holds a belief that most of his or her contemporaries consider to be false.[1] A “cranky” belief is so wildly at variance with commonly accepted belief as to be ludicrous. Cranks characteristically dismiss all evidence or arguments which contradict their own unconventional beliefs, making rational debate an often futile task. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crank_(person)

  80. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:25 am
    term used for a person who unshakably holds a belief that most of his or her contemporaries consider to be false
    This, of course, also holds for Thornhill, Manuel, Velikovsky, and other assorted member of that category.

  81. Leif Svalgaard is a well known pseudo-scientist, according to the father of plasma physics, Nobel Laureate Prof. Hannes Alfvén:
    “Magnetic Merging [reconnection] – A Pseudo-Science: The most important criticism of the ‘merging’ mechanism of energy transfer is due to Heikkila who with increasing strength has demonstrated that it is wrong. In spite of all this, we have witnessed at the same time an enormously voluminous formalism building up based on this obviously erroneous concept. Indeed, we have been burdened with a gigantic pseudo-science which penetrates large parts of cosmic plasma physics.”
    (Double Layers in Astrophysics, Proceedings of a workshop held at George C. Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, Alabama, March 17-19, 1986
    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19870013880_1987013880.pdf)

    REPLY:
    Well Hector, I’ve met him, and reviewed some of his papers, and I’m pretty sure he falls under the category of “scientist”. You on the other hand, making such claims without having the courage to put your full name to the accusation are a cowardly cad. If you have the courage, put your name to it, otherwise refrain. – Anthony

  82. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:25 am
    Scott is a well-known crank.
    This is why he is a crank:
    “Crank” is a pejorative term used for a person who unshakably holds a belief that most of his or her contemporaries consider to be false.

    Quoting Wikipedia’s views on how ‘the consensus’ operates by character assassination doesn’t do much for you Leif.

  83. tallbloke says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:42 am
    Quoting Wikipedia’s views on how ‘the consensus’ operates by character assassination doesn’t do much for you Leif.
    This has nothing to do with ‘character’, just with faulty beliefs.
    Wikipedia has a good description of a crank:
    “The second book of the philosopher and popular author Martin Gardner was a study of crank beliefs, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. More recently, the mathematician Underwood Dudley has written a series of books on mathematical cranks, including The Trisectors, Mathematical Cranks, and Numerology: Or, What Pythagoras Wrought. And in a 1992 UseNet post, the mathematician John Baez humorously proposed a “checklist”, the Crackpot index, intended to “diagnose” cranky beliefs regarding contemporary physics.[2]
    According to these authors, virtually universal characteristics of cranks include:
    Cranks overestimate their own knowledge and ability, and underestimate that of acknowledged experts.
    Cranks insist that their alleged discoveries are urgently important.
    Cranks rarely, if ever, acknowledge any error, no matter how trivial.
    Cranks love to talk about their own beliefs, often in inappropriate social situations, but they tend to be bad listeners, and often appear to be uninterested in anyone else’s experience or opinions.
    Some cranks exhibit a lack of academic achievement, in which case they typically assert that academic training in the subject of their crank belief is not only unnecessary for discovering “the truth”, but actively harmful because they believe it “poisons” the minds by teaching falsehoods. Others greatly exaggerate their personal achievements, and may insist that some alleged achievement in some entirely unrelated area of human endeavor implies that their cranky opinion should be taken seriously.
    Some cranks claim vast knowledge of any relevant literature, while others claim that familiarity with previous work is entirely unnecessary; regardless, cranks inevitably reveal that whether or not they believe themselves to be knowledgeable concerning relevant matters of fact, mainstream opinion, or previous work, they are not in fact well-informed concerning the topic of their belief.
    In addition, many cranks:
    seriously misunderstand the mainstream opinion to which they believe that they are objecting,
    stress that they have been working out their ideas for many decades, and claim that this fact alone entails that their belief cannot be dismissed as resting upon some simple error,
    compare themselves with Galileo or Copernicus, implying that the mere unpopularity of some belief is in itself evidence of plausibility,
    claim that their ideas are being suppressed, typically by secret intelligence organizations, mainstream science, powerful business interests, or other groups which, they allege, are terrified by the possibility of their revolutionary insights becoming widely known,
    appear to regard themselves as persons of unique historical importance.
    Cranks who contradict some mainstream opinion in some highly technical field, such as mathematics or physics, almost always:
    exhibit a marked lack of technical ability,
    misunderstand or fail to use standard notation and terminology,
    ignore fine distinctions which are essential to correctly understand mainstream belief.
    That is, cranks tend to ignore any previous insights which have been proven by experience to facilitate discussion and analysis of the topic of their cranky claims; indeed, they often assert that these innovations obscure rather than clarify the situation.[3]
    In addition, cranky scientific “theories” do not in fact qualify as theories as this term is commonly understood within science. For example, crank “theories” in physics typically fail to result in testable predictions, which makes them unfalsifiable and hence unscientific. Or the crank may present their ideas in such a confused manner that it is impossible to determine what they are actually claiming.
    These matches quite well D. Scott.
    As an exercise use Baez’s crank index and see how Scott scores:
    https://groups.google.com/group/sci.physics/msg/5312a801e0785e66?hl=en&&pli=1
    You can even try it on yourself. Hopefully you’ll qualify less than Scott.

  84. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm
    These matches quite well D. Scott

    If you took the trouble to watch the presentation I linked above, you’d discover that Donald Scott accurately summarises the mainstream astrophysics position, explains the differences between that and the position taken by electrical engineers like him (who actually do real world experimentation with plasma physics, unlike astronomers and astrophysicists such as yourself), and then critiques that mainstream position.
    This falsifies your quoted point above about ‘cranks’ not being cognisant of the mainstream consensus position.
    He is also a highly qualified expert in his own field of expertise, which is directly relevant to his subject matter.
    This falsifies your quoted point above about ‘cranks’ tending to be poorly qualified in the area they hold their ‘cranky’ views on.
    I could go on, but since you dismiss Donald Scott without bothering to acquaint yourself with his work, it’s clear that you score more highly on the ‘crank’ index than he does, which means (according to your quoted source) it’s pointless arguing the point with you. Something I have had copious verifying experience of in the past two years trying to discuss the work of other people you dismiss as cranks such as Dayton Miller and Paul Marmet.

  85. Reply to Anthony @ January 8, 2011 at 11:35 am
    I make no claims or accusations. I am quoting Hannes Alfvén. The characterisation of the person in question follows by implication.

  86. stu says:
    “James F. Evans – when I was studying for my El-mech HND, we had it drummed into us that magnetic reconnection was impossible. James Clerk Maxwell’s work on electro-magnetism supports this view. Has magnetic reconnection been empirically observed anywhere to support the theory?”
    Yes, stu, I subscribe to that view. So-called “magnetic reconnection” is a failed paradigm. It was a hypothesis developed in the pre-space age to explain CME’s, when only magnetic fields could be observed from ground observatories.
    So-called “magnetic reconnection” was developed without regard to electric fields, but that approach became untenable because electric fields were observed & measured, so electric fields had to be incorporated into the theory, as a secondary effect.
    stu, the reason why you were taught that “reconnection” is impossible is because “reconnection” denies the process is an electromagnetic process or that it is part of a circuit, rather, “reconnection” allows the process to be viewed as an isolated, localized “island” process; any electromagnetism is strictly a transitory and localized secondary effect, not a fundamental driver of overall astrophyscial processes and objects.
    The Current Disruption Theory explicitly is an electromagnetic theory.
    Early “reconnection” papers, as previously provided in prior posts by Dr. Svalgaard, make no mention of electric fields. Even recent “reconnection” papers deny the overall process is an electromagnetic process.
    The attractiveness of “magnetic reconnection” to astrophysicists is specifically because it does not depend on the presence of a circuit, so leaves unchallenged the idea that stars and galaxies are isolated “islands”, whereas, the Current Disruption Theory (aka Circuit Theory as championed by Hannes Alfven) suggests the possibility that stars and galaxies are connected in circuits, and the Fundamental Force of Electromagnetism is what drives these circuits, not the Fundamental Force of Gravity.
    So-called “magnetic reconnection” is supported because “magnetic reconnection” is not a threat to the conventional gravity “only” (read “big bang”) model of the Universe, thus, it can be safely incorporated within the conventional model without falsifying the paradigm. The conventional gravity “only” (read “big bang”) model is the overarching influence in the astronomical community.
    Individual scientists are ostricized from the astronomical community if they don’t subscribe to the so-called “big bang” ideology.
    Dr. Svalgaard is being intellectually dishonest when he claims there is no opposing viewpoint. It’s one thing to subscribe to a particular school of thought, it’s another thing, entirely, to deny that an opposing view exists.
    But give Dr. Svalgaard credit, he knows that the Current Disruption Theory, extended to its full implications, has the potential to directly challenge the “big bang”.
    And that simply can NOT be allowed to happen.
    Too many applecarts are at stake.

  87. From Interspace News (February 27, 2008):
    Dr. Angelopoulos: “I grew up (in Greece) with the Reconnect Theory, however, I am not sure which one will be accurate,” said Agelopoulos. “This is why this project is so important.”
    Dr. Angelopoulos is referring to the Current Disuption Theory versus the Magnetic Reconnection Theory. The two theories are mutually exclusive.
    http://www.interspacenews.com/FeatureArticle/tabid/130/Default.aspx?id=524
    Dr. Svalgaard has made a willful & intentional misrepresentation.

  88. James F. Evans says:
    January 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm
    Dr. Svalgaard has made a willful & intentional misrepresentation.
    In the link I gave you, Angelopoulos retracts his earlier statement [says he was wrong] and now says that what they observed was reconnection and that “reconnection triggering of substorm onset is a common occurrence.”
    tallbloke says:
    January 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm
    If you took the trouble to watch the presentation I linked above, you’d discover that Donald Scott accurately summarises the mainstream astrophysics position,
    I have seen the video Scott’s stuff.
    He does not accurate summarize current knowledge [nor historical papers and positions]. He may have heard of these things, but not KNOW them and does not summarize them accurately. For example he claims that Chapman claimed there could be no plasma in space. Chapman’s 1932 explanation of the initial phase of a magnetic storms as a cloud of plasma impacting the Earth is now the accepted and correct explanation. Scott does not know that the dark matter around galaxies is observed directly [and mapped in detail]] using gravitational lensing. His mention of electric conductivity and density is muddled, and on and on it goes. Just too many things wrong to bother with.
    His railing against reconnection is misplaced and he misunderstands MHD and reconnection. The plasma does not have to be a superconductor to exhibit MHD qualities. E.g. the solar plasma in the photosphere has only the conductivity of sea water.

  89. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm
    He does not accurate summarize current knowledge [nor historical papers and positions]. He may have heard of these things, but not KNOW them and does not summarize them accurately.
    As I said, he has many of the characteristics of a crank, and I’ll repeat that and stand by that, regardless of what other aspiring cranks might think.

  90. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm
    he has many of the characteristics of a crank, and I’ll repeat that and stand by that regardless of what other aspiring cranks might think.

    I’m busy reading some useful and insightful criticism of Scott by an opponent who doesn’t feel the need to stoop to ad hominem attacks, so I don’t have time to deal with your cranky and inaccurate characterisations of Dr Donald Scott. He’s an erudite and experienced plasma experimentalist.
    You are not.
    I’ll take his explanation of plasma in the cosmological setting over yours because he includes all aspects of magnetism and electricity in space, and the real tested properties of plasma rather than merely theoretical posturings. I did spot his circularity in electricity generating magnetism which generates electricity though, so I keep my sceptical hat on as always. We still need Miller’s transmissive medium to bridge the gulf.

  91. tallbloke says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm
    I’ll take his explanation of plasma in the cosmological setting over yours
    It is not mine. I just agree with what thousands of of space physicist and astrophysicists have discovered by hard work over the last century. An explanation of great beauty and explanatory power. You can disagree with a detail here and there [and there are loose ends], but to disagree with all of it is what makes you a crank. Such characterization is not an ad-hom attack on anybody. You cannot attack someone just because he is ignorant. One can try to educate him. Some people are learning resistant, but the loss is theirs, not mine.

  92. All the experiments Dr. Svalgaard refers to and the images presented within those experiments are actually Electric Double Layers:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)
    The Princeton experiments and Yamada papers hold the following to be the a priori assumption:
    “In plasma physics, it is well known that magnetic field lines are “frozen-in” to an infinitely conductive plasma…”
    The statement is false.
    Magnetic field lines are not “frozen in” to bodies of plasma (magnetic field lines are human constructs) and plasma is not infinitely conductive, thus, there is resistivity, and, so, can support electric fields.
    Neither, is it an “excellent” approximation, as claimed by the Yamada paper.
    Rather, it is a misleading, a priori assumption, used to avoid acknowledging or discussing at length what IS the overall controlling physical dynamic: The Fundamental Force of Electromagnetism.
    S0-called “magnetic reconnection” is a pseudo-scientific fraud.

  93. James F. Evans said
    January 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm
    S0-called “magnetic reconnection” is a pseudo-scientific fraud.
    So, now you accuse Dr. Vassillis Angelopoulos of fraud. You linked to him before with great enthusiasm.

  94. i confuse easily.
    I thought temperature definition is “the work available to a heat engine rejecting to absolute zero”.
    Therefore, temperature would be the the molecules’ kinetic (speed^2) energy [i]plus whatever other kind of energy they happen to have[/i].
    I dont know much about the fields around the sun, but a photon or proton escaping the sun is surely experiencing some strong ones.
    So when i see a high temperature reported i assume it’s not all just from kinetic energy of motion but largely from things i dont even comprehend.
    but i’m a plodder so it’s good that i dont understand, it leaves me open to learn more..
    old jim

  95. Dr. Svalgaard presented Evans statement: “Dr. Svalgaard has made a willful & intentional misrepresentation.”
    Dr. Svalgaard responded: “In the link I gave you, Angelopoulos retracts his earlier statement [says he was wrong] and now says that what they observed was reconnection and that ‘reconnection triggering of substorm onset is a common occurrence.'”
    Dr. Svalgaard, you misrepresent the import of my statement.
    The issue I was addressing wasn’t that Dr. Angelopoulos subscribed to “magnetic reconnection” or not, rather, the issue was that there are two opposing schools of thought: The Current Disruption Theory versus the Magnetic Reconnection Theory.
    And, unless you are claiming that Dr. Angelopoulos “retracts” his earlier statement that there are two opposing theories, which doesn’t make any sense, then my statement still stands:
    Evans: “Dr. Svalgaard has made a willful & intentional misrepresentation”, because there are two opposing schools of thought, as opposed to what Dr. Svalgaard repeatedly claimed:
    Dr. Svalgaard stated: “There are not two schools of thought.”
    Now regarding Dr. Angelopoulos’ opinion, it’s not surprising that he would validate his previously held belief: “I grew up (in Greece) with the Reconnect Theory…”
    All Dr. Angelopoulos has done is reconfirm he is in the “reconnection” camp just like you obviously are. That does not change the fact that there are two opposing views.
    As reported in Interspace News: “…there are also opposing viewpoints.” — an in substance summary of Dr. Vassillis Angelopoulos, THEMIS principal investigator at University of California Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory in Berkeley, California.
    http://www.interspacenews.com/FeatureArticle/tabid/130/Default.aspx?id=524

  96. I’m no expert, but speaking personally and subjectively, the explanatory power and beauty of the EU model exceeds that of the standard cosmological model. Why? Because it reduces the number of entities required to explain observable phenomena, and has on at least one occasion I can think of made a testable prediction confirmed by observation. This didn’t surprise plasma cosmologists, but it did their more orthodox bretheren.
    Do black holes, dark matter/energy, gravitational lensing, etc. actually exist, or are they the projected reifications of ideas that only a mathematically educated minority can truly appreciate? Are they mere modern-day analogues of Ptolemaic epicycles? We shall have to wait and see whether or not it’s someone like Alfven who turns out to be the latter-day Copernicus (with orthodox cosmologists being cast in the role of Church prelates).
    One doesn’t need the ability to do difficult mathematics to look at the sky through telescopes and see what could not unplausibly be explained as scaled-up plasma phenomena that can be viewed on the laboratory workbench and in working industrial devices.
    “Crank” is a term, applied by a member of a majority which consensually agrees on a specific interpretation of reality, to those who don’t agree. Sometimes the majority turns out to be correct, but sometimes, the so-called cranks do.
    Using the term except in the most obvious cases (e.g. flat-earthers) may be more an indicator of deep-seated bigotry and hubris as correctness. Such use casts doubt on the plausibility of the utterer – people who truly know whereof they speak do not tend to stoop to invective.
    But what the heck, there’s nothing new in that, as AGW “deniers” already know. I wish to God there was more openness and tolerance for plurality of opinion, but there’s as little these days as ever there was in mediaeval times. The only advance is that we don’t currently burn people at the stake, only going so far as vilification and excommunication.

  97. Michael, I have lived with the stars for a very long time and Believe me, the Universe is electric. As a non scientist I am having great difficulty with the words but I am writing a New definition of realty based upon Co-ordinates, Waves and data density. Not a particle in sight. it really is very simple, has no surprises and certainly no monsters such as black holes, dark energy or dark matter. No Need.
    Uniquely I am writing it live, on line and fully exposed to ridicule but So what.

  98. James F. Evans says:
    January 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm
    As reported in Interspace News: “…there are also opposing viewpoints.”
    There were opposing views as to where the disruption takes place. Remember that it is part of the mainstream paradigm as I demonstrated with the link to my talk back in 1973 that there is disruption of the tail current. Dr. A thought he had an observation that the disruption is triggered by an event much closer to and earlier than at the reconnection site. This was what upset his picture of what goes on. Now he has seen that he was mistaken and that the traditional paradigm holds. There are not opposing views as to whether reconnection takes place. That is firmly established [and strengthened] by the THEMIS observations.

