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Weak Solar Convection 100 Times Slower Than Predicted

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the magnetic-field-a-lie dept.

Science 95

An anonymous reader writes about an observation that convection in the outer layer of the Sun seems not to behave how it ought to: "These new findings based on SDO imagery, if verified, would upend our understanding of how heat is transported outwards by the Sun and challenges existing explanations of the formation of sunspots, the magnetic field generation of the sun, not to mention the concept of convective mixing of light and heavy elements in the solar atmosphere. 'However, our results (PDF) suggest that convective motions in the Sun are nearly 100 times smaller than these current theoretical expectations,' continued Hanasoge, also a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Plank Institute in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany. 'These motions are indeed that slow in the Sun, then the most widely accepted theory concerning the generation of solar magnetic field is broken, leaving us with no compelling theory to explain its generation of magnetic fields and the need to overhaul our understanding of the physics of the Sun's interior.'"

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My ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40600913)

... Is where the sun shines out of.

Re:My ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40600955)

Fetch the anal probe! For science!

Could this lead to new physics? (1)

vivian (156520) | more than 2 years ago | (#40600959)

Some of the best moments in science have started with "Hmm, that's funny..." I wonder what this one will lead to.

Re:Could this lead to new physics? (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#40600985)

To the center of the sun!

We will find the jolly green giant is behind all magnetic fields.

Re:Could this lead to new physics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40601063)

I want to set fire to the sun, go global warming bitches!

Re:Could this lead to new physics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40601731)

who are these global warming bitches of whom you speak?

Re:Could this lead to new physics? (2)

cusco (717999) | more than 2 years ago | (#40602451)

They sound hot!

Re:Could this lead to new physics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40601545)

From the article:

"The Sun’s heat, generated by nuclear fusion in its core, is transported to the surface by convection in the outer third. However, our understanding of this process is largely theoretical—the Sun is opaque, so convection cannot be directly observed. "

Isn't the corona considered the hottest layer of the sun, which would be the opposite of what you would expect if the corona was being heated by an internal core. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-is-the-suns-corona-th

Re:Could this lead to new physics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40602619)

definitions of temerature are kind of funny in astrophysics
in the corona the density is very low (its practically outer-space) so high temperature means particles going really really fast (still an open question how they manage to do that) so a million degrees is just a number (says nothing unless you also check the density and all)
in the core densities are extremely high, strange things going on, fusion and all, so you pretty much know its hot. How ever in such conditions given whats going on, a million degrees K practically is also just a number

Re:Could this lead to new physics? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40603115)

Perhaps we'll realize that we misjudged how long till the sun goes BOOM! ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songs_of_Distant_Earth [wikipedia.org]

We were wong before (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#40604047)

We used to believe the sun was powered by gravitational potential energy, giving us 10K years or so of solar system life. Then a geologist and and astronomer were chatting one day, and the geologist asked about the age of the solar system...

As it turns out, the rocks were all older than the solar system. So they knew something was weird.

All this new-fangled theorizering is bogus anyway (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40600963)

Let's just go there and see with our own eyes. It's only 8 lightminutes away.

Re:All this new-fangled theorizering is bogus anyw (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601427)

It'll be hot so you'll have to go at night.

Re:All this new-fangled theorizering is bogus anyw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40602133)

I was thinking winter. It's dark at night and the point was to see something.

Electric universe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40600973)

http://www.holoscience.com/wp/twinkle-twinkle-electric-star/

yuppers

The simplest explanation (5, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40600981)

If you get results that fly in the face of decades of peer-reviewed research, your first instinct should not be to believe you've upended physics as we know it. Your first instinct should be, "Oh shit, what did I fuck up?"

My money is on the "results" being wrong.

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

JasoninKS (1783390) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601035)

Well crap...I forgot to carry the "2"...

Re:The simplest explanation (4, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601051)

They are not flying against decades of peer reviewed research - earlier data were projections; those will tend to be massively wrong, just look at your local weather forecasts...