  99. Michael Larkin says:
    January 8, 2011 at 7:02 pm
    I’m no expert, but speaking personally and subjectively, the explanatory power and beauty of the EU model exceeds that of the standard cosmological model.
    Two little boys are discussing where babies from from. One holds forth with tales of s e x, DNA, fetus, etc. The other one says, Naw, that is much to complicated, personally and subjectively I think the stork brings them.
    Do black holes, dark matter/energy, gravitational lensing, etc. actually exist Gravitational lensing is plain for everybody to see, e.g. here:
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap080210.html
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap100620.html
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap100207.html
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap090823.html
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap080823.html
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap080728.html
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap070820.html
    and MANY more

  100. Gravitational lensing, balderdash. Means nothing, derived from misinterpreted observations. High red shift in front of low red shift. High energy particles emit radiation. We do it all the time here on earth, we use electricity.
    Light cannot be a wave, “waves need a medium to propagate through”. Light is a wave, which can be perceived as a particle, depending upon your perspective. I.e its both.
    Not only light but radio waves travel through space.
    Sorry if you dont like that I see things in simple terms but to me, the universe is simple. Humans (scientists) make it complicated. And amongst many skills, language and typing is not two that I can lay claim to.
    The Themis observations confirm double layer explosions not reconnection, You cannot reconnect that which does not exist. I keep tripping over lines of latitude, boy are they a trouble.

  101. Michael Larkin says:
    January 8, 2011 at 7:02 pm
    Using the term except in the most obvious cases (e.g. flat-earthers)
    That the Sun is cold on the inside [we see the cold interior through sunspots] and is powered by electric currents from outer space [that somehow manages to avoid the Earth, thank god] is today just as silly [thus cranky] as the claim that the Earth is flat and the Moon is hollow. So we do have a most obvious case.

  102. Grey Lensman says:
    January 8, 2011 at 8:33 pm
    Sorry if you dont like that I see things in simple terms but to me, the universe is simple. Humans (scientists) make it complicated.
    “Certain authors who have studied the phenomenon of crankery agree that this is the essential defining characteristic of a crank: No argument or evidence can ever be sufficient to make a crank abandon his belief.”
    To prove that you are not a crank tell us what would make change your opinion on the things you just enumerated?

  103. Leif, do you not see the irony of your comments. This bog is about freedom of Speech, freedom of ideas and the honest discussion of same. The Globull warming scammers are rightly berated for amongst many things calling those who know they are wrong, deniers or skeptic or worse, so why do you resort to the same approach.
    I respect your views and knowledge as a scientist, I strongly disagree with you on them and tell you so but in the hope that you will open your eyes, look at the alternative science put forward ( not by myself, I am expressing my views) and try to understand where they are comi9ng from.
    Gravitational lensing, its called refraction. I could be wrong in that but be3cause that is how i understand it does not mean that the alternative theory is wrong, if my understanding of an alternative explanation is wrong, its just that i have expalined it to myself the wrong way. Hope you understand that.
    I am not writing a technical paper but just simply quickly and amongst many other things, just jotting down my thoughts, as humans tend to do. (and with rubbish typing
    )

  104. Grey Lensman says:
    January 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm
    This bog is about freedom of Speech, freedom of ideas and the honest discussion of same.
    “Gravitational lensing, balderdash.” does not look like ‘honest discussion of same’. Pointing out that someone meets all the requirements of being a ‘crank’ looks like what the ‘freedom of speech’ you are advocating would allow. Now, calling him a crank if he does not meet those requirements is over the top and must be considered an ad-hom attack. Not that you don’t see them on this blog – I count several a day directed at me, here is a particularly high-quality one:
    Hector says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:35 am
    Leif Svalgaard is a well known pseudo-scientist, according to the father of plasma physics, Nobel Laureate Prof. Hannes Alfvén

    Hector, of course, could not know that Hannes was a good friend of mine, that we had lunches together, and discussed these very matters, especially the properties of the Heliospheric Current Sheet.

  105. Leif ate lunch with Hannes Alfvén where “these very matters” were discussed. Let me quote Alfvén on “frozen-in field lines,” strongly supported by Leif as a valid scientific concept:
    “I thought that the frozen-in concept was very good from a pedagogical point of view, and indeed it became very popular. In reality, however, it was not a good pedagogical concept but a dangerous “pseudo-pedagogical concept.” By pseudo-pedagogical I mean a concept which makes you believe that you understand a phenomenon whereas in reality you have drastically misunderstood it.”
    Some people are indeed learning resistant.

  106. http://physics.unr.edu/Forms/myth.pdf
    Einstein said: “I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitational theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics.” A. Einstein (1954) in a letter to his friend M. Besso.
    #########
    This was written at the end of his life. That he had doubts seems to be forgotten in this, it’s not the only example, but as has been said above and elsewhere, one has to really struggle to make his ideas fit in some cases and if, as the EU appears to do, there is a much simpler, more elegant even, explanation that makes sense, I can’t see any reason for ignoring it.
    I find it all rather disheartening, as a newbie to thinking about this in any detail, at least with AGW I could work out from the arguments that it made nonsense of basic physics..
    Castles in the air I’m quite capable of imagining for myself, but I really would like to know how it works.

  107. Hector says:
    January 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm
    “I thought that the frozen-in concept was very good from a pedagogical point of view, and indeed it became very popular.
    As with all such concepts the trick is to know when it is useful and when it is not. Space scientists today know when [of course due to Hannes’ admonitions], so does not cause misconceptions. For reconnection, the concept is useful for description of the large-scale structure and how fields are brought together. at the point of reconnection, the concept breaks down and is not useful anymore, so it not used there. In fact, if field lines were frozen in, reconnection could never occur. So people that discount reconnection because they discount frozen-in fields, do not know what they are talking about. Reconnection occurs precisely because the frozen-in condition is not valid at the reconnection point. Every space scientist and astrophysicist knows this.

  108. Lief,
    I disagree with you as to the relative beauty of competing theories, but I do not call you a crank. I prefer to think of you as a member of a consensus group who is so utterly convinced of his superiority and correctness of interpretation of data that anyone else must be, a priori, an intellectual pygmy.
    Playing games with parables you have constructed does not impress me. I could, were I as contemptuous of you as you are of me, counter with parables of my own, but that would be to engage at the same very low level of dialogue.
    I took pains to claim no more than subjective opinion and made no calls to authority from like-minded individuals, expert or no. In the end, even if you belong to a majority that considers itself authoritative, that doesn’t imply that your opinion is any the less subjective; only that it is shared by experts and is being presumed to be objective on that account. To my mind, this is THE greatest problem with science today in quite a number of areas.
    I will make you a bet, and I am being perfectly serious about this. I will bet you £250 GBP (currently $388 USD) even money that within the next 10 years, one or more ideas from plasma cosmology currently considered heretical will become incorporated into consensually accepted cosmological model.
    This is an amount of money I can comfortably afford to lose, and I am perfectly willing to send it immediately to be held by a mutually-trusted intermediary (Anthony Watts might be ideal if he wouldn’t consider it too inconvenient, but I’m open to suggestions of any other trustworthy and disinterested party) whose judgement on the matter ten years hence (or sooner if it became apparent) would be final.
    Should you think the amount too much for your own finances, I’d be happy to reduce it in line with those.
    What say you? Parables at dawn, or are you a betting man?

  109. Michael Larkin says:
    January 8, 2011 at 10:37 pm
    ;I disagree with you as to the relative beauty of competing theories, but I do not call you a crank. I prefer to think of you as a member of a consensus group who is so utterly convinced of his superiority and correctness of interpretation of data that anyone else must be, a priori, an intellectual pygmy.
    This is completely false. Correctness has nothing to do with intelligence, but with knowledge. Ignorance is not a sign of being an intellectual pygmy. My wife is one of the smartest persons I know, yet she knows nothing about what we are discussing here. The consensus group you talk about is large and incorporates more than 99.9% of all working scientists in the field.and they do not [to my knowledge, but I’m willing to let you prove me wrong one this, if you can] consider everyone else intellectual pygmies.
    as contemptuous of you as you are of me,
    again you are completely wrong about this. I do think that I am very patient and goes to great length to educate everyone, who would listen, about this wonderful universe we have and about the astounding understanding we have achieved [humankind’s greatest achievement, IMHO]. It is a privilege to educate, and educators are not contemptuous of their students.
    your opinion is any the less subjective; only that it is shared by experts and is being presumed to be objective on that account.
    it is presumed to be the best we can say at this time on the subject. We make no claim it is the ‘truth’ or ‘objective’. It is simply the best of our knowledge at the moment. This knowledge is hard won [centuries of work by thousands of people].
    one or more ideas from plasma cosmology currently considered heretical will become incorporated into consensually accepted cosmological model.
    This is too vague for a bet as what they say is not always coherent. To make the bet precise you must list the ideas under consideration [e.g. (1) Sun is cold on inside, (2) Solar energy not produced by fusion, (3) reconnection does not exist, (4) etc, etc]. Then we’ll see.
    On the solar energy problem this goes for stellar energy as well. And there it is this to consider: when the universe was born it was in a plasma state [at least after the 1st second or so] and was opaque. After 377,000 years, the temperature had fallen to 2967K and electrons and protons combined to form neutral hydrogen [similarly for the other few elements, He, Li, that had formed], and there was no more plasma in the Universe [which then became transparent]. This situation [no plasma] endured for about 420 million years until the first stars formed and by their ultraviolet radiation re-ionized the neutral gas and the universe became a plasma once again [at least the 4% that is baryonic], so there was no plasma universe for 420 million years and nothing to ‘zap’ those stars and make them hot. No electric currents and no charged particles.

  110. Hector says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:45 pm
    You are a funny guy, Leif.
    Bordering on ridiculous, say some.
    But it would more productive if you stuck to the topic, and e.g. commented on this:
    “So people that discount reconnection because they discount frozen-in fields, do not know what they are talking about. Reconnection occurs precisely because the frozen-in condition is not valid at the reconnection point. Every space scientist and astrophysicist knows this.”

  111. Leif
    What dont you understand. My opinion is that Gravitational lensing, is balderdash. Its not an attack, its not calling you a crank its a simple statement of my belief.
    I think that you are a very astute and clever scientist with a good grasp of the usage of language. no doubt. But it is my firm belief, based upon my amateur studies and practical application, that you and the astronomical theory is wrong. Indeed (no comfort to you) I know its wrong.
    There was a quote of Einstein above and what he said was correct, fields/waves are the structure. What we call those fields or waves, is really in my mind, semantics. What they do, how they work, how they interact is however a different kettle of fish
    Keep up the good work, but please explore what is being said in kindness and good faith (unlike water melons)

  112. Leif
    Quote
    After 377,000 years
    Unquote
    Are you sure about that, was anybody there. is it not 376,000 or maybe 380,000. Love to see how that data, not supposition, but hard observed measured recorded, data was obtained.

  113. Grey Lensman says:
    January 9, 2011 at 12:14 am
    My opinion is that Gravitational lensing, is balderdash.
    As I said “Gravitational lensing, balderdash.” does not look like ‘honest discussion of same’. A statement of your belief is not ‘discussion’, and it is not really a good to call a lot of work by many people ‘balderdash’
    but please explore what is being said
    Your belief ‘balderdash’ is hard to explore further.
    BTW with reference to Einstein, he predicted gravitational lensing. Here is an image showing he was correct in his prediction http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070311.html . Not exactly balderdash.

  114. Grey Lensman says:
    January 9, 2011 at 12:22 am
    Are you sure about that, was anybody there.
    Because it takes light time to get here, when we see a supernova go off in a galaxy that is a million light years away, we see what really happened a million years ago. Was anybody there? Yes we were, we are looking at it right now.
    Same thing with the light from when the universe was only 377,000 years old. Before that age, the plasma was opaque and we nothing of the light. At a certain time the electrons and the protons combined into a neutral hydrogen atom. At a temperature higher that 2967K [this we measure in our laboratory] the atoms move so violently around that the electron is stripped of the atom, below that temperature the electron stays put. When this happens the matter suddenly becomes transparent and the photons from that precise time streams unhindered to us and we observe them directly [the 2.722K cosmic background radiation] so we were there to see them, because we are looking at the photons that came from there, right now. They are redshifted 2967/2.722 = 1090 times so show up as microwaves, which we directly observe. Here is how it is done: http://lambda.gsfc.nasa.gov/product/map/dr3/pub_papers/fiveyear/basic_results/wmap5basic.pdf . The time when this happened was 376,971 years {+/-3165 yrs} after the Big Bang. [see table 7 of the link on page 45].

  115. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm
    It is simply the best of our knowledge at the moment. This knowledge is hard won [centuries of work by thousands of people].

    The myth of a steady centuries long knowledge building process inevitably arriving at an objective consensus view is put out by the consensus in order to squash competing ideas which threaten its stability and hegemony.
    At this point, the paying public would be better served by a deliberate policy decision to fund research into alternative hypotheses which can then cross fertilise through the comparison of results and interaction of ideas. They would merge somewhere further down the line, with the useless concepts from both paradigms falling by the wayside.
    Example: Pulsars.
    As Scott says, the insistence of the mainstream on the reality of 20 mile diameter balls of Neutronium spinning at twice the speed of a dentists drill is ludicrous. The E.U. concept of a relaxing oscillator makes far more sense, and doesn’t require improbable mechanics, and can be demonstrated in the lab here on Earth too. It also fits with observation better than gravity only theory.
    The argument about magnetic reconnection and current disruption is idiotic. They are just two ways of describing the same phenomena. Electromagnetism is a fundamental force. The electro and the magnetism parts are just two aspects of the same force.
    Leif claims primacy for the magnetic, Scott clams primacy for the electric. They are both wrong. The underlying field which supports both is the etheric field, which was empirically measured by Dayton Miller in 1926, and written out of physics by inept wielders of occams razor, including Einstein, and an inept hatchet wielder, Robert Shankland.
    Miller’s result was confirmed by Yuri Galaev in 2003 using modern equipment which can’t have suffered the experimental error Millers experiment was wrongly accused of.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/confirmation-of-transmissive-medium-pervading-space/
    The sooner consensus cosmologists wake up to the fact they can’t explain the universe adequately with gravity and magnetism only, the better.
    The acceleration of particles away from the Sun’s surface being a case in point, just to bring us back on topic.

  116. Leif said
    Quote
    A statement of your belief is not ‘discussion’, and it is not really a good to call a lot of work by many people ‘balderdash’
    Unquote
    I agree but what else to do. Your claim that it stifles debate however, is not valid. She should be asking yourself, “why does he think that”. I have found, being a bad teacher, that asking people to seek their own answers, is in the long term more effective. Its me, Its not the scientific thinking.
    Tallbloke has some interesting comments. Ether, yes a possibility, a name for an unknown field. Can i suggest fractals, solitons and platonic solids stimulated by harmonic frequencies. Light frequency is a harmonic, 47 octaves up if I recall correctly. Some very interesting work done in this field. Dare I mention Dan Winter.
    How did the Polynesian navigators find their way around with such accuracy. Those people I can understand but its not “science’

  117. tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 1:26 am
    The myth of a steady centuries long knowledge building process inevitably arriving at an objective consensus view is put out by the consensus in order to squash competing ideas which threaten its stability and hegemony.
    Total nonsense. Scientists are always rocking to boat, trying to prove each other wrong [the big prize is to prove Einstein wrong – nobody has yet, though]. There is no stability, hence no threat to same.
    They would merge somewhere further down the line, with the useless concepts from both paradigms falling by the wayside.
    To build what? A new consensus? I’m sure that will be overturned too.
    As Scott says, the insistence of the mainstream on the reality of 20 mile diameter balls of Neutronium spinning at twice the speed of a dentists drill is ludicrous.
    Ah, that was another error he made in his talk: that pulsars were either made in the Big Bang or by accretion later on. Showing that he is not cognizant about the mainstream paradigm. A pulsar [neutron star] is a collapsed supernova. Because of conservation of angular momentum, if the radius of the star decreases by a factor of 100,000 the rotation speed will go up by the same factor, hence the fast spin. He [and you] simply do not know what he [and you] was talking about.
    The argument about magnetic reconnection and current disruption is idiotic.
    Agree it is idiotic, but not in the way you think.
    They are just two ways of describing the same phenomena.
    No, reconnection is not current disruption. Reconnection builds up magnetic energy for a long time [days or hours] with no disruption of the magnetic topology. But things are messy and sooner or later instabilities perturbs the structure and the magnetic field changes back to its original configuration. The rapidly changing magnetic field induces strong electric currents.
    etheric field
    ain’t no such thing.
    Miller’s result was confirmed by Yuri Galaev in 2003 using modern equipment which can’t have suffered the experimental error Millers experiment was wrongly accused of.
    just means there are other errors.

  118. Tallbloke, thank you for the link
    Consider three fields each at 90 degrees to the other. That is the fabric of reality. Then consider what we know and observe. Example, a point in that space defined by three co-ordinates, length, breadth and depth or x, y,z, axis. Another group of three. Another three co-ordinates is time, speed and direction. Thus we go on and build a picture. Constants abound that link and transfer “data” between the co-ordinates.

  119. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 1:48 am
    tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 1:26 am
    They would merge somewhere further down the line, with the useless concepts from both paradigms falling by the wayside.
    To build what? A new consensus? I’m sure that will be overturned too.

    Yes. Eventually. What I’m getting at is that there are currently two conflicting views, both of which have elements of merit. Why is the scientific community not working on incorporating the best of both into an advanced paradigm? Because ‘the scientific community’ is another myth. What we have is a discrete set of disciplines which jealously guard their turf and deny access to other specialisms.
    that was another error he made in his talk: that pulsars were either made in the Big Bang or by accretion later on. Showing that he is not cognizant about the mainstream paradigm. A pulsar [neutron star] is a collapsed supernova.Because of conservation of angular momentum, if the radius of the star decreases by a factor of 100,000 the rotation speed will go up by the same factor, hence the fast spin.
    For a star like our sun, the resulting spin would be 2.7rpm.
    BURST OSCILLATIONS IN THE ACCRETION-POWERED HETE J1900.1-2455 are at up to 378hz = 22680rpm, a four orders magnitude difference. And we are expected to believe magnetism channels infalling matter at such rates that the change in the spin rate occurs in tiny timeframes of a few seconds. I’m sorry, but it’s fanciful nonsense compared to Scott’s electrical explanation. Where’s Occams Razor when you need it?
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-4357/698/2/L174/pdf/apjl_698_2_174.pdf
    etheric field
    ain’t no such thing.
    Miller’s result was confirmed by Yuri Galaev in 2003 using modern equipment which can’t have suffered the experimental error Millers experiment was wrongly accused of.
    just means there are other errors.

    But of course Leif, you can carry on putting off the inevitable with an a priori belief in the errors of others. Funny how these conjectured ‘errors’ led Galaev to the same magnitude and direction of effect as Miller with completely different apparatus though, don’t you think?
    By the way, the days of your idealisation that ‘The Sun is in perfect freefall and feels no forces’ are numbered:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/wolff-and-patrone-a-new-way-that-planets-can-affect-the-sun/
    Solar Phys (2010) 266: 227–246
    DOI 10.1007/s11207-010-9628-y
    A New Way that Planets Can Affect the Sun
    Charles L. Wolff · Paul N. Patrone
    Received: 5 May 2010 / Accepted: 16 August 2010 / Published online: 18 September 2010

  120. Lief,
    Okay – I will begin with a list adapted from the summary here: http://www.electric-cosmos.org/summary.htm
    If anyone has anything better to suggest, please let me know.
    ========================
    1. Magnetic fields do not “get tangled up”, “break”, “merge”, or “reconnect”. They require moving charges (electric currents) in order to exist.
    2. The homopolar motor – generator shape seems to be ubiquitous. Stars, pulsars, and galaxies are organized in this morphology.
    3. The z-pinch effect that occurs in Birkeland currents (electrical currents that flow through plasmas) is responsible for the accretion of stars, planets, and galaxies.
    4. The solar system started out as a collinear array of “Herbig – Haro” type objects formed by a z-pinch.
    5. The presumption that if an object exhibits red shift, it must be far away, is false.
    6. The Big Bang Theory is false.
    7. The role of electrical activity in the universe is significantly greater than for gravity.
    8. One or more of the following are imaginary:
    Black holes
    neutron stars
    dark matter/energy
    Gravitational lensing
    9. Stars are, at least to some extent, externally powered.
    10. Quasars are not necessarily very distant objects.
    ==========================
    By all means question the above if you have a mind. I want to be fair.
    You claim correctness is to do with knowledge. FWIW, IMO, no one knows anything except that which they have personally experienced and verified for themselves. It doesn’t matter if 99.9% of all working scientists declare something to be so; what matters is whether all 99.9% have individually experienced that which they avow.
    For example, anyone can experience the Einstein Cross (from telescope images), and so can personally correctly state it exists. Fewer (but maybe most cosmologists ?), have experienced working out, in a mathematically rigorous way, the theory behind gravitational lensing, and can correctly state they understand it. But has anyone experienced gravitational lensing itself? As one might, for example, experience virtual images in a physics lab? And even if they had, could they claim that a particular, far-distant phenomenon was certainly caused by it?
    I do not doubt, and respect, your scientific expertise. But how much of what YOU (forget how many others there are) avow do you actually KNOW and can therefore say is CORRECT? Without that certainty, can one claim that someone with perhaps an equal degree of expertise but a differing, minority opinion, is a crank? I suppose it depends on how the term is defined, but if there’s a necessary imputation of stupidity, then in that case it’s hard not to conclude that intellectual superiority is assumed.
    I too am an educator, Lief (I have a postgraduate teaching certificate, and a masters in education). I do not speak to my students (who include people with degrees more advanced than my own) as you sometimes speak to people here. It’s not just about addressing them civilly (as you admittedly sometimes do), but trying also to be measured in one’s use of language so that, hopefully, they will detect an unbiased approach to the subject matter. Honestly, I think you need to work on that… but I can’t be sure I’m correct about it. 😉

  121. Leif,
    “It is a travesty that a ‘skeptical’ blog is burdened with the nonsense from the usual suspects and geniuses polluting the site.”
    Hopefully you will come to view the “burden”, not as a travesty, but as a small price to pay for the openness that allows legitimate questioning of assumptions, data and lines of argument. The burden might be less, if we refer “usual suspects and geniuses” to the previous discussions if they are indeed “usual” in the sense of being repetitive.
    Now speaking to the usual suspects, it would help if you were at least familiar with the orthodoxy, consensus or theory that you are disagreeing with, and were not disagreeing with it just because you didn’t understand it. If you have made a good faith effort to understand it, you should as least be able to be specific about where you find the theory makes certain leaps that don’t necessarily follow or where the theory is inconsistent with the data, and where the theory that you think is wrong, is consistent with the data, your theory should have an alternate explanation. That may be a daunting task because established theories may be consistent with large amounts of data.

  122. The new proposal is that the barycentric effect (I guess it’s ok to use that word here now it’s in the peer reviewed literature), modulates the solar cycle amplitudes, but something else drives it. I have views on that I won’t raise here, but I’m sure a solar dynamo is involved, as well as electromagnetic modulation of it by the inner planets and Jupiter.
    Like I’ve been saying, it’s time to work on this stuff together, instead of the ‘consensus’ calling other people ‘cranks’ and shutting them out.

  123. Tallbloke,
    Since the barycentre is a mathematical construct (there is nothing there), I suspect that if there is an effect seemingly correlated with position relative to the barycentre, it must be a consequence of the difference between newtonian gravity and general relativity, specifically as they pertain to extended bodies. Papers on the subject are not likely to be persuasive until they achieve this level of reductionism, however suggestive their explanatory claims are. The effect must be shown to be real and quantitatively significant enough to be relevant. That said, general relativity doesn’t allow this possibility to be dismissed with simple reference to the newtonian concept of “freefall”.

  124. Martin said
    Quote
    Since the barycentre is a mathematical construct
    Unquote
    Shiver me timbers, I dont like the cut of that jib one little bit

  125. tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 3:43 am
    Yes. Eventually. What I’m getting at is that there are currently two conflicting views, both of which have elements of merit. Why is the scientific community not working on incorporating the best of both into an advanced paradigm? Because ‘the scientific community’ is another myth. What we have is a discrete set of disciplines which jealously guard their turf and deny access to other specialisms.
    The reason is that the E.U. view is qualitative and hand-waving and therefore cannot be worked in with anything. No equations, no numerical predictions. E.U. is not a theory in the accepted meaning of the word.
    And we are expected to believe magnetism channels infalling matter at such rates that the change in the spin rate occurs in tiny timeframes of a few seconds. I’m sorry, but it’s fanciful nonsense compared to Scott’s electrical explanation. Where’s Occams Razor when you need it?
    The bursts are probably caused by local heating of a patch that move around. Remember the magnetic field is trillions of times stronger than the Sun’s field. But it would be good to compare with the electrical explanation, except that there isn’t any. No description, no calculation, no mechanism. I could have missed it, so you might direct me to his detailed, quantitative calculations.
    Funny how these conjectured ‘errors’ led Galaev to the same magnitude and direction of effect as Miller with completely different apparatus though, don’t you think?
    No, that’s called confirmation bias. When Tom Duvall started [at WSO] to measure solar rotation he stopped when he finally arrived at the same rate as what found at Mount Wilson. Later we continued and discovered that the measurements were contaminated by scattered light and when that was taken into account, the result was significantly different.
    By the way, the days of your idealisation that ‘The Sun is in perfect freefall and feels no forces’ are numbered
    One must look carefully [and I shall]. Note that the proposed mechanism bears no similarity to any of the ones expounded by the ‘team’
    vukcevic says:
    January 9, 2011 at 4:04 am
    Polar field is heading towards zero and the reversal, SC24 max may not be far off
    The polar fields have decreased as they should. Extrapolation based on the few last points is fraught with uncertainty. But we’ll soon see.
    Michael Larkin says:
    January 9, 2011 at 4:09 am
    Points 1-4 & 7 belong to one group and could be specific to EU. The rest have nothing to do with EU.
    Now the list works in reverse as well. If one or more of the 10 points should turn out to be false, that would falsify EU. But the EU-type points are still too vague. No numbers, or criteria for deciding.
    For example you mention that neutron stars are ‘imaginary’, yet the EU try to explain the rotation rate of said imaginary objects.
    You claim correctness is to do with knowledge. FWIW, IMO, no one knows anything except that which they have personally experienced and verified for themselves.
    If a blind man is told that there is a spot on the sun today he should reject that knowledge?
    matters is whether all 99.9% have individually experienced that which they avow.
    During their education they personally go through the steps and derivations that lead us to consider something established.
    Fewer (but maybe most cosmologists ?), have experienced working out, in a mathematically rigorous way, the theory behind gravitational lensing, and can correctly state they understand it.
    That they haven’t does not matter. They could if they wanted to [and students of astrophysics do – it is called ‘homework’]
    But has anyone experienced gravitational lensing itself? As one might, for example, experience virtual images in a physics lab? And even if they had, could they claim that a particular, far-distant phenomenon was certainly caused by it?
    The universe is our lab. When Newton surmised that gravity worked in far-distant places how to verify that? By doing the calculation and show that the numbers come out right. Initially they didn’t because Newton did not have the correct distance to the Moon, so he did not publish his theory. Later, when a better distance measurement became available, the numbers came out right. Still, one case, the Moon, is not enough to establish that gravitation is universal. But as more and more cases [e.g. Moons around Jupiter] are observed and they all come out right, our confidence in the theory increases.
    I do not doubt, and respect, your scientific expertise. But how much of what YOU (forget how many others there are) avow do you actually KNOW and can therefore say is CORRECT?
    Everything I say on this blog I KNOW in the sense that I have personally convinced myself to my satisfaction that it is correct.
    Without that certainty, can one claim that someone with perhaps an equal degree of expertise but a differing, minority opinion, is a crank?
    That is not enough to qualify that person as a crank. There are lots of other theories that are different and some may be correct. The crank aspect comes in when the person denies multiple theories or all of current paradigm. Still, this is not enough. If the crank-in-spe can substitute his own theory with the necessary quantitative precision the the crankiness disappears. If Einstein had just claimed that Newton was wrong because the [unexplained] perihelion advance of Mercury was due to curved space, he would be considered a crank [and was actually by many – he didn’t get his Nobel prize for general relativity]. What made him a non-crank was that his theory predicted by precise calculation that the advance should be 43″ as was indeed observed.
    I suppose it depends on how the term is defined, but if there’s a necessary imputation of stupidity
    Many people [45% it is said of the US adult population] believe that the Earth is 6000 years old. Are they all stupid? What do you believe?
    they will detect an unbiased approach to the subject matter.
    One can always improve one’s approach. The bias is another matter. There will [and should be] bias in favor of what is well-supported and understood. Not all theories are on an equal footing [creationism vs. evolution comes to mind], so should not have equal weight.
    tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 4:15 am
    Nicely in line with my prediction 2 years ago for a max of 35-50 SSN. Half of Leif’s prediction of ~70 SSN.
    Already the SSN is only half of what it ‘should’ be compared to other solar indicators, e.g. F10.7 e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/F107-SSN-divergence.png
    We might see Livingston and Penn effect in action. Perhaps the number will go to zero as they extrapolate. In that case the SSN is not the relevant parameter anymore, so its value may be useless.
    Martin Lewitt says:
    January 9, 2011 at 6:13 am
    Now speaking to the usual suspects, it would help if you were at least familiar with the orthodoxy, consensus or theory that you are disagreeing with, and were not disagreeing with it just because you didn’t understand it. If you have made a good faith effort to understand it, you should as least be able to be specific about where you find the theory makes certain leaps that don’t necessarily follow or where the theory is inconsistent with the data, and where the theory that you think is wrong, is consistent with the data, your theory should have an alternate explanation. That may be a daunting task because established theories may be consistent with large amounts of data.
    Well said
    tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 6:21 am
    The new proposal is that the barycentric effect (I guess it’s ok to use that word here now it’s in the peer reviewed literature),
    It has been in the peer reviewed literature a long time [e.g. Jose]
    Like I’ve been saying, it’s time to work on this stuff together, instead of the ‘consensus’ calling other people ‘cranks’ and shutting them out.
    One can only work on it if it is definite, that is, there is a theory, it is quantitative, there is a proposed mechanism, and all the other things that go into science.

  126. Martin Lewitt says:
    January 9, 2011 at 8:16 am
    That said, general relativity doesn’t allow this possibility to be dismissed with simple reference to the newtonian concept of “freefall”.
    The free fall is also a general relativity concept.

  127. Martin Lewitt says:
    January 9, 2011 at 8:16 am
    Tallbloke,
    Since the barycentre is a mathematical construct (there is nothing there), I suspect that if there is an effect seemingly correlated with position relative to the barycentre, it must be a consequence of the difference between newtonian gravity and general relativity… The effect must be shown to be real and quantitatively significant enough to be relevant. That said, general relativity doesn’t allow this possibility to be dismissed with simple reference to the newtonian concept of “freefall”.

    I haven’t fully read and digested the paper from Wolff and Patrone yet, but it seems promising. If you’re genuinely interested in a relativistic treatment of the subject I can provide a URL where you can, (if you are willing to spend some time and effort) read some detailed maths and theory on the subject.

  128. vukcevic says:
    January 9, 2011 at 4:04 am
    Polar field is heading towards zero and the reversal, SC24 max may not be far off
    From http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%2024%20Smallest%20100%20years.pdf :
    “[7] The polar field reversal is caused by unipolar magnetic flux from lower latitudes moving to the poles, canceling out opposite polarity flux already there, and eventually establishing new polar fields of reversed polarity [Harvey, 1996]. Because of the large aperture of the WSO instrument, the net flux over the aperture will be observed to be zero (the ‘‘apparent’’ reversal) about a year and a half before the last of the old flux has disappeared as opposite polarity flux moving up from lower latitudes begins to fill the equatorward portions of the aperture.”
    So the apparent reversal happens 1.5 years before the real reversal. The decline the last months is caused by a very large amount of new flux coming from a few active regions in the Northern Hemisphere ‘invading’ the lower part of the aperture and are not yet part of the polar cap. So don’t over interpret the data.

  129. Tallbloke,
    I can’t promise the time and effort right away, but I would still appreciate a pointer material considering the GR implications. I’ve posted about some myself previously about extended bodies, not specific to the Sun. Any role for GR torque on the Solar extended body would be most heavily influenced by Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter, whereas barycentre calculations give more weight to the outer planets.

  130. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 9:19 am (Edit)
    Martin Lewitt says:
    January 9, 2011 at 8:16 am
    That said, general relativity doesn’t allow this possibility to be dismissed with simple reference to the newtonian concept of “freefall”.
    The free fall is also a general relativity concept.

    The free fall isn’t the question at issue.

  131. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 10:31 am
    Because of the large aperture of the WSO instrument, the net flux over the aperture will be observed to be zero (the ‘‘apparent’’ reversal) about a year and a half before the last of the old flux has disappeared

    Does that zero point also presage observed solar max by 18 months Leif?

  132. tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 11:33 am
    The free fall isn’t the question at issue.
    Is that why you say:
    “By the way, the days of your idealisation that ‘The Sun is in perfect freefall and feels no forces’ are numbered”

  133. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 9:14 am
    tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 3:43 am
    Funny how these conjectured ‘errors’ led Galaev to the same magnitude and direction of effect as Miller with completely different apparatus though, don’t you think?
    No, that’s called confirmation bias.

    Lol. Give it up Leif.
    By the way, the days of your idealisation that ‘The Sun is in perfect freefall and feels no forces’ are numbered:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/wolff-and-patrone-a-new-way-that-planets-can-affect-the-sun/
    One must look carefully [and I shall]. Note that the proposed mechanism bears no similarity to any of the ones expounded by the ‘team’

    Incorrect. It matches closely, (as far as I can tell on first reading) with my contention posed to you on several occasions that the effect of changes in the radius of the Sun’s orbit WRT the barycentre cause differential effects in terms of angular momentum across the Sun’s diameter and that these do not cancel. Closer reading required before I can firm that up.

  134. tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 11:38 am
    Does that zero point also presage observed solar max by 18 months Leif?
    Solar max is somewhat poorly determined [often there are two peaks]. The general idea that most folks subscribe to is that the polar field reversal occurs at solar max. This is somewhat arbitrary because the polar fields have nothing directly to do with solar max. The polar fields are the result of the magnetic flux from only a handful of active regions [there has been/is one in the Northern Hemisphere that will make up about a fifth of the new polar fields] that occur in the rising part of the cycle [where they are at higher latitudes, the current one is at higher latitude than usual] and more or less at random ‘fight’ its way to the poles. So, only in a rough statistical sense can you say that reversal occurs at max, and the reversals often take place at different times in the two hemispheres, differing by a year or more.
    BTW the ‘polar field’ is decreasing significantly only in the North [due to those big regions that have been bleeding flux there for some time]. As I told Vuk, don’t over-interpret data that has a large random component.