Re:The simplest explanation (3, Insightful)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601059)

Right. When an observation conflicts with years of previous observations, double check the most recent observation. When an observation conflicts with years of theory and computer models...

Re:The simplest explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40601359)

Reality trumps theories and computer models anytime.

Or, they could do like the AGW crowd and just go find another Sun that agrees with their observations.

To paraphrase some movie or person, I'm sure, the Data picks you, you don't pick the Data.

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

moj0joj0 (1119977) | more than 2 years ago | (#40602649)

To paraphrase some movie or person, I'm sure, the Data picks you, you don't pick the Data.

We all know the Data is fully functional [youtube.com] .

Re:The simplest explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40601323)

Even if what you say is true, my local weather forecasts are not off by two orders of magnitude.

For example, if they predict 305 degrees Kelvin, it's usually correct to within 1 or 2 degrees. It doesn't end up being 30500 degrees, or 3.05 degrees.

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601407)

Your weather is reported in kelvin? That is so awesome.

Re:The simplest explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40601689)

Degrees Kelvin?

Re:The simplest explanation (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40602531)

There are no such thing as "degrees Kelvin." Kelvins are not degrees.

You should have wrote it like this:
For example, if they predict 305 Kelvins, it's usually correct to within 1 or 2 Kelvins. It doesn't end up being 30500 Kelvins, or 3.05 Kelvins.

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601585)

"They are not flying against decades of peer reviewed research - earlier data were projections; those will tend to be massively wrong, just look at your local weather forecasts..."

If Slashdot commenters admit that data projections can be massively wrong, then they must admit that climate projections (the favorite topic around here) could be wrong.

Re:The simplest explanation (2)

Boronx (228853) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601755)

But then you'd have to admit that they could be right.

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 2 years ago | (#40604355)

If Slashdot commenters admit that data projections can be massively wrong, then they must admit that climate projections (the favorite topic around here) could be wrong.

The difference is that here, the observations contradict the projections, while with the climate the observations confirm the projections.Yearly average temperatures are climbing, species are spreading north, arctic ice is shrinking...

It's the climate "scepticists" who deny observed reality, not scientists.

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40601055)

Ok! Ok! I must have, I must have put a decimal point in the wrong place or something. Shit. I always do that. I always mess up some mundane detail!

Re:The simplest explanation (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601843)

Ok! Ok! I must have, I must have put a decimal point in the wrong place or something. Shit. I always do that. I always mess up some mundane detail!

Oh! What is this fairly mundane detail, Michael?!!!!!

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601067)

Well I'm not an astrophysicist but in my admittedly poor understanding of this, they finally got around to measuring something, whereas before it was just a hypothesis. We assumed, for decades, that other planetary systems would be like ours, simply because we hadn't seen them.
It doesn't need any sort of new physics. We just need a better hypothesis on what causes the Sun's magnetic field.
NASA does screw up, sometimes, but it's not like some wacko in the middle of India looked at red-tinted rain and said it was some kind of alien lifeform: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_rain_in_Kerala#Extraterrestrial_hypothesis [wikipedia.org]

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

your_neighbor (1193249) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601099)

If you get results that fly in the face of decades of peer-reviewed research, your first instinct should not be to believe you've upended physics as we know it. Your first instinct should be, "Oh shit, what did I fuck up?"

My money is on the "results" being wrong.

Increase the "Oh shit, what did I fuck up?" if your "results" are multiple of 2 or 10:

"What they found significantly departed from existing theory–specifically, the speed of the Sun’s plasma motions were approximately 100 times slower than scientists had previously projected."

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601123)

Considering the article linked is on a climate deniers website, you well may end up having a point. I'd like to see a more credible source for this story than the quack watt's site.

Re:The simplest explanation (4, Informative)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601161)

It's called Google. Here's a whole bunch of places where you can see a similar article:
http://www.science-news.eu/astronomy-news/cluster142794/ [science-news.eu]

And here's the actual paper:
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.3173v1.pdf [arxiv.org]

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601449)

Still, too bad our editors couldn't have done that for us. Submissions have been rejected for a lot less than linking to a shitty source.