  135. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 11:40 am (Edit)
    tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 11:33 am
    The free fall isn’t the question at issue.
    Is that why you say:
    “By the way, the days of your idealisation that ‘The Sun is in perfect freefall and feels no forces’ are numbered”

    Yes. Its the ‘perfection’ of the freefall, and the consequent ‘feels no forces’ which are at issue. As I’ve been telling you for two years.

  136. tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 11:51 am
    the effect of changes in the radius of the Sun’s orbit WRT the barycentre cause differential effects in terms of angular momentum across the Sun’s diameter and that these do not cancel.
    No, you expounded on the Sun robbing the planets of their angular momentum. In any case, it is just handwaving. No estimate of effect, no mechanism [‘effects’ don’t count], no detail.

  137. tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 11:54 am
    The free fall isn’t the question at issue.
    Its the ‘perfection’ of the freefall,
    Now it isn’t, now it is. Have you read their paper?

  138. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 11:52 am
    As I told Vuk, don’t over-interpret data that has a large random component.

    Understood, thanks.
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm
    tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 11:54 am
    The free fall isn’t the question at issue.
    Its the ‘perfection’ of the freefall,
    Now it isn’t, now it is. Have you read their paper?

    Lol. I already knew what I meant about the imprecision of your notion of ‘perfect freefall’ long before the publication of this paper Leif.

  139. tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm
    Lol. I already knew what I meant about the imprecision of your notion of ‘perfect freefall’ long before the publication of this paper Leif.
    all that ‘lolling’ may not be good for you.
    Anyway, the paper states:
    “Except for the tidal distortion, the effect of planets on this mechanism is fully accounted for by the dC/dt term in the velocity that appears in Equation (1). A star in orbit about its barycenter is in a state of free fall (Shirley, 2006). At the center of the star, the attractive force from all the planets is exactly canceled by the orbital accelerations (centrifugal and angular). At other locations, the only externally-caused net-force sensed by the stellar fluid is the tidal force. It raises a tide ∼ 1 mm high at the solar surface, which is ∼ 10−11 to ∼ 10−9 times the vertical displacements of convective flows that will be involved in our mechanism. We ignore tidal effects in the rest of this paper.”

  140. Re perfect freefall – is this saying there’s an up and down in the universe?! How?
    Sorry, I’m not being critical here, I’ve just never imagined there was and up and down and sun in freefall not in my education background.

  141. Myrrh says:
    January 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm
    Relativity – Mass Increase is a FRAUD
    Relativists, or more specifically, mathematicians, have no clue what the word MASS means. They have never defined this word consistently. This is why they use the word MASS synonymously with WEIGHT, and with a multitude of many other terms as well, …. and they do so whenever it suits their arguments!
    Apart from the shouting, what think ye all of this? Is this true?
    No, it is pure nonsense.
    Chris Reeve says:
    January 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm
    Making matters worse is that, within the plasma universe view, the Sun’s power input is an electron drift through the heliosphere.
    As is that.

    In the world of science, the word “nonsense” suggests that a weak hypothesis which has in some manner been disqualified.
    And yet, after years of looking into this question, I’ve yet to see any record of any actual attempt to even test it.
    Within philosophy of science, this is called a “dismissal”. It is a refusal to believe something which has not been tested.
    This is how science breaks down. Jeff Schmidt explains in “Disciplined Minds” that the institution of science has “siloed” science into disciplines. Within the corporate world, this concept has proven to be successful for the purpose of creating stability. So long as each individual employee is only trained in certain “disciplines”, there is less chance that they can challenge corporate authorities. It has been adopted into the sciences, but people should ask if this is really what the institution of science really needs.
    For many years in science, it was not like this. And it was for this reason that somebody like James Maxwell was able to bring together two disciplines which were formally thought to be completely separate — light and electricity — into one. This is what is missing today: the value of multi-disciplinary understanding has given way to a hierarchical system where particle physicists and cosmologists are placed at the top. It’s easy to see how this can lead to a dysfunctional institution.
    This is all very important to realize.
    So, to be clear, this debate over electricity in space is between some conventional solar physicists (who are versed in journals like the Astrophysical Journal, etc.) and some plasma physicists (who tend to read IEEE). And if you ask me personally, the very fact that a debate exists here is a direct result of this separation of the disciplines.
    IMHO, the only way that this debate will be settled is for theorists to start reading *BOTH* journals, and training to be experts in *BOTH* disciplines. In other words, our theorists must become inherently multi-disciplinary such that they *dramatically* increase their training in plasma physics. Only then will they be able to communicate with one another as if they are speaking the same language.
    But, as everybody can see here, we are still at the point of the conventional theorists dismissing the competing claims without any attempt to fully understand the other side’s argument.
    We have a long ways to go. Conventional theorists refuse to even acknowledge that there exists a problem. And who can force them to? They are playing God with the plasma models, and in the process ignoring the repeated words of caution by the very man who created these models (Hannes Alfven), and who they gave the Nobel to for this very feat.
    People who are trying to understand this debate need to ask themselves: Who do you trust to model cosmic plasmas? Conventional cosmologists and astrophysicists, who we’ve taught to assume that the universe is dominated by gravity?
    Or, laboratory plasma physicists, who work with laboratory plasmas all of the time? And who we trained for this purpose?
    These are intense thought-provoking questions which journalists in the future will write books about. They require more than dismissals.

  142. Myrrh says:
    January 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm
    I’m not being critical here, I’ve just never imagined there was and up and down and sun in freefall not in my education background.
    A satellite in orbit [and an astronaut] is in free fall around the Earth. It is falling all the time, just happens to have a transverse velocity it can’t get rid off [which we gave it with a big rocket], so the net result is the vector sum of the two which points transverse to the direction to the center of the Earth [that is the ever-changing ‘down’]

  143. Re: Dr Svalgaards comment
    Extrapolation is by Excel
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC6.htm
    I agree is a bit steep, but any time between now and 2013 would be fine.
    I don’t think there is anything random around polar fields, of course you can’t expect perfect curve (very few things are), but taking into account the Zeman effect measurement uncertainties, with atmosphere diffusion and absorption variables, than polar field appears to be far away from a random process.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
    You can go on about numerology, wiggle fitting and so on, but you well know that the original equation was written for the sunspots in 2003. At the time I was not even aware of the polar fields existence, even less of various dynamo theories. You also may remember that when you sent me a file for the polar field data, I only moved the time base by 3 years (still in the formula as -3), and got perfect match, and it has been the same ever since.
    Not much randomness there.

  144. Re: “Firstly plasma is not gas, its the fourth sate of matter.
    Plasma in the sun and in space is a gas too. And an almost perfect gas at that. In addition to sharing characteristics with a gas [e.g. compressibility], a plasma has some additional properties, so it is more correct to say that a plasma is a special type of gas.”
    This is a perfect explanation for what is wrong with conventional science today. You’ve pretty much nailed it without even trying.
    The two states of matter are conferred different names for the reason that they behave differently in the laboratory.
    And there exists a point of clarification that needs to be made here: Electricity is the rule, not the exception. One need only look to the underlying cause for the solid and liquid states: They are actually *electrical* resonances of condensed gas. This is the action of the van der waals force. It is the lining up of electron orbits into resonating patterns, which random thermal movements tend to interfere with.
    So, gas is the only state of matter which electricity is not directly involved in. Geckos have figured it out. But, humans depend heavily on what they can see for their perception of reality. And electricity is not easy for us to see. Many things — like the states of matter — are not immediately identified by humans to be the effect of electricity.
    And so, in our search for the universe’s dominant force, we tend to cling to gravity (where things like compression are relevant). But, our children and grandchildren will one day ridicule us for this mistake. It is, by our modern standards for what we know about the universe, a somewhat amateur mistake. It’s what happens when people refuse to read about things they aren’t interested in — but which have major relevance for what’s going on.

  145. Talk of the so-called “big bang” is way beyond this topic, but since it’s come up, here’s a simple approach:
    The so-called “big bang” when boiled down to its philosophical essence is an infinitely dense point-source that occupies an infinitely small volume.
    Infinite by definition can’t be quantified.
    Two conditions (high density and small volume) that are infinite in the same definition just demonstrates how arrogant “big bangers” are.
    The so-called “big bang” is a classic case of the emperor having no clothes.
    So-called “magnetic reconnection” is a failed paradigm just like the s0-called “big bang”. So-called “magnetic reconnection” was a hypothesis developed in the pre-space age (1946) to explain CME’s, when only magnetic fields could be observed from ground observatories.
    Electric fields can only be detected by in situ satellite probes.
    So-called “magnetic reconnection” was developed without regard to electric fields, but that approach became untenable because electric fields were observed & measured in the plasma laboratory and more recently in space, via satellite probe, as well, so electric fields had to be incorporated into the theory, if just as a seemingly inconsequential secondary effect.
    The reason why electrical engineers were taught that “reconnection” is impossible is because “reconnection” denies the process is a function of Electromagnetism or that it is part of a circuit, rather, “reconnection” allows the process to be viewed as an isolated, localized “island” process; any electromagnetism is strictly limited to a transitory and localized secondary effect.
    In the Circuit Theory, Electromagnetism is a fundamental driver of overall astrophyscial processes and objects.
    The Current Disruption Theory (aka the Circuit Theory) is explicitly an electromagnetic theory.
    Early “reconnection” papers, as provided in prior posts by Dr. Svalgaard, make no mention of electric fields. Even recent “reconnection” papers deny the overall process is driven by the Fundametnal Force of Electromagnetism.
    The attractiveness of “magnetic reconnection” to astrophysicists is specifically because it does not depend on the presence of a circuit, so leaves unchallenged the idea that stars and galaxies are isolated “islands”, whereas, the Current Disruption Theory (aka Circuit Theory as championed by Hannes Alfven) suggests the possibility that stars and galaxies are connected in circuits, and the Fundamental Force of Electromagnetism is what drives these circuits, not the Fundamental Force of Gravity (the sine qua non of the “big bang”).
    So-called “magnetic reconnection” is supported because “magnetic reconnection” is not a threat to the conventional gravity “only” (read “big bang”) model of the Universe, thus, it can be safely incorporated within the conventional model without falsifying the paradigm. The conventional gravity “only” (read “big bang”) model is the overarching influence in the astronomical community.
    Individual scientists are ostricized from the astronomical community if they don’t subscribe to the so-called “big bang” ideology.
    Dr. Svalgaard is being intellectually dishonest when he claims there is no opposing viewpoint. It’s one thing to subscribe to a particular school of thought, it’s another thing, entirely, to deny that an opposing view exists.
    Of all the positions Dr. Svalgaard puts forth, the claim there is no significant opposing viewpoint (to his viewpoint) is the most repugnant and dishonest.
    But give Dr. Svalgaard credit, he knows that the Current Disruption Theory (aka Circuit Theory), extended to its full implications, has the potential to directly challenge the “big bang”.
    And that simply can NOT be allowed to happen.
    Too many applecarts are at stake.

  146. tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm
    I already knew what I meant about the imprecision of your notion of ‘perfect freefall’ long before the publication of this paper Leif.
    The paper starts out with:
    “Figure 1 shows the center, O, of a star displaced by a vector distance C from the stationary point (barycenter, B) of a planetary system. The center of the star moves with velocity dC/dt in inertial space as the planets hurl it about B along never-repeating curves like those on Figure 2. This orbital motion adds no spin to a star with negligible tides and spherical symmetry so, for simplicity, we model stellar layers that rotate uniformly at a constant inertial rate ω.”
    So it is not clear that you “knew what you meant…”. Perhaps expand on that?
    The paper is interesting in pointing out the possible role of the Potential Energy if one could only find a way of extracting that. It is replete with detail, quantitative results, appropriate caveats, etc. In short what a scientific paper should be. It can now be studied and rebutted [if needed] and suggest new research. Contrast that to any of your’s, Sharp’s, Landscheidt’s, Scott’s, etc and you [should] get a feeling for why it is not possible to incorporate any of those in the corpus of scientific knowledge or paradigm [if you prefer].

  147. Re: “The reason is that the E.U. view is qualitative and hand-waving and therefore cannot be worked in with anything. No equations, no numerical predictions. E.U. is not a theory in the accepted meaning of the word.”
    You keep on saying that, but you also don’t appear to exhibit any familiarity with the content of the sources which I see EU Theorists pointing to. You rarely discuss the work of Alfven, Birkeland or Langmuir. Alfven’s work, in particular, is highly mathematical. And it is in fact the foundation for much of what the theorists discuss.
    Also, on a pragmatic level, who do you imagine that they are trying to convince? In the discipline of marketing, you *ALWAYS* market towards a target audience. This is how you grow. I don’t think anybody would argue that conventional theorists and scientists are extremely hostile to these claims. You guys have disqualified yourselves as a target audience. That’s not their fault.
    But, on a philosophical level, the mistake that you’re making is that you can use the best qualities of the conventional cosmology to judge a competing cosmology. This is a pseudo-scientific approach (in other words, it is biased to favor conventional wisdom). Clearly, *ANY* competitor will be less mathematical than the dominant one. The philosophical mistake you make is in claiming that this directly implies that theorists should never try to quantify it.
    But, to be clear, if you were to quantify it, you’d have to start with the works of Alfven, Langmuir, Peratt and Verschuur — among others. So, to say that there is no quantification is highly misleading.
    But, there is yet another important point which needs to be made: Plasma cosmology is based upon laboratory observations of plasmas. The Big Bang cosmology is by now a highly mathematical model which lacks laboratory backing. Plasma cosmology approaches the problem of cosmology from an empirical perspective. So, this is not a deficit. Plasmas are known to scale over enormous magnitudes. The claim being made is that we can infer the behavior of cosmic plasmas by pointing to laboratory experimentation. Yes, gravity does exhibit effects which must be taken into account (as Peratt does for his galactic rotation simulations). But, Wal Thornhill goes into good qualitative detail on how gravity works.
    The work which remains is for people to quantify it. I suggest that a predictive solar model might come first. But, what everybody has to realize is that, if the conventional theorists refuse to quantify these models, the public will eventually just come together and bypass them.
    And conventional “Big” science will come to have pie on its face. I propose that we’ll see all of this happen over the next few decades.
    Science has never truly been a paved road, even if scientists consistently make the mistake of believing it is so.

  148. “But, on a philosophical level, the mistake that you’re making is that you can use the best qualities of the conventional cosmology to judge a competing cosmology.”
    … should read …
    “But, on a philosophical level, the mistake that you’re making is that you can’t use the best qualities of the conventional cosmology to judge a competing cosmology.”
    I write these in one pass. There is simply no time for editing.

  149. kcevic says:
    January 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm
    I don’t think there is anything random around polar fields, of course you can’t expect perfect curve (very few things are), but taking into account the Zeeman effect measurement uncertainties, with atmosphere diffusion and absorption variables, than polar field appears to be far away from a random process.
    Take it from me who have studied this for 40 years, it is indeed governed by happenstance. You can directly see the surges of magnetic flux that make it to the poles [ http://obs.astro.ucla.edu/torsional.html ], there is one underway as we speak in the North.The polar fields [flux to be correct] are only 1/1000 of the solar magnetic flux generated over a solar cycle. So, random fluctuations are all important.
    and got perfect match, and it has been the same ever since.
    beware of people who claim perfect match. There are very few degrees of freedom in a cyclic phenomenon when you only have 4 cycles. But it is evident why you don’t like the empirical observation that the polar fields are the result of a random walk process, working with leftover flux from a few large active regions.
    Chris Reeve says:
    January 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    So, gas is the only state of matter which electricity is not directly involved in.
    apart from that gaffe, perhaps I should point out that for the first 417 million years [minus 376,971 years in the beginning] there was only neutral gas in the universe. No ionized gas [aka plasma]. Gravity caused tiny density fluctuations to grow that eventually became galaxies and the first stars. Gravity compressed the stars until they were hot enough to ignite nuclear fusion. The newly hot stars re-ionized the gas, recreating a gaseous plasma which now makes up 4% of the total mass of the universe.

  150. vukcevic says:
    January 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm
    Extrapolation is by Excel
    I agree is a bit steep, but any time between now and 2013 would be fine.

    and then add 18 months…
    And ‘now’ is not in the cards.

  151. Re: “Leif,
    “It is a travesty that a ‘skeptical’ blog is burdened with the nonsense from the usual suspects and geniuses polluting the site.”
    Hopefully you will come to view the “burden”, not as a travesty, but as a small price to pay for the openness that allows legitimate questioning of assumptions, data and lines of argument. The burden might be less, if we refer “usual suspects and geniuses” to the previous discussions if they are indeed “usual” in the sense of being repetitive.
    Now speaking to the usual suspects, it would help if you were at least familiar with the orthodoxy, consensus or theory that you are disagreeing with, and were not disagreeing with it just because you didn’t understand it. If you have made a good faith effort to understand it, you should as least be able to be specific about where you find the theory makes certain leaps that don’t necessarily follow or where the theory is inconsistent with the data, and where the theory that you think is wrong, is consistent with the data, your theory should have an alternate explanation. That may be a daunting task because established theories may be consistent with large amounts of data.”
    By the way, the requirement to understand is a philosophical one which does not favor conventional theorists. Conventional theorists only sit atop a perch insofar as they are in control of the funding. There exists an equal burden of understanding by all.
    The problem is that when people are in control, they can “take their time” in addressing certain problems. The failure of the solar wind to appreciably decelerate even as it passes the Earth’s orbit is a great example. Verschuur’s widespread observation of the 35 km/s critical ionization velocity in interstellar space, affiliated with interstellar filaments of HI hydrogen, is yet another observation awaiting an explanation. After all, the “clouds” are still called “anonymous high-velocity clouds”. And Verschuur notes, quite adamantly, that they are in fact highly filamentary clouds.
    And regardless of how much mathematics is out there on the subject of the CMB, everybody needs to keep in mind that plasma beams (electricity in space) *naturally* emit microwaves. One need only explain how the synchrotron becomes “thermalized” in order to explain it; and metaphysical inferences are not necessary.
    What’s quite ironic is that your skepticism derives from your refusal to read. The qualitative picture of plasma cosmology is quite clear. The explanations are, for the most part, there, waiting to be quantified. You’ve just decided not to read to that point. And then you suggested to a forum that it was a problem for the cosmology.
    It took me *years* to read up on this subject. Both cosmologies do. It is a never-ending process of learning for all of us. But, the problem does not pertain to EU Theory. The problem pertains to cosmology. It is a vast subject.

  152. Leif – but that’s not the sun, that’s local to the earth and its local gravity. Are we back to the sun orbitting the earth…? (grin). I’ve been looking for what this means, but so far haven’t found anything, all so far on local gravity.

  153. Chris Reeve says:
    January 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm
    You rarely discuss the work of Alfven, Birkeland or Langmuir.
    Little of this has lasting value [as is the case with almost all scientists’ work after a while] and some of it plain wrong [also normal]. E.g. Birkeland’s claim that the solar particles were all electrons only [negatively charged]. This was understandable because that was all Birkeland knew about [ http://www.leif.org/EOS/Birkeland-1916.pdf ]. Later he wisened up [perhaps because of Lindeman’s criticism] that perhaps there were both positive and negative charges involved, i.e. a neutral plasma rather than a current of one charge only http://www.leif.org/EOS/Birkeland-1919.pdf . Now, how many of Birkeland’s papers have you read?
    Alfven’s work, in particular, is highly mathematical. And it is in fact the foundation for much of what the theorists discuss.
    Indeed, MHD with the frozen-in field lines is one one enduring results of Alfven that space physicists use every day. so you got that one right.
    Also, on a pragmatic level, who do you imagine that they are trying to convince?
    Who are ‘they’? Whomever they are, they are failing badly.
    Clearly, *ANY* competitor will be less mathematical than the dominant one.
    Any successful competitor will have to more mathematical.
    Wal Thornhill goes into good qualitative detail on how gravity works.
    But does not explain how the EU works except by showing pretty pictures he found on the internet.

  154. James F. Evans says:
    January 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm
    Of all the positions Dr. Svalgaard puts forth, the claim there is no significant opposing viewpoint (to his viewpoint) is the most repugnant and dishonest.
    ‘My viewpoint’ is that of 99.9% of scientists in this field. There is no opposing view [and you didn’t show any – failed badly with Dr. A].

  155. Dr S.
    Ok, near perfect, then.
    Last week we had few degrees below zero, this week few above zero (note meaning of words below and above), tomorrow may be zero, it all looks a bit random from one day to the next, but over period of a year it all works out to a nice sin-wave if you started on the 21st of March.
    I recon it is same with the polar field, no need for statistics, fancy theories and 1 in 1000 chance (don’t forget there is a lot of difference between 1/1000 and 1.5/1000).
    If I was inclined to believe that your theory is correct, I wouldn’t have bothered, but I hope you are correct about the Rmax=0.7 (or whatever it was), else the polar field is a waste of time, in which case I am off to get the NAP done.

  156. Myrrh says:
    January 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm
    Leif – but that’s not the sun, that’s local to the earth and its local gravity.
    The law of gravity is universal [valid everywhere]

  157. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm
    tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm
    Lol. I already knew what I meant about the imprecision of your notion of ‘perfect freefall’ long before the publication of this paper Leif.
    all that ‘lolling’ may not be good for you.

    On the contrary Leif, a laugh is good for the soul and beneficial to longevity. 🙂
    Anyway, the paper states:
    “Except for the tidal distortion, the effect of planets on this mechanism is fully accounted for by the dC/dt term in the velocity that appears in Equation (1). A star in orbit about its barycenter is in a state of free fall (Shirley, 2006). At the center of the star, the attractive force from all the planets is exactly canceled by the orbital accelerations (centrifugal and angular).

    It’s almost like they were going out of their way not to upset certain people’s sensibilities. 😉 The key sentences and equations are spread around the paper. I’ll write a summary on my blog post.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/wolff-and-patrone-a-new-way-that-planets-can-affect-the-sun/
    The main point is that the amount of energy released by the mechanism they propose (which involves angular momentum) to affect solar activity at the surface is (non linearly) proportional to the distance between the centre of the sun and the centre of mass of the solar system, the barycentre.
    Also, they state:
    “This would cause stars like the Sun with appropriate planetary systems to burn somewhat more brightly and have shorter lifetimes than identical stars without planets.”
    If Wolff and Patrone are correct, the outer planets do significantly affect solar activity levels, and modulate the solar cycles.
    I note that Wolff says the first to point out the similarity between the sunspot time series and planetary orbits was Wolf who very briefly summarized that work
    in a letter to Carrington. Have you come across that work or the letter?

  158. tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm
    It’s almost like they were going out of their way not to upset certain people’s sensibilities. 😉 The key sentences and equations are spread around the paper.
    They correctly state what the laws of Nature allows. Nothing to do with sensibilities.
    One would expect the key sentences to be front-and-foremost [like their statement about free fall], not scattered about. That you think they are spread out suggests some creative cherry picking.
    The main point is that the amount of energy released by the mechanism they propose (which involves angular momentum) to affect solar activity at the surface is (non linearly) proportional to the distance between the centre of the sun and the centre of mass of the solar system, the barycentre.
    They do not say energy is relesaed. They calculate Potential Energy, but do not know or say how to turn that into actual energy.
    If Wolff and Patrone are correct, the outer planets do significantly affect solar activity levels, and modulate the solar cycles.
    No, they note that the effect is small and wonder if it is observable.
    I note that Wolff says the first to point out the similarity between the sunspot time series and planetary orbits was Wolf who very briefly summarized that work
    in a letter to Carrington. Have you come across that work or the letter?

    Of course, I’m the great expert on all things barycentric. Here is Wolf’s take on it: http://www.leif.org/EOS/Wolf-VII.pdf . He returns to this topic several times later, but eventually abandons the whole thing as the various formulae he comes up with eventually all fail. Paul Charbonneau wrote the definitive article on this early work: http://www.leif.org/Rise-and-Fall.pdf

  159. Vuk etc says:
    January 9, 2011 at 2:48 pm
    Ok, near perfect, then.
    You always get that with only a few degrees of freedom. The typical case is with two data points, which have R^2 of a perfect 1.
    I recon it is same with the polar field, no need for statistics
    Indeed, just look at it and you’ll how random the creation of the polar fields are[the ~five pulses that rush to the poles and random times during the rising phase.]
    else the polar field is a waste of time
    Your correlation and speculation is, indeed, a waste of time.

  160. LiamW says:
    January 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm
    The SETI Institute has just posted a seminar by de Pontieu.
    Just started to watch it – the movies are amazing.

    Lots of other good stuff on the site. Bart is good.

  161. Re: “Chris Reeve says:
    January 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    So, gas is the only state of matter which electricity is not directly involved in.
    apart from that gaffe, perhaps I should point out that for the first 417 million years [minus 376,971 years in the beginning] there was only neutral gas in the universe. No ionized gas [aka plasma]. Gravity caused tiny density fluctuations to grow that eventually became galaxies and the first stars. Gravity compressed the stars until they were hot enough to ignite nuclear fusion. The newly hot stars re-ionized the gas, recreating a gaseous plasma which now makes up 4% of the total mass of the universe.”
    Plasma cosmology has its own explanations for how charge is created in the universe. It is called critical ionization velocity. It is a recursive procedure for generating and reproducing charge in space. It explains an infinite universe, and doesn’t try to do any more.
    In the EU, fusion occurs where the temperatures permit it.
    The real wonder is that you can say that baryonic matter represents just 4% of the universe, and still express so much certainty about the origins of the universe. I think it speaks for itself, for anybody that is carefully following along.

  162. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 9:14 am
    tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 3:43 am
    By the way, the days of your idealisation that ‘The Sun is in perfect freefall and feels no forces’ are numbered
    ———————————————
    One must look carefully [and I shall]. Note that the proposed mechanism bears no similarity to any of the ones expounded by the ‘team’

    Where have you been Leif? The mechanism is Angular Momentum, something I have been pushing since 2008. Wollf (love that name) and Patrone have produced a scientific paper that might give us the mechanism that explains the solid correlations between AM shown in Carl’s original graph and solar modulation & grand minima. Once this is all fleshed out the science world will see the power of Uranus & Neptune.
    We have a “team” of experts looking into it right now. Nicola and Gerry along with their colleges are going through the detail. Nicola also has something similar in the pipeline. Get ready for the new order.

  163. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm
    The paper is interesting in pointing out the possible role of the Potential Energy if one could only find a way of extracting that. It is replete with detail, quantitative results, appropriate caveats, etc. In short what a scientific paper should be. It can now be studied and rebutted [if needed] and suggest new research. Contrast that to any of your’s, Sharp’s, Landscheidt’s, Scott’s, etc and you [should] get a feeling for why it is not possible to incorporate any of those in the corpus of scientific knowledge or paradigm [if you prefer].

    A glimmer of hope on your part, at least accepting the possibility of new research that might disprove your claims. But do not try to separate a possible mechanism for a external gravitation solar driver from the mountains of work done in this area. This work has shown such strong correlations, and has been waiting for comfirmation.

  164. Leif,
    “The free fall is also a general relativity concept.”
    Yes, for a hypothetical test particle of zero dimension and no spin.
    Extended bodies are a different matter, from Dixon’s paper on the dynamics of extended bodies:
    “Now if the external field, i.e., that due to all bodies other than the one under consideration varies sufficiently gradually over a spacelike section of the body, we might expect that the contributions from the higher order moments would be negligible. This speculation is based upon the Newtonian result […] In general relativity, however, there is no natural way of separating the external and self-fields. As a result, the above speculation is difficult to formulate in more precise terms unless the self-field of the body is negligible. In this case the body is called a ‘test body’ ”
    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/277/1264/59.full.pdf
    The discussion the geodetic and frame dragging for Gravity Probe B will give a sense of the complications, even discussing the transfer of angular momentum under GR.
    http://einstein.stanford.edu/SPACETIME/spacetime4.html

  165. Geoff Sharp says:
    January 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm
    Where have you been Leif? The mechanism is Angular Momentum, something I have been pushing since 2008.
    No, you were pushing transfer of angular from the planets to solar rotation. Very different from solar angular momentum moved around by convection. As the paper says:
    “Except for the tidal distortion, the effect of planets on this mechanism is fully accounted for by the dC/dt term in the velocity that appears in Equation (1). A star in orbit about its barycenter is in a state of free fall (Shirley, 2006). At the center of the star, the attractive force from all the planets is exactly canceled by the orbital accelerations (centrifugal and angular). At other locations, the only externally-caused net-force sensed by the stellar fluid is the tidal force. It raises a tide ∼ 1 mm high at the solar surface, which is ∼ 10−11 to ∼ 10−9 times the vertical displacements of convective flows that will be involved in our mechanism. We ignore tidal effects in the rest of this paper.”
    The paper has nothing to with your ‘mechanism’.

  166. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm
    tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm
    It’s almost like they were going out of their way not to upset certain people’s sensibilities. 😉 The key sentences and equations are spread around the paper.
    They correctly state what the laws of Nature allows. Nothing to do with sensibilities.
    One would expect the key sentences to be front-and-foremost [like their statement about free fall], not scattered about. That you think they are spread out suggests some creative cherry picking.

    Lol. Have you read the paper? Up near the top, all in one passage it says:
    “One mechanism, whose basis is discussed in Sections 4 and 5.2, takes place in a solar-type star where an individual convection “cell” at the proper phase in its short life would release some of the PE. This would cause a local upwelling of mass and heat. If close enough to the surface, it would cause horizontal flows on the surface that have to terminate in downflows with vorticity. Spinning downflows are known to be where considerable solar activity collects and strengthens (Schatten, 2009). Thus there should be some positive correlation between the intensity of solar activity and a local burst of vertical flow energized by released PE. This will certainly not be the main reason why solar activity levels vary, but it should cause some variations because its effect on an occasional convection cell can be quite significant (Section 4).”
    And regarding what they say about freefall, they emphasise they are referring to the centre of the sun, not the whole of the sun. Important difference.
    Here is Wolf’s take on it: http://www.leif.org/EOS/Wolf-VII.pdf . He returns to this topic several times later, but eventually abandons the whole thing as the various formulae he comes up with eventually all fail. Paul Charbonneau wrote the definitive article on this early work: http://www.leif.org/Rise-and-Fall.pdf
    Thanks a lot. Second link seems to be broke though.

  167. Chris Reeve says:
    January 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm
    In the EU, fusion occurs where the temperatures permit it.
    Like in the solar core.
    The real wonder is that you can say that baryonic matter represents just 4% of the universe
    It is indeed a wonder, that nature is like that, but that is what we observe, so we have to accept it.

  168. tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm
    Lol. Have you read the paper? Up near the top, all in one passage it says:
    “One mechanism, whose basis is discussed in Sections 4 and 5.2, takes place in a solar-type star where an individual convection “cell” at the proper phase in its short life would release some of the PE. This would cause a local upwelling of mass and heat. If close enough to the surface, it would cause horizontal flows on the surface that have to terminate in downflows with vorticity. Spinning downflows are known to be where considerable solar activity collects and strengthens (Schatten, 2009). Thus there should be some positive correlation between the intensity of solar activity and a local burst of vertical flow energized by released PE. This will certainly not be the main reason why solar activity levels vary, but it should cause some variations because its effect on an occasional convection cell can be quite significant (Section 4).”

    Of course I have read the paper. Interestingly enough they go along with Schatten’s percolation. Note the weasel words: “would, should”.
    And regarding what they say about freefall, they emphasise they are referring to the centre of the sun, not the whole of the sun. Important difference.
    No, they say: At other locations, the only externally-caused net-force sensed by the stellar fluid is the tidal force.
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/Rise-and-Fall.pdf

  169. tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm
    Up near the top, all in one passage it says
    Here you say it is all in one place, before you said it was spread all over the place. I think you getting too giddy to think straight.

  170. Geoff Sharp says:
    January 9, 2011 at 4:22 pm
    A glimmer of hope on your part, at least accepting the possibility of new research that might disprove your claims.
    That is always the case with anything. Amazing that you should point this out as if it news to you that you are trying to share.
    But do not try to separate a possible mechanism for a external gravitation solar driver from the mountains of work done in this area.
    Most of that ‘work’ is junk. I don’t know of any that holds up.
    Martin Lewitt says:
    January 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm
    Yes, for a hypothetical test particle of zero dimension and no spin.
    The GR effects are minute for the weak field of the Sun, and in any case the Wolff paper states clearly that it is pure classical treatment.

  171. Myrrh says:
    January 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm
    Leif – so where is the sun in free fall to?
    It is in free fall in the combined gravitational field of all the matter of the Universe, mostly in orbit about the center of our own galaxy, with tiny added contributions from the planets and nearby stars. Wave your hand, and you’ll make a contribution too.

  172. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm
    Geoff Sharp says:
    January 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm
    Where have you been Leif? The mechanism is Angular Momentum, something I have been pushing since 2008.
    ————————————–
    No, you were pushing transfer of angular from the planets to solar rotation. Very different from solar angular momentum moved around by convection. As the paper says:
    The paper has nothing to with your ‘mechanism’.

    Almost pathetic. Angular momentum has always been my driver, that is the core of my research stemming from Carl’s graph. Spin orbit coupling was one possible avenue for a mechanism put forward, along with the solar velocity changes (which now seems more likely) that have been discussed many times…you have selective memory.
    What is important is that AM is now possibly seen as a viable driver of solar output, Carl’s graph has been vindicated. Grand minima as we are experiencing now, is as I have stated in my paper, AM is being perturbed (AMP) which is changing the regular pattern brought about by the acceleration/deceleration phases of solar velocity. The powerwave diagram is also in keeping with the Wollf et al research, the wave follows the extra momentum caused by the Uranus/Neptune conjunction. It’s time for you to become fully acquainted with the research.

  173. “You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.”
    Re above: By the way, the days of your idealisation that ‘The Sun is in perfect freefall and feels no forces’ are numbered
    Freefall – “Free fall is when an object falls solely under the influence of gravity.”
    http://science.howstuffworks.com/zero-g1.htm

    How then can it be said to be in perfect free fall and feeling no forces?
    In which gravitational field is the sun in free fall?
    I think, a) first the galactic centre, then b) the centre of the universe.

  174. tallbloke says:
    January 9, 2011 at 11:33 am
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 9, 2011 at 9:19 am (Edit)
    Martin Lewitt says:
    January 9, 2011 at 8:16 am
    That said, general relativity doesn’t allow this possibility to be dismissed with simple reference to the newtonian concept of “freefall”.
    The free fall is also a general relativity concept.
    The free fall isn’t the question at issue.
    ~
    Oh but I think it is, the motion of a body in such a free fall, with all the leeeeeetle bodies falling with it, might dispay a very curious pattern, which may suggest to some that the leeeeeeetle bodies have something to do with it. But the leeeeetle bodies are only followers of the bigger body at the center. It’s a good thing the bigger body is holding them tight. Cause if an even bigger ..never mind
    Sometimes .. some of the locals should be forewarned to bring a suit of armour for the read.
    If nothing else, I can find where I left off. lol
    Geesh Leif, thought you were going to let out with the bath water.