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

Rob Riggs (6418) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601655)

Slashdot is linking to a climate denier's website in order to increase the hype factor. I'm sure they got plenty of submissions for this story that linked to more mainstream sites. But that would not provoke the masses. This site is morphing into HuffPo since CmdrTaco left.

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#40604305)

Yeah, nothing say "quack" like resisting the massive power and money grab based soley on secret computer models that never seem to actually make accurate predictions. After all "the science is settled"!

Re:The simplest explanation (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601253)

Sometimes decades of peer-reviewed research is wrong. Not very often, I admit, but it is exactly to find such occasions that people do science in the first place. I don't think we should discourage researchers from reporting unorthodox findings.

Instead of making veiled accusations when someone announces an unexpected finding, the correct response is to take a careful look at it. If accusations of fraud or ineptitude are warranted, peer review will make that clear.

Of course, I wholeheartedly agree that researchers should check their work and subject it to peer review before they call a press conference. I still remember the "cold fusion" fiasco [wikipedia.org] . Like cold fusion, this result is nothing until it's passed thorough review.

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601607)

Better yet, the recent faster than light neutrinos [wikipedia.org] . Anyway, don't close the door to new discoveries and major rewrites of theories because facts don't match their predictions. Discarding facts because don't match the idea we have of the world is called religion, not science.

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#40604333)

The researches involved with that did the right things: they published a paper saying "we got these unbelievable results, help us find our error." Don't cast aspersions because of the horrific state of science reporting.

Re:The simplest explanation (2)

bunratty (545641) | more than 2 years ago | (#40602177)

A result reached in only one reviewed paper is often next to nothing. That's why science requires repeatability. Any particular scientific paper stands a good chance of being wrong, for a number of reasons. If the paper requires a 5% probability or less of getting the results by chance alone, and most papers that get negative results are not published, then there's a higher than 10% probability that a published paper's results were obtained through chance alone -- the researchers were just lucky. Then there are numerous mistakes that can be made, although many of these mistakes are weeded out in peer review. And some scientists fudge the data or just publish outright fraudulent research.

On the other hand, if there are hundreds of research papers published over decades of research, and the vast majority of papers get results that are consistent with each other, and scientists have reached a consensus that the research is valid, then that's a completely different story. Unfortunately, most people (even Slashdot posters) can't distinguish between these two very different cases.

In this case, though, it looks like the numerous papers published previously were mere predictions. This latest paper provides observations that do not match the predictions. If these observations are repeatable, then it looks like the predictions were just wrong.

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40603385)

Sometimes decades of peer-reviewed research is wrong.

There are clues to when it might go wrong. When it does, there was always some kind of questionable scientific behavior going on, like not double-checking experiments, etc. (Some of those are discussed here [columbia.edu] ).

Usually it happens in fields that are harder to check, for example, neurology, where you can't dissect living people's brains to test your theory, or economics, where it's impossibly to set up a double-blind experiment of economies to see exactly how your tax cut/stimulus will affect things. In the case of the sun, it's just hard to get up close to and look at. Hard to collect good data of what's going on.

But where you can collect good data, it's rare that there are mistakes. Every high school physics class has verified the acceleration of falling objects, that's not likely to be overturned any time soon.

Re:The simplest explanation (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#40605841)

Of course cold fusion was never decades of peer-reviewed research. As soon as some peers reviewed it (tried to replicate it) it was shown for what it was.

LENR (aka Cold fusion) has been peer-reviewed (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40621221)

An may work: http://pesn.com/2012/07/05/9602122_LENR-to-Market_Weekly_July5/ [pesn.com]

BTW, google on "iron sun" as well as "electric universe". I've been wondering if the sun is powered by LENR reactions from quantum tunnelling boundary evaporation of neutrons from a huge iron-nickel mass? The hydrogen seen on the surface of the sun may not be representative of what is below the surface, same as much of the earth is covered with water, but only a mile deep. The core of the Earth may be heated by a similar boudnary evaporation and LENR process? The universe may have a lot more iron decaying into hydrogen than hydrogen fusing into iron...