  175. tallbloke speaking:
    January 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm
    to
    Leif Svalgaard:
    January 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm
    Tallbloke, I must side with Leif on this discussion. Have you actually calculated the factors you are speaking of? I just did and here is my take:
    Any forces you are speaking of are incredibly tiny. Jupiter, the main player by a factor of ten over Saturn has an acceleration of 2.1e-07 m/s2 on the sun but as Leif says that acceleration particularly has zero effect on the sun, absolutely zero by itself, that is the ‘free-fall’ or following of the geodesic space-time curve that the gravity creates. All orbits of any bodies experience this and there is nothing ‘felt’. That acceleration IS it’s orbit about the sun both about the mass center. If you had no other planets but Jupiter almost all of this ‘differential’ you keep speaking of would vanish, no spiro-graph type track of the sun about the center of mass, just a tiny near circular orbit as expected.
    But you and this paper you keep referencing to are not speaking of that acceleration but one much, much smaller by another factor of ten from Saturn and the outward planets. We are now speaking of accelerations one-trillionth of what we feel here on Earth and are only speaking of the amount they can change over time at the sun, not the accelerations themselves. And you are comparing this ‘force’ to the forces of convection on the sun and honestly think it matters one iota??? Come on, surely you have some doubts yourself.
    But is there *some* effect as stated in the paper and even tidal effects no matter how tiny they are? Yes. That is physics. Does earth affect the galaxy? Yes. But it is all a very important matter of scale and staying smart enough to draw the line of what doesn’t matter in reality at all, not enough to really change anything measurable or felt.

  176. wayne says:
    January 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm
    tallbloke speaking:
    January 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm
    to
    Leif Svalgaard:
    January 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm
    Tallbloke, I must side with Leif on this discussion. Have you actually calculated the factors you are speaking of? I just did and here is my take:

    Your take is wrong. The Sun has two distinct orbit patterns around the SSB. The two patterns are directly controlled by the outer planets (mainly Jupiter and Saturn). This is science fact that can be easily measured via the JPL data. Solar velocity increases by about 100% between the two phases as can be seen in this graph that also appears in my paper.
    Forget about tides…they are like using TSI to explain the Sun/Earth climate link.

  177. So, after all this, I have a question for those who have studied this topic much more than I – can laboratory plasma physics on Earth tell us about plasma in space? Is the behavior of plasma in space radically different than its behavior on Earth? Can double layers exist in cosmic plasmas as they can in terrestrial plasmas?

  178. Geoff Sharp says:
    January 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm
    Your take is wrong. The Sun has two distinct orbit patterns around the SSB. The two patterns are directly controlled by the outer planets (mainly Jupiter and Saturn). This is science fact that can be easily measured via the JPL data. Solar velocity increases by about 100% between the two phases as can be seen in this graph that also appears in my paper.
    Forget about tides…they are like using TSI to explain the Sun/Earth climate link.

    Sorry Geoff but you won’t convince me so quite so easily. I don’t need JPL Horizon, I have similar software running here (though written about six years ago now). I can do all of the analysis you do but that is not the point. Your graph shows a solar velocity change of min. of 8.5 m/s to 16.5 m/s in ~ten years and a transfer of angular momentum over these 19.xx year beats. Of course, that beat is Saturn’s orbit in relation to Jupiter’s.
    But the mere changing the sun’s velocity over many years sways me little. That IS the tiny acceleration I spoke of. Every single atom in the sun is experiencing the same (remember tide, but a very, very tiny fraction, the inverse of the sun’s radius divided by Jupiter’s orbit, squared) acceleration at the same time, always. There is no difference there to have some factor large enough to really matter and that was my comment on the scale of the matter.
    But your graph of that much angular momentum I need to verify and you could save me spinning wheels (old software) if you would just say how you calculated it. I can adjust my program to readout the r x v vectors of the sun’s movement over the years if you insist on not just being forthwith with your method, if that is how you got the figures in that graph I would just agree with your method but I don’t immediately, without calculating, see how that figure is ~10^47, seems way to large. What radius vector are you using? The velocity vector can be closely estimated from the red curve. or,is the angular momentum of the sun’s rotation about it’s axis?
    Please don’t take me wrong, not trying to shake your thoughts on the matter. I just see it differently so far and can’t see even this nineteen bobble is to alter the sun’s output to affect earth. Even if it does bring more fresh nuclear fodder to the core it takes thousands of years to make it’s way to the surface, the nineteen year imprint would be all but smoothed over.
    I’m focusing in on more century plus variances. It’s drizzling and I can hear a beat from the water draining from the roof, tick,tick,tick…. pause… tick,tick,tick … pause…. There are many real physics processes that show such cyclic patterns but on the sun due to it’s size would be more like tick,tick,tick for three hundred years…. pause…. tick,tick,tick for three hundred years… pause. This pattern in energy would survive the trip from core to surface and would show here as a smooth rolling secular TSI variance. Too bad we haven’t had accurate satellite sensors for the last millennia!

  179. Floyd’s questions:
    “Can laboratory plasma physics on Earth tell us about plasma in space?”
    Yes.
    “Is the behavior of plasma in space radically different than its behavior on Earth?”
    No.
    “Can double layers exist in cosmic plasmas as they can in terrestrial plasmas?”
    Yes.

  180. wayne says:
    January 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    But the mere changing the sun’s velocity over many years sways me little. That IS the tiny acceleration I spoke of.

    There is a 100% change over 10 years in solar velocity as a result of gravity alone, this is not insignificant. The authors are also leaving the door open for other factors such as rotation, that could also add to the mix.
    But your graph of that much angular momentum I need to verify and you could save me spinning wheels (old software) if you would just say how you calculated it.
    The equation is in my paper that can be found at the blog header (click on my name), there is also an explanation of how and where to obtain the vectors by one of my contributors (steve) which may assist. The original values and graph was compiled by the late Carl Smith who we are indebted to, which was later confirmed by G.A. Pease and then later by myself.
    Even if it does bring more fresh nuclear fodder to the core it takes thousands of years to make it’s way to the surface, the nineteen year imprint would be all but smoothed over.
    The authors also point out that a lot of potential energy (PE) being released at the tachocline, this is generally accepted to be about 2 years away from the surface.

  181. Leif,
    Thanks for your last reply. I think we have different notions about what knowledge is. I could attempt to explain mine in detail, but that would produce a long essay and in any case wouldn’t invalidate yours.
    Suffice it to say I think knowledge necessarily involves individual verification. That which I can’t personally verify isn’t knowledge I can claim to possess, even if someone else claims they can. I might choose to accept their claim on trust, but I can’t then claim to know myself. At best, I can only call myself an agnostic with an inclination to accept this or that. In everyday life, I’m an agnostic with all sorts of inclinations depending on the subject; what I actually know could probably be written down on the back of a postage stamp with room to spare.
    Sure, the universe is a kind of laboratory, but for certain postulated phenomena, we can’t just transport ourselves to a place where we can disambiguate different interpretations. To the naïve observer like me, there seems to be an edifice of standard theory built on entities that are conjectured rather than known to be this or that, or even to exist at all. I am perfectly willing to accept that everything fits together and is internally consistent, may even seem convincing for some. But conviction isn’t knowledge, and history is littered with the ghosts of the convinced.
    Are we just witnessing continual ad-hoc additions to theory – modern-day epicycles? I don’t know, but this seems plausible, and I much prefer the simple beauty of EU, which may or may not be wholly correct.
    I agree, it is difficult to come up with something on which to base the wager I had in mind. I suppose the essence of EU theory involves the recognition of electrical forces as being more important in the universe than has been entertained thus far. Any successful challenge of orthodoxy by EU will presumably need to cause acceptance of that – it could be in relation to our sun, or one or more other entities.
    I still think there’s a fair chance that in the next ten years, there will be the beginnings of a paradigm shift involving the incorporation of some element of EU, and would enjoy a wager about that. But I can’t make a tight list of things, not least because my technical prowess isn’t of a high standard (which is a good reason why in a number of areas, I am necessarily an agnostic).
    As I infer from what you said, it’s not only EU supporters who think that much of modern cosmology is dubious. I myself thought dark matter/energy to be an intrinsically very doubtful proposition before I’d ever heard of EU. Of course, cosmologists know that accepting the predominance of electrical forces over gravitation would be a game changer, and so I expect continued resistance; but even so, I feel the time is ripe for it. Worth a bet, anyway.

  182. wayne says:
    January 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm
    Tallbloke, I must side with Leif on this discussion. Have you actually calculated the factors you are speaking of? I just did and here is my take: Any forces you are speaking of are incredibly tiny… not enough to really change anything measurable or felt.

    Hi Wayne.
    If you take a look at Geoff’s graph, you can see the ‘wobbles’ in the AM curve at ~1650 1830 and 2003. Give or take a solar cycle or so, these coincide with the Maunder Minimum, Dalton Minimum and the present slowdown in solar activity. The wobble is caused near the synod conjunction of Uranus and Neptune, exactly where depending on the dispositions of Jupiter and Saturn at the time.
    It could be that the wobbles in the AM curve do not directly explain the minima in solar activity, but unless you dismiss them as coincidence, they are indicators of the existence of a mechanism which connects planetary motion and solar activity levels. The mechanism isn’t necessarily gravitational. For example, although Leif will disagree, I don’t think we yet understand electromagnetism sufficiently well to dismiss it as a possibility. NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung discovered apparent relations between the inner planets motions (which correlate strongly with the timing of the solar cycles) and solar electromagnetic activity. The planets seem to act in a way analogous to lightning conductors.
    The paper by Wolff and Patrone we are referring to discusses a possible mechanism concerning angular momentum WRT the ever changing distance between the Sun and the solar system barycentre. They point out that the effect they propose would be enhanced if there were suitable flows in the Sun at certain ‘shell’ levels at proportions of the solar radius where, as Geoff points out, the released energy could get to the surface in a couple of years.
    Despite Leif and you claiming that the sun is in freefall, I counter that Newton knew that his concepts apply imperfectly to squishy plastic bodies such as the Sun. Einstein when applying his concept of relativity described the body at the centre of the frame of reference as the “mollusc of reference” because he too knew that ultimately, his mathematics only perfectly applies to perfectly elastic, rigid objects which don’t exist in nature. The surface of the Sun is observed to rotate at different speeds at different latitudes at different times. There are clearly strong flows which could release the potential energy made available by the motion of the Sun WRT the barycentre.
    The Authors of the paper believe it worthwhile to undertake their study because the apparent relationships between planetary motion and solar activity are sufficiently strong to warrant the effort. I agree with them. So do Geoff Sharp, Nicola Scafetta, Gerry Pease, Vukcevic and a few others at this time. In the past, Paul Hose, Theodor Landscheidt, Rhodes Fairbridge and Leif’s hero Rudolf Wolf have also worked on the puzzle. Your judgement may be different, and your own investigation has led you to believe it is not worth searching further, and I respect that. I hope that in return, you respect our judgement that it is worth searching further.

  183. Dr. Svalgaard, tallbloke, Sharp, Scafetta, Wolf, Patrone, Willson and the rest
    You are all barking up the wrong tree.
    Its all down to the magnetic flux ropes (containing up to 40% of local magnetic energy) shooting not randomly into space, but for the two large magnetospheres, where energy is discharged, analogous to atmospheric discharge heading for lightning conductor.
    Flux ropes may be short in duration but they connect directly the Sun’s surface and the magnetospheres with a flow of huge electric currents. Only largest CMEs are noted, but such connections are far more frequent. Exchange of the energy between the Sun and magnetospheres via CMEs (large and small) plays a vital role in the evolution of the magnetic field of the Sun.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC11.htm
    It is simple and basic: Jupiter (2×11.8 years reflecting Hale cycle) is the driver with at little help from Saturn every 19.6 years.
    There is no stronger correlation in the solar science than this:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
    It is time to give up perusing infinitesimal effects, it’s time to concentrate on the effects with the power and means of changing the polarity of both solar and sunspot magnetic field.
    The above has been on record for just over 7 years, advances in the solar observations since than have greatly enhanced possibility that the ELECTRO-MAGNETIC events and feedbacks within heliosphere are solution, not the old Newtonian mechanics.

  184. Hi tallbloke.
    Long time. I’ll stay following your thoughts of you, Geoff, the many men you’ve mentioned, these thoughts are stimulating and you get my mind back where I was years ago in the topic of gravity in our solar system. I learned so much from jpl’s Dr. Standish writings, especially how hard it is to find a perfect integrator, haven’t found one yet! (seems Newton’s words have screamed at me all along that I never will ☺)
    But, some of these ideas are out there, you know, on the edge and I have yet to find a way to get them into a physical frame that really makes sense to me, all considered. I and many other see the patterns, but patterns without a real explanation might just be that, patterns, and all multiple patterns tend to always align at some place or other. Your left with the question, is it coincidence, is it real, what causes it, how does it manifest itself, what else does it affect without conflict. I hate to say it but in this aspect I am more like Leif, until it makes physical sense, usually from a great new paper, I’ll leave it ‘out there’. Now on the sun’s variance I’m more open, for I’ve seen more reasons why that makes perfect sense but unfortunately we have little unquestionable data to nail it down.
    You are right about gravity, and Einstein of course, from afar the sun’s gravity can be seen mathematically as a point but it is not. It only depends on the matter-energy local density. You should look into some very fascinating aspects of gravity that will really twist your commonsense. Like what gravity is above a disk of matter, like a spiral galaxy, inversed square? Not mathematically when at that point. Or what if you are close to a cylinder of matter, like a spacecraft nearing the asteroid belt, again, not mathematically. You probably already know of it inside a shell or what if within a homogeneous cloud as inside a smooth globular galaxy. Locally it’s as Newton and Einstein’s corrections show us but from a macro aspect, not the same. All of those make you have a bit of feeling that maybe you still don’t really know what’s real, or it did me when I first got into the mathematics of it. Things like that will always fascinate me.
    If you ever find the mathematics to show me how all of this huge amount of energy that Jupiter’s gravity somehow creates on the sun that affects Earth’s climate without affecting Jupiter’s orbit, I’m all ears. Seems to violate conservation of energy, probably also violating conservation of angular momentum. Now excess energy created (or lacking) from processes from within the sun itself, that’s different.
    You see, it is history that says this is questionable, there are thousands of historic records of which bodies osculated other stars or bodies and since Galileo with dates and very close times. It is those events that are used to calibrate JPL’s ephemeris. If that much energy was being transferred by some unknown method from the planets to the sun we should already know it. I’ve seen no evidence.
    I’ll keep following, thinking, Hope you can find the key to tie it all together.

  185. Geoff, just visited your site and found the paper I think you were refering to: “Tests of solar spin–orbit coupling” and I’ll read and get back but first I must get some sleep. Long day. I will be interested in what they have to say.

  186. vukcevic says:
    January 10, 2011 at 2:30 am
    Dr. Svalgaard, tallbloke, Sharp, Scafetta, Wolf, Patrone, Willson and the rest
    You are all barking up the wrong tree.
    Its all down to the magnetic flux ropes (containing up to 40% of local magnetic energy) shooting not randomly into space, but for the two large magnetospheres, where energy is discharged, analogous to atmospheric discharge heading for lightning conductor.

    Who’s barking up the wrong tree?
    tallbloke says:
    January 10, 2011 at 12:39 am
    I don’t think we yet understand electromagnetism sufficiently well to dismiss it as a possibility. NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung discovered apparent relations between the inner planets motions (which correlate strongly with the timing of the solar cycles) and solar electromagnetic activity. The inner planets seem to act in a way analogous to lightning conductors.

    The difference between us is that I think that as well as the inner planets, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter affecting the details of the timing of sunspot production via an electromagnetic mechanism, the outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are responsible for the magnitude of the cycles, via a gravitational mechanism.
    I’m not saying the outer planets beyond Jupiter don’t also have an electromagnetic effect, just that the EM effect is stronger in the inner solar system and the gravitational effect is stronger from the gas giants. Jupiter has a foot in both camps owing to its mass and magnetosphere. But who knows, maybe it’ll turn out to be nearly all EM related as you confidently assert.

  187. wayne says:
    January 10, 2011 at 2:36 am
    If you ever find the mathematics to show me how all of this huge amount of energy that Jupiter’s gravity somehow creates on the sun that affects Earth’s climate without affecting Jupiter’s orbit, I’m all ears. Seems to violate conservation of energy, probably also violating conservation of angular momentum. Now excess energy created (or lacking) from processes from within the sun itself, that’s different.

    The energy doesn’t need to come from the planets to power solar activity, same as you don’t need to supply the energy to drive your car when you press the accelerator. The solar fuel provides the energy. All the planets need to do is line up with each other as they orbit to trigger the release of that energy. When you stick your fnger near a Van der Graaf generator, does your finger need to supply energy to make a spark jump to it?
    I’m out of this thread now because I don’t want to try Anthony’s patience, but the discussion is continuing on my blog if you are interested.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/wolff-and-patrone-a-new-way-that-planets-can-affect-the-sun/

  188. wayne says:
    January 10, 2011 at 3:07 am
    Geoff, just visited your site and found the paper I think you were refering to: “Tests of solar spin–orbit coupling” and I’ll read and get back but first I must get some sleep. Long day. I will be interested in what they have to say.
    Not sure which paper that is, but not mine, try this link HERE.

  189. Electro-magnetic effect of the inner planets on the Sun is nonexistent (excluding the Earth’s tiny contribution). However the Earth is greatly affected by the Sun’s magnetic events.
    Venus & Mars have no significant magnetic field, their effect can be only via gravity force.
    Main E-M effect is from Jupiter, its magnetosphere tail extends by 5AU reaching the Saturn’s orbit, with the enhancement from Saturn every19.8 years.

  190. NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung discovered apparent relations between the inner planets motions (which correlate strongly with the timing of the solar cycles) and solar electromagnetic activity. The inner planets seem to act in a way analogous to lightning conductors.
    All nonsense.
    Charged particles (electric current) spiral down magnetic field lines into Arctic. No magnetic field no current, magnetic field is required to capture the flux rope. Venus and Mars have none worth mention.

  191. vukcevic says:
    January 10, 2011 at 2:30 am
    tallbloke says:
    January 10, 2011 at 3:22 am
    ~
    Excuse me..agree in part with the Vuks. Could someone give me a reasonable explanation of WHY the dipole positions and axis of the outer Jovians appear as though they are more often influenced by forces OUTSIDE the solar system than inside. Any of you planetary theorists have that explanation?
    Vuks has something ..we’ll probably find that feed back in the gravitational focusing (associatated inflow of 26km/sec as of now) when the Jupiter and Saturn are in the apex regions. Or something like that.
    The speeding up and slowing down of the solar system is largely related to the speed, density of the interstellar medium, which changes the pressure of free fall (among other variables).
    Ah…Leif, we are keeping an eye on that speed, aren’t weeeeeeee? What a weather vane this system is.

  192. Geoff, Tallbloke:
    Couldn’t get to sleep yet. You got me thinking. That paper was interesting and says most things you would expect but it gets to the very end and darn it says:

    5. Correlation with stellar activity
    A detailed investigation of any correlation between these motions
    and stellar activity lies beyond the scope of this paper.

    What a let down. I though that was where it was heading. But here’s what kept me up. Geoff, you sound like you might also have a solar system simulator. Do you. If so here’s a great way to maybe, I say maybe, get some interesting questions not answered but closer to reality. If you don’t, I do and when I get time I will perform this test (in the middle witting some critical code and can’t break for a week or more).
    Take a Horizon-like simulator and add four extra tiny test particles along with the planets. Set the initial conditions with these extra particles in orbit about the sun and at an altitude of the sun’s radius, in perfect circular orbit, one every ninety degrees. Just setting up these initial conditions might be a bit of a challenge for the state vectors of the sun’s center at J2000 are not stationary or I don’t think so. Maybe can get horizon to feed them out this way, not sure. I generally start most runs using the J2000 state vectors. Run this forward a few thousand years recording deviations from their expected positions since this is perfectly calculable (less round-off error), some tiny amount I would expect (tidal effects). See if any larger harmonic effects start to appear due the gas planets timed tugs as they orbit.
    That would be interesting. Could be very insightful, or, maybe serve a purpose so I can stop spending any more time thinking of barycenters. Still think any effect will be so incredibly small it’s ignorable. BUT, if you guys are right these particles should show some kind of growing larger oscillations. Much like trying to get your car unstuck in the snow. Small timed pushes to start the car rocking, each time larger, your tiny energy multiplying into the harmonic rocking until the ton or two makes it over the hump.
    Wish I could make these test points to be stationary to the normal surface and in the normal 27 day rotation, not orbiting, but to such a simulator the ‘sun’ is just a mathematical point and they would immediately fall into it. Boom, close encounter to another VERY massive single point. Math error, halt.

  193. Wayne,
    “Leif says that acceleration particularly has zero effect on the sun, absolutely zero by itself, that is the ‘free-fall’ or following of the geodesic space-time curve that the gravity creates.”
    Rotating objects, objects with structure and extended objects follow paths that deviate from the geodesic.
    “All orbits of any bodies experience this and there is nothing ‘felt’”
    Imagine each component of an extended body trying to follow a geodesic. There are internal stresses in a rigid or semi-rigid body and differential accelerations in a liquid or gas, and they don’t sum to zero. I think there is a tension between Leif’s dismissiveness of the significance of solar variation and simultaneous dismissal of the scale of GR effects to influence this relatively insignificant variation. Since a relatively small percentage of the solar mass is in the outer layers and surface and relatively small variations in flows seem characteristic of solar variation, and since we don’t know what the characteristic frequencies of the solar dynamo would be independent of planetary influences, it is hubris to be so dismissive. These GR effects aren’t considered in the Wolff paper.

  194. tallbloke says:
    January 10, 2011 at 12:39 am
    ..you can see the ‘wobbles’ in the AM curve at ~1650 1830 and 2003. Give or take a solar cycle or so, these coincide with the Maunder Minimum, Dalton Minimum and the present slowdown in solar activity.
    ~
    The interstellar medium contains ‘tiny scale atomic structures’ TSAS that can be as small as 30AU. These small scale structures also exibit vorticity as well as angular momentum. The solar system hits these with irregularity, and on shorter time scales. Much like the slowdowns in solar activity. I can say, ” give or take a solar cycle,” too.. I can start low and end high. Or start high and end low. .

  195. As long as I’m ranting..
    Those who COMPLETELY IGNORE the fact that the solar system is embedded in the interstellar medium, within a galaxy.. just freaks me out something bad..
    They look only at the short little interglacial period..when in fact there were other periods of solar activity that were much much higher and much much lower than is the case now. (what were the jovians doing then, on hiatas or outside the realm) And it is just swept under the carpet. so what the *!*! is up with that?

  196. One more thing, the best of, so to speak and such that they are records get us back to the Maunder. But the records are skewed, skewed skewed. Spatial distribution on c14 and 10Be come to mind first. The COSMIC RAYDIO ISOTOPE what a skewed up ..
    rant over

  197. One question if I may. (try to be nice, ok)
    We already know that the heliosphere’s termination shock varies 8-10 AU within a normal? solar cycle. And will fluctuate more during periods of lower solar minimums. What sort of pressure changes are required to bring the termination shock in past the outer jovian planets? Pretty messy out there for a good reason so am just wondering.

  198. Wayne,
    “Take a Horizon-like simulator and add four extra tiny test particles along with the planets.”
    You might get a qualitative effect similar to that of GR if you can change the simulator so to account for the speed of gravity, during the same time step, more distant particles will be experiencing a planet where they were at an earlier time step than a closer particle. Adding some quadrupole moment to the solar point mass would also help. What we would look for would be changes in the positions of the particles relative to each other, as this might show how gravity waves could be setup within the Sun, and angular momentum transfers might be occurring within the Sun.
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/gr-qc/pdf/0501/0501006v2.pdf

  199. Carla says:
    January 10, 2011 at 5:40 am
    The solar system hits these with irregularity, and on shorter time scales. Much like the slowdowns in solar activity. I can say, ” give or take a solar cycle,” too.. I can start low and end high. Or start high and end low. .

    Draw us a map. 😉

  200. Magnetic flux ropes are direct consequence of the most powerful solar events CMEs. They are huge streams of protons (electric currents) and directly connect into magnetic polar regions of planets. Most powerful probably link into Jupiter and Saturn, both have large permanent auroras.
    http://mm04.nasaimages.org/MediaManager/srvr?mediafile=/Size4/NVA2-8-NA/14185/print.jpg&userid=1&username=admin&resolution=4&servertype=JVA&cid=8&iid=NVA2&vcid=NA&usergroup=HUBBLE&profileid=39
    http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/289659main_pia11396-516.jpg
    Occasionally the Earth may get in the way (don’t expect strait line connection) e.g. March 13, 1989 and one of the strongest September 1, 1859.
    Magnetic ropes linking into the Arctic have energy of about 5 x 10^14 Joules are tiny in comparison with the big stuff setting off Jupiter’s huge aurora which exceeds 10^20 Joules.
    A good introductory article
    http://www.astro.gla.ac.uk/nam2010/pr5.php
    and selection of science papers:
    http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm08/fm08-sessions/fm08_SH23B.html
    Passage through a strong magnetic galactic cloud or an interstellar magnetic shockwave from a supernova explosion would greatly reduce size of the heliosphere from 100 down to single digit AUs. This may have prolonged effect on sunspot activity, specifically if sun was at one of its natural periodic minima (e.g. Maunder min).

  201. vukcevic says:
    January 10, 2011 at 2:30 am
    the ELECTRO-MAGNETIC events and feedbacks within heliosphere are [the] solution, not the old Newtonian mechanics.
    That’s plenty of Power! 🙂

  202. Re: “The interstellar medium contains ‘tiny scale atomic structures’ TSAS that can be as small as 30AU. These small scale structures also exibit vorticity as well as angular momentum. The solar system hits these with irregularity, and on shorter time scales. Much like the slowdowns in solar activity. I can say, ” give or take a solar cycle,” too.. I can start low and end high. Or start high and end low.”
    By the way, when you look down the barrel of a Birkeland Current, you will see a cartwheel-like structure. Seen edgewise, you may observe the interstellar filament.
    Somebody should correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that in the plasma universe view, these cartwheel structures are likely the result of Marklund Convection.
    Conventional theorists tend to ignore the laboratory plasma physics process of Marklund Convection, and not surprisingly, fail to recognize it when they see it in space. But, the theory makes very specific claims about how the elements are radially sorted in these interstellar transmission lines. I believe that the elements are essentially sorted according to their ionization potentials. So, although radio astronomers tend to look at the 21-cm subtle energy state change for hydrogen, they should observe similar filaments of other common elements as well — and even critical ionization velocities for many of these filaments (which is a means of validating that the Marklund Convection is slamming charged particles into neutral clouds of gas, in the process ionizing that material and emitting redshifts at 50 km/s, 35 km/s, 13 km/s and 6 km/s. Verschuur reports that the 35 km/s signal is especially widespread in our region of interstellar space.
    But, in conventional circles, theorists still refuse to acknowledge that Verschuur is observing CIV’s. Tom Bridgman has even attempted to claim that since we do not fully understand the underlying cause for the 21-cm HI emission that we somehow can’t trust Verschuur’s findings on CIV’s in space. But for anybody who just wants to know if the space plasmas are electrically conducting, such arguments are not helpful for getting to the bottom of it.
    What IS needed is for conventional theorists to brush up on their laboratory plasma physics fundamentals: Marklund Convection, critical ionization velocities, Birkeland Currents, right-hand rule, etc. So long as they refuse to read about these things, they will continue to ignore evidence for their presence in space.
    And this is ultimately why you hear so much complaining from those who HAVE read about this stuff: Because it’s really sort of backwards that the public should be having to teach our theorists about plasma physics fundamentals. And that’s why you see so many people speaking up about it all of the time — because there is something very, very big here which the conventional theorists are intentionally ignoring, wasting ALL of our money in the process.
    And we know that in the end, once it becomes recognized that the interstellar “clouds” are really electrically-conducting plasma filaments, that one of these days, the theorists will pretend as though it was known all along. But for Christ’s sake, can we please just fast-forward to that point in time?

  203. Re: “NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung discovered apparent relations between the inner planets motions (which correlate strongly with the timing of the solar cycles) and solar electromagnetic activity. The inner planets seem to act in a way analogous to lightning conductors.
    All nonsense.
    Charged particles (electric current) spiral down magnetic field lines into Arctic. No magnetic field no current, magnetic field is required to capture the flux rope. Venus and Mars have none worth mention.”
    Wal Thornhill goes into some detail on this planetary charge-transfer mechanism on his holoscience site (http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=q1q6sz2s). There is basically a very simple physical mechanism for explaining the solar system orbits, based upon charge transfer between two planets when they are at “opposition”.
    We can presumably use this technique to predict global Martian dust storms. He states:
    “Many planetary plasma tails have been found to brush across the plasma sheath of the planet in the next outer orbit. This brushing constitutes an intermittent circuit for transferring charge between adjacent planets when they are aligned with the Sun.”
    Is it really nonsense?
    Seems like a simple physical mechanism to me, based upon laboratory plasma physics fundamentals.

  204. Re: “I still think there’s a fair chance that in the next ten years, there will be the beginnings of a paradigm shift involving the incorporation of some element of EU, and would enjoy a wager about that. But I can’t make a tight list of things, not least because my technical prowess isn’t of a high standard (which is a good reason why in a number of areas, I am necessarily an agnostic).”
    This is a common response amongst people who honestly dig into the evidence and arguments, without trying to argue against it each chance they have. It is a completely different — and notably simpler — explanation for our universe.
    But, I propose that the true game changer will ultimately be the creation of a system for predicting hazardous solar events. Verschuur has demonstrated that we can monitor these interstellar filaments. The big question is: Can we correlate emissions of those interstellar filaments with energetic solar eruptions? Because, if we can, then nobody will care about these debates we’re having. People will just switch to the more predictive model if it can be made to work where others have not.

  205. vukcevic says:
    January 10, 2011 at 9:29 am
    Carla
    Supernova event at 10 parsec would compresses the heliopause to about 1 AU (life extinction event)
    http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/678/1/549/70881.text.html
    Note this would be an electro-magnetic not gravitational cataclysm.
    ~
    Let’s not assume that I am necessarily looking for the big end all one here, Vuks.
    Lets’s just reduce the speed of the heliosphere from 26km/sec to
    24km/sec
    or 22km/sec.
    What would the density, speed and temp (pressures) need to be to reduce the heliosphere speed?
    Now did I read somewhere that as little as 28km/sec ‘interstellar’ wind have a profound affect? Where would that put the termination shock of the heliosphere.
    The interstellar changes in the vicinity don’t necessarily need to be dramatic. But in the more dramatic scenarios the changes seem to be more readily grasped.
    There seeems to be a lack of helium in the vicinity, they say helium is recycling back in from our source, so the outside stuff mostly H is heavier.
    But tanks Vuk.

  206. Just a warning to anyone reading about the very local interstellar medium (VLISM) anything written before 2009 that does not take into account the solar wind charge exchange (SWCX) issue that has been skewing the site lines like for years and years and leading them to believe the surrounding VLISM is warm and ionized throughout, will mislead your perceptions. That solar wind charge exchange issue is now being delt with.

  207. Time*variability in the Interstellar Boundary Conditions of the Heliosphere over the past 60,000 years:
    Impact of the Solar Journey on the Galactic Cosmic Ray Flux at Earth
    Frisch, Mueller
    2010
    ..”””The sensitivity of the heliosphere configuration to the total interstellar pressure, including
    the dynamic ram pressure and magnetic pressure (Holzer 1989) indicate that the global
    heliosphere is a weather vane for the circumheliospheric ISM (CISM). Sufficient data
    on interstellar absorption lines are now available that the general characteristics of
    the circumheliosphere ISM can be reconstructed for the past ~ 100, 000 years (Section
    2), providing a basis for evaluating the ISM-modified heliosphere (Section 3), and
    comparing these historical variations with the geologic radio-isotope record (Section
    4). Any scenario connecting features in the geomagnetic record with interstellar cloud
    encounters will necessarily include assumptions about the ISM, as well as an incomplete
    understanding of galactic cosmic ray (GCR) modulation for variable heliosphere
    configurations. Our conclusions below linking cloud transitions to discontinuities in the
    geologic radioisotope record are subject to these uncertainties.”””
    hmmm.. providing a basis for evaluating the ISM-modified heliosphere.

  208. Chris Reeve says:
    Is it really nonsense?
    For the purpose of any significant interaction with the Sun’s feedback currents circuit I say it is.
    Mars has some sparse pockets of crustal field in the equatorial regions, less than 200nT , and Venus’ field is barely detectable at less than 10 nT while Earth’s at 60,000nT (Sibera pole) is still negligible in comparison with Jupiter’s of 1 mT at the poles. For magnetic flux rope with electro-magnetic energy of up to and above 10^20 Joules minor magnetic fields, even the Earth’s one, is no attraction, only Jupiter is able to swing it. Most of flux ropes ending into the Arctic are of order 10^14 Joules or million times weaker than those powering bursts of Jupiter’s aurora.
    Geomagnetic storms that ignite Earth’s auroras are most frequent during the months around the equinoxes, which is a function of the heliospheric geometry.
    I am certain that Mr. Tornhill as an electrical engineer is well acquainted with the fundamentals of the electro-magnetic forces.

  209. Re: “Just a warning to anyone reading about the very local interstellar medium (VLISM) anything written before 2009 that does not take into account the solar wind charge exchange (SWCX) issue that has been skewing the site lines like for years and years and leading them to believe the surrounding VLISM is warm and ionized throughout, will mislead your perceptions. That solar wind charge exchange issue is now being delt with.”
    I would add some additional facts to the debate over the interstellar medium’s charge-carrying capacity …
    The interstellar “clouds” are in fact highly filamentary. Look up Verschuur’s papers and observe the maps for yourself. These are the most spaghetti-like “clouds” ever witnessed by mankind. Filaments are the characteristic behavior of plasmas conducting electrical current within the laboratory.
    A gas can begin to ignore gravity with less than 1% ionization, given an ambient electromagnetic field. That makes it that much harder to ignore the vast relative difference in strength between EM and gravity.
    The very fact that Verschuur sees critical ionization velocities associated with the filaments suggests a laboratory-verified mechanism for ionizing the interstellar medium.
    The IBEX ribbon observed at the heliopause can very easily be interpreted as a confirmation that the heliosphere is in fact a charge sheath and the heliopause is its double layer (and also the Sun’s virtual cathode). See Wal Thornhill’s site for more detail …
    http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=74fgmwne
    Also, the very fact that we see an interstellar magnetic field strongly suggests that there are currents there causing it. That would clearly be the first explanation if a magnetic field was observed in the laboratory.