Re:LENR (aka Cold fusion) has been peer-reviewed (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634427)

Based on the link you offered, I might as well Google 'homeopathy' or 'perpetual-motion device'.
Got anything more convincing?

Re:The simplest explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40603753)

Did you even *read* the first part of the abstract???? Here, let me quote it to you,

Convection in the solar interior is thought to comprise structures on
a spectrum of scales. This conclusion emerges from phenomeno-
logical studies and numerical simulations, though neither covers the
proper range of dynamical parameters of solar convection. Here,
we analyze observations of the wavefield in the solar photosphere
using techniques of time-distance helioseismology to image flows in
the solar interior.

So unless I can't read, all the old "research" was just simulations and thought experiments and now observations are saying, "no, your thought experiments were not quite correct".

And here you are, saying "my thought experiments can't be wrong! Reality must be wrong!".

Observation trumps theory every time. Only other observation can challenge it.

Bosonic Disruptor (3, Funny)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601017)

Once again, I blame this phenomenon squarely on the Higgs Boson.

Re:Bosonic Disruptor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40601039)

Electric Universe people gonna eat this up

Re:Bosonic Disruptor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40601251)

CERN shot a graviton beam on the Sun. We'll all die.

Re:Bosonic Disruptor (1)

hazydave (96747) | more than 2 years ago | (#40603227)

Naa... it's the damn photino birds eating up the sun's core.

lol science (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40601339)

Scientists, who claim to be so superior to the rest of us , cannot even figure out how the sun works and yet these same arrogant academics want us to believe in global warming. Once again we witness the superiority of common sense and hard work. Sadly we'll never convince the city dwelling liberals and statists who now control this country.

LoL AC denialists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40610237)

Denialist ACs, who think they're so smugly superior to the rest of us, cannot even figure out how science works yet these same arrogant know-nothing dumbfucks want to deny global warming and the decades of hard work in the lab and the field by dedicated people.
Sadly, we'll never convince the rightwing nutbars who suck up to the wealthy and corporate overlords who now control this country

Electric Sun? (2, Interesting)

Bobb Sledd (307434) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601411)

Forgive me for asking a basic question, if it is one. Assuming these observations are indeed correct, does this make any part of the idea of an electric sun more plausible than the current model of the sun? If string theory seems more like physics than magic, then why is even the direction of the idea toward an electric sun absurd?

Re:Electric Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40601597)

because much of the last several decades in science required faith. faith in the illustrious non existant dark matter. it cannot be proven, it cannot be recreated, it cannot be seen, nor detected. But for much of physics current accepted math to work it simply has to be there. An electric universe explains some of the physics of the universe without the dark matter concept and thus invalidates much collegiate effort and egos.

Therego, it is not considered.
Personal bias - both branches of science has been invalidated too many times to have any faith in either.

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736197)

"An electric universe explains none of the physics of the universe ..."

FTFY

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

grantspassalan (2531078) | more than 2 years ago | (#40602689)

For centuries, people have assumed that the sun is nothing more than a big campfire in the sky. When scientists learned more about chemistry and the energies involved, they realized that the energy output is far too large to be supported by any chemical process known. Just at the time when that realization hit, humanity discovered atomic energy. So the natural assumption was that the energy source of the sun was the atom. Subsequent observations of the sun, including this latest one contradict the theory that the sun is heated from the inside out. The fact that the corona is much hotter contradicts well-known facts of thermodynamics. Sunspots are dark because they are holes in the solar atmosphere allowing the cooler solar interior to be seen through them. The fusion reaction supposedly happening in the interior of the Sun produces copious amounts of neutrinos. However, the number of neutrinos that should be measured here on earth from the sun are far below what we should see if the fusion model were correct. Although the energy output of the sun in the light and heat spectrum, that we depend on for survival, is remarkably constant, this is not so in other parts of the solar spectrum. During the 11 year cycle of the sun, the output in ultraviolet, x-rays and gamma rays varies widely.

Lines of magnetic fields do not exist anymore in reality than the lines of equal altitude on a map. Therefore the theory of reconnecting lines of magnetic energy is totally bogus. The EU theory has it that the sun and all stars are externally powered by immense galactic electric currents. All observations of the sun fit the theory that the sun is externally powered. I think the electric universe theory deserves a closer look, because it seems to explain solar observations. The EU theory also does not require dark matter, dark energy and black holes and other mathematical constructs which have never been observed in reality.

Re:Electric Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40603189)

For centuries, people have assumed that the sun is nothing more than a big campfire in the sky. When scientists learned more about chemistry and the energies involved, they realized that the energy output is far too large to be supported by any chemical process known. Just at the time when that realization hit, humanity discovered atomic energy. So the natural assumption was that the energy source of the sun was the atom.

This is an oversimplification. After the "campfire in the sky" stage, and before the lamestream nuclear hypothesis, scientists deduced the correct model of gravitational collapse. However, due to belief in long universe ages, this was deemed unacceptable, as it doesn't let stars run for billions of years, even though it fits current observations better.

The GC theory also doesn't require macroevolution, hopeful monsters, and other biological constructs which have never been observed in reality.

Re:Electric Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40603301)

"the sun and all stars are externally powered by immense galactic electric currents."

Speaking of thermodynamics, where does that energy come from?

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

freality (324306) | more than 2 years ago | (#40606397)

just reading the EU site now, http://www.thunderbolts.info/EU%20Intro%20and%20Chap1.pdf [thunderbolts.info] , they say it's the motion of plasmas, which are the dominant form of actually observed matter in the universe.

Re:Electric Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40603577)

Any person studying electric theory will see a link between all the newest information coming out of the probes we have sent.
To believe there is no connection of the universe's parts is about as far fetched as the lines of force on a map.
Better start reading up on the Electric Sun theory. It explains a lot more than creating more questions.
Remember you can not create or destroy energy. So it HAS to balance itself out SOMEHOW.
We have simply put that balancing act in to our wires to do our work and don't realize it's what's powered everything for eons.
Thanks to Grantspassallen for saying what needs to be said.
Be not afraid of the doubters for they are the new fools.

Re:Electric Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40603847)

The fact that the corona is much hotter contradicts well-known facts of thermodynamics.

Or maybe you are not applying thermodynamics correctly. Otherwise, a laser heating a target to a hotter temperature than the laser or an induction heater heating a pan to higher temperature would be defying the so called "well-known facts."

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 2 years ago | (#40604717)

The fact that the corona is much hotter contradicts well-known facts of thermodynamics. Sunspots are dark because they are holes in the solar atmosphere allowing the cooler solar interior to be seen through them.

A fun thermodynamical fact: if you surround a cold object with an envelope of hot gas, that object will heat to the same temperature as the gas. So it's not like the EU explains this either.

Re:Electric Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40609179)

That isn't necessarily how it works though, and that is what Electric Universe people get wrong. If you surround a cold object with a hot gas, they will go to the same temperature... eventually... if you let them go to equilibrium in a closed system, and even then it is more likely the gas would cool off far more than an object with more significant mass would heat up. The corona is 10^7 times less dense than the photosphere, so it has much less thermal mass. Additionally the corona is not very optically dense, so the surface of the sun can radiate a large amount of heat into deep space, with only a small fraction of the blackbody radiation being absorbed by the corona, while the corona emits a very small amount of heat back. In other words, thermal equilibration would be very slow, and would result in the mostly the corona just cooling off. So all that is needed is a heat source for the corona, and it will easily get much hotter than the surface of the sun. The only things left to be worked out are the details of exactly how and what balance of the corona heating comes from magnetic, electrical, and particle coupling.

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

grantspassalan (2531078) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611081)

You and mainstream scientists keep talking about gas. The solar corona and atmosphere do not consist of gas as we usually think of it, but of electrically