  210. Martin Lewitt says:
    January 10, 2011 at 6:48 am
    Wayne,
    “Take a Horizon-like simulator and add four extra tiny test particles along with the planets.”
    You might get a qualitative effect similar to that of GR if you can change the simulator so to account for the speed of gravity, during the same time step, more distant particles will be experiencing a planet where they were at an earlier time step than a closer particle. Adding some quadrupole moment to the solar point mass would also help.

    Thanks Martin, you’re right, gravity moves at c so it affects body one from where you see body two, not where body two actually is located at any time. I did develop one way to implement GR correction without additional terms, keep enough prior states in a circular buffer so seek by prior offsets of the proper back intervals are very fast. Instant inserts and no deletions and you always know from the prior iteration exactly where your relativity corrected position is, +/- 1. Set a limit on how much of the correction to be guaranteed but never all, such as will handle 99.9% of all GR correction but not 100% therefore interpolation also drops. The round off errors will drown out the tiny bit remaining anyway and it’s centered by design anyway.
    But don’t think quadrupole moment would be proper, that is add anything but processing time, in this case for we have no hyperbolic orbits and that effect doesn’t seem to come into play but in those and high eccentricy elliptics. Thanks anyway. I enjoyed their stab at explaining the pioneers little problem I that paper, I’ll read it much deeper later. Thanks.

  211. Geoff Sharp says:
    January 9, 2011 at 5:15 pm
    AM is being perturbed (AMP) which is changing the regular pattern brought about by the acceleration/deceleration phases of solar velocity.
    You cannot perturb AM as it is conserved.
    It’s time for you to become fully acquainted with the research.
    Your wiggle-matching is not ‘research’.
    I’m travelling so now is the time to hurl further insults [‘pathetic’, etc] as I have little time to devote to this.

  212. vukcevic says:
    January 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm
    Geomagnetic storms that ignite Earth’s auroras are most frequent during the months around the equinoxes, which is a function of the heliospheric geometry.
    They are least frequent during the solstices is the correct way of saying it. And not a function of the heliosphere but of the Earth [the angle the dipole makes with the solar wind].

  213. vukcevic says:
    January 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm
    Most of flux ropes ending into the Arctic are of order 10^14 Joules or million times weaker than those powering bursts of Jupiter’s aurora.
    You must mean by ‘flux rope’ something different from what space physicists do. Flux ropes come from the Sun and do not depend on what they hit, Earth or Jupiter. Part of doing science is to learn the going terminology, otherwise communication is impossible.

  214. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 11, 2011 at 8:30 pm
    …………….
    No I do not, so lets keep it clear.
    Two points :
    If flux rope’s direction is random than those that miss a magnetosphere do not lose any protons, so they will not count for feedback purpose. Even so it is not necessarily guaranteed that a CME will travel in strait line (analogy: lightning never does)
    (this is my old diagram I updated for the tallbloke’s thread
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC5.htm
    nonsense I hear you say. Fine.
    Second point is made in this paper:
    Mursula, K kalevi.mursula@oulu.fi, University of Oulu, Linnanmaa, Oulu, 90014, Finland
    The coronal mass ejections (CME) have been observed by the SOHO/LASCO coronagraphs nearly continuously since 1996. These observations have been collected in a database which contains thousands of CMEs whose detailed properties have been studied and discussed in a large number of papers. Here we study the spatial distribution of CMEs in the solar atmosphere. We note on a serious, systematic error in the hemispheric and longitudinal location of the CMEs included in the latter half of the SOHO/LASCO catalog. This error greatly distorts previous results on the spatial location of CMEs at that time. Here we correct the SOHO/LASCO CME catalog for this error and analyze the hemispheric and longitudinal asymmetries in CME occurrence according to the corrected CME database. We show that these results are essentially different from those obtained from the uncorrected catalog. E.g., in the corrected CME catalog the northern hemisphere produces more CMEs than the south in most years in 1997-2007 while the south is clearly more active according to the original catalog. We note on signatures of similar mid-term quasi-periodicities (quasi- biannual oscillations) in CME occurrence that are seen in several other solar and heliospheric parameters. We also find evidence for active longitudes in the CME data, which persist for the entire SOHO interval (solar cycle 23).

  215. Hey, no the big dill, even Nobel laureates write nonsense:
    Luc Montagnier, who shared the Nobel prize for medicine in 2008 for his part in establishing that HIV causes AIDS, says he has evidence that DNA can send spooky electromagnetic imprints of itself into distant cells and fluids. …………. the basic set-up is as follows. Two adjacent but physically separate test tubes were placed within a copper coil and subjected to a very weak extremely low frequency electromagnetic field of 7 hertz. The apparatus was isolated from Earth’s natural magnetic field to stop it interfering with the experiment. One tube contained a fragment of DNA around 100 bases long; the second tube contained pure water.
    After 16 to 18 hours, both samples were independently subjected to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a method routinely used to amplify traces of DNA by using enzymes to make many copies of the original material. The gene fragment was apparently recovered from both tubes, even though one should have contained just water (see diagram).
    http://www.kurzweilai.net/forums/topic/nobel-laureate-claims-teleported-dna
    According to the Julian calendar, today is the New Years day (still celebrated in my family), so I wish you and the rest a happy one.

  216. Vuk etc. says:
    January 13, 2011 at 2:07 am
    Hey, no the big dill, even Nobel laureates write nonsense
    We all know you have a high opinion about yourself and your ‘work’ to benefit all of mankind, but there is low-grade nonsense and then rare high-grade nonsense.

  217. vukcevic says:
    January 12, 2011 at 1:32 am
    E.g., in the corrected CME catalog the northern hemisphere produces more CMEs than the south in most years in 1997-2007 while the south is clearly more active according to the original catalog. We note on signatures of similar mid-term quasi-periodicities (quasi- biannual oscillations) in CME occurrence that are seen in several other solar and heliospheric parameters. We also find evidence for active longitudes in the CME data, which persist for the entire SOHO interval (solar cycle 23).
    ~
    Good one there Vuks and Happy New Year to you.
    This may take a moment though. (which I don’t have now)
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC5.htm
    Leif.. be safe.. in your travells. And don’t forget to eat the sweet..
    Whether noteworthy or not, volcanic activity slowed June to August of 2010.
    2010: Volcanic Year in Review Erik Klemetti
    ..June 2010
    June was a quieter month in the volcanic realm..
    July 2010
    The summer doldrums of volcanoes hit in full force – with a lot of news coming from volcanoes calming down, not acting up..
    August 2010
    August started off slowly, with discussions about the threat of volcanism in the Caucasus Mountains, dome collapse at Indonesia’s Karangetang and more eruptions at Colombia’s Galeras..
    http://bigthink.com/ideas/26416

  218. vukcevic says:
    January 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm
    For magnetic flux rope with electro-magnetic energy of up to and above 10^20 Joules minor magnetic fields, even the Earth’s one, is no attraction, only Jupiter is able to swing it. Most of flux ropes ending into the Arctic are of order 10^14 Joules or million times weaker than those powering bursts of Jupiter’s aurora.
    ~
    Is there a link to that? Where in the system is the Jupe located during times of these events. Could get interesting to note locations in the system in relation to its spots as well.
    Anyone tell Geoff that there is a big dent the the southern hemisphere of the heliosphere and fewer sunspots in the southern hemisphere of the solar disk. Or is that something to do with AMP. Around here AMP is Advanced Military Packaging. lol

  219. Vuks is this suggesting a return loop..
    “””Magnetic reconnection at the heliospheric current sheet and the formation of closed magnetic field lines in the solar wind
    We have identified a sunward-directed reconnection exhaust in the solar wind at a crossing of the heliospheric current sheet, HCS, by the ACE spacecraft. The exhaust was embedded within an interval of counterstreaming suprathermal electron strahls that provides direct evidence that reconnection produced closed (i.e., doubly connected to the Sun) magnetic field lines sunward of the reconnection site. We suggest that local, quasi-stationary reconnection at the HCS may, in general, be an important source of closed magnetic field lines often observed in the vicinity of the HCS. “””
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006…/2006GL027188.shtml
    Dr. S. what say you?

  220. Dr. S., is the sun reconnecting to itself with the flopping around of the HCS?
    “””Direct evidence for prolonged magnetic reconnection at a continuous
    x-line within the heliospheric current sheet
    J. T. Gosling,1 S. Eriksson, T. D. Phan, D. E. Larson, R. M. Skoug,
    and D. J. McComas
    1. Introduction
    [2] It has recently been demonstrated [e.g., Gosling et al., 2005a, 2005b, 2006; Phan et al., 2006; Davis et al., 2006] that magnetic reconnection occurs frequently in the solar wind and produces Petschek-type exhausts, i.e., exhausts of jetting plasma bounded by Alfve´n or slow-mode waves
    [Petschek, 1964], emanating from reconnection sites. The exhausts are identified as intervals of roughly Alfve´nic accelerated or decelerated flow confined to magnetic field
    reversal regions that usually take the form of bifurcated current sheets. The exhausts are embedded within the solar wind flow and typically are convected past a spacecraft on
    time scales ranging from less than a minute to several 10s of minutes, corresponding to local exhaust widths ranging up to ~2 x 10^6 km. Reconnection exhausts are observed at
    thin current sheets in either low-speed wind or in association with coronal mass ejections, CMEs, in plasma predominantly having low proton beta. Only a few events have been identified at the HCS, which separates open field lines of opposite magnetic polarity and which generally wraps
    entirely around the Sun. Reconnection at the HCS produces closed field lines sunward of a reconnection site [Gosling et al., 2006] and disconnected (from the Sun) field lines antisunward
    [Gosling et al., 2005b].
    [3] Multi-spacecraft observations of solar wind reconnection exhausts have provided evidence that the exhausts result from quasi-stationary reconnection at extended reconnection
    sites (X-lines), in one case persisting for at least 2.5 hours..”””
    http://lasp.colorado.edu/~eriksson/2006GL029033_gosling.pdf

  221. Carla says:
    January 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm
    Vuk is this suggesting a return loop..
    is the sun reconnecting to itself with the flopping around of the HCS?
    Vuk doesn’t know what he is talking about.
    About half of the field lines in the solar wind [at Earth] are closed field lines [coming from an identifiable place on the Sun and returning to close to that same place]. The rest are open [e.g. close somewhere out in interstellar space – ‘at infinity’]. It has long been a question whether some of these open lines reconnect on their way out from the Sun, thus reducing the amount of open flux. One would expect this to happen, but it is not known by how much. New observations are beginning to give us a handle on that. In any event, what happens to the solar wind after it has left the Sun [open, close, reconnection, whatever] cannot propagate upwind back to the Sun to any significant degree and therefore cannot modulate the solar cycle. The same is the case with what happens at the heliopause or termination shock.

  222. Carla says:
    January 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm
    ……….
    Thus we have assembled the first such synoptic view of the propagation of a CME-driven interplanetary shock from the Sun to Saturn, from in-situ measurements at the Earth and Jupiter (1
    and 5 AU), and model-propagated plasma parameters at Jupiter and Saturn (5 and 9 AU). At each planet, a strong auroral response is recorded, based on POLAR images at the Earth, on Cassini radio observations at Jupiter, and on HST FUV images at Saturn. Figure 3 summarizes the observations.
    http://www.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~mgaland/ihy/Prange_et_al_2004.pdf
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm
    Vuk doesn’t know what he is talking about.
    Perhaps you should have looked at the link
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC5.htm

  223. vukcevic says:
    January 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm
    Figure 3 summarizes the observations.
    Just nice confirmation of the decades long held belief that CMEs steepen into shocks with increasing distance. Does not say that ‘flux tubes’ are a million times stronger, because they hit Jupiter or Saturn.
    “Vuk doesn’t know what he is talking about.”
    Perhaps you should have looked at the link

    It is a nice confirmation of what I said.

  224. Wayne,
    “But don’t think quadrupole moment would be proper, that is add anything but processing time, in this case for we have no hyperbolic orbits and that effect doesn’t seem to come into play but in those and high eccentricy elliptics. Thanks anyway.”
    I agree if it is too difficult, this would be qualitative anyway. The solar system itself has a quadrupole moment that might give us some qualitative effect. Perhaps if the particles were in orbit say 15 to 30 degrees from the plane of the ecliptic we would notice more of that qualitative effect, even without the solar quadrupole.
    Congrats on having a working simulator.

  225. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm
    ………..
    Exactly, but as usual you assume to know what I written without reading it, and than construct your ‘attack’ not only on wrong assumption but a wrong premise too.

  226. vukcevic says:
    January 14, 2011 at 1:49 am
    Exactly, but as usual you assume to know what I written without reading it, and than construct your ‘attack’ not only on wrong assumption but a wrong premise too.
    What makes you think that I have not read it? You cannot assume that you can tell if I read it from the IP-address alone.

  227. I was only suggesting the possibility that degree of energy exchange between a magnetosphere and the CME’s magnetic field may be limited by the strength of the magnetosphere, i.e. that the Jupiter’s magnetosphere is capable of mach more powerful ‘reconnection’ than the Earth’s one.
    What is your view?
    (1 Joule = 10^7 erg)
    With an observed energy gain of about 4.4 x 10^-11 erg/ion in the exhaust, we estimate
    that at least 1.2 x 10^24 ergs of magnetic energy, and probably considerably more, was extracted from the HCS in the 31 August–1 September 2001 event. For comparison,
    the energy dissipated in a major geomagnetic storm is estimated to be ~10^24 ergs [Baker et al., 1997] whereas the energy released in a large flare or CME is ~10^32 ergs.
    http://lasp.colorado.edu/~eriksson/2006GL029033_gosling.pdf

    (1 Joule = 10^7 erg)

  228. vukcevic says:
    January 14, 2011 at 9:05 am
    I was only suggesting the possibility that degree of energy exchange between a magnetosphere and the CME’s magnetic field may be limited by the strength of the magnetosphere, i.e. that the Jupiter’s magnetosphere is capable of much more powerful ‘reconnection’ than the Earth’s one.
    It intercepts much more because it has a larger cross section. The theory behind all of that is given in the appendix of http://www.leif.org/research/Geomagnetic-Response-to-Solar-Wind.pdf
    What is your view?
    see link just given.
    This is the energy input to the planet, but does not work back on the Sun [usual ‘upstream’ problem with a Mach 11 solar wind].
    It is not that the ‘flux ropes’ are a million times ‘more powerful’ [they are independent of the planet], but the planet intercepting much more of the solar wind [which is partly offset by the wind being 30 times weaker].

  229. I’m a bit confused about this concept of magnetic reconnection. It involves magnetic field lines breaking and reconnecting? But magnetic field lines are not real objects, they are what we draw on paper to represent a magnetic field. Somewhat like lines of latitude and longitude, not real objects, but visual aids.

  230. It is not that the ‘flux ropes’ are a million times ‘more powerful’ .
    That was not implied anyway. For a possible way of feedback I referred to the link
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC5.htm
    where I suggest that fraction of the mass ejected is captured by magnetospheres, the rest returning in diffused form (pulled back by magnetic field and gravity).
    If correct ( you strongly disagree) it would mean that the sun’s mass is not depleted at the rate previously rated.

  231. vukcevic says:
    January 14, 2011 at 10:33 am
    I suggest that fraction of the mass ejected is captured by magnetospheres, the rest returning in diffused form (pulled back by magnetic field and gravity).
    If correct ( you strongly disagree) it would mean that the sun’s mass is not depleted at the rate previously rated.
    ~
    Sounds like gravity getting a booster from some of the HCS reconnection (with itself) during flopping around and piling up that is occurring..
    But I’m on break and best shut my trap.
    Fireball over Mississipp, had to tell the older bro living down there.

  232. vukcevic says:
    January 14, 2011 at 10:33 am
    the rest returning in diffused form (pulled back by magnetic field and gravity).
    Once the past the escape velocity matter does not return [especially since it has to work its way in against the outflow], unless the magnetic ‘pull’ is strong enough and it isn’t.

  233. So what do you think happens to the SW protons ?
    Heliosphere is a closed bubble, they can’t escape, if they were accumulating at heliopause during the last 14 billion years than the Pioneer probe would hit a wall of radiation, but there is no sign of it. They must go somewhere, I suggest they just bounce back and head home for the sun, but because they are diffused and density is very low, returning protons (RP) can easily filter through SW (at 1AU<10/cm2/sec, plasma is layered anyway). At closer proximity to the sun, solar magnetic field is strong enough to pull the RP to higher latitudes, inhibiting solar activity in those regions. In the second half of the cycle there would be greater preponderance of RP (originated by just gone SS peak) pushing solar activity further down to the lower latitudes.

  234. vukcevic says:
    January 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm
    So what do you think happens to the SW protons ?
    Heliosphere is a closed bubble, they can’t escape, if they were accumulating at heliopause during the last 14 billion years than the Pioneer probe would hit a wall of radiation, but there is no sign of it. They must go somewhere

    First of all, there are an equal amount of electrons There is no ‘proton current’. The solar wind eventually becomes weaker than the interstellar medium which then sweeps away the solar emanations. You can think of a ‘stellar wind’.

  235. vukcevic says:
    January 10, 2011 at 2:30 am
    The above has been on record for just over 7 years, advances in the solar observations since than have greatly enhanced possibility that the ELECTRO-MAGNETIC events and feedbacks within heliosphere are solution, not the old Newtonian mechanics.
    A simple and meaningful ELECTROMAGNETIC “correlation” at 45°(Between SSN & SF):
    http://daltonsminima.altervista.org/?p=13050

  236. Enneagram says:
    January 15, 2011 at 6:11 am
    A simple and meaningful ELECTROMAGNETIC “correlation” at 45°(Between SSN & SF)
    A solar eclipse is a simple and meaningful ELECTROMAGNETIC correlation as the Moon for some time reduces the ELECTROMAGNETIC radiation reaching the Earth.

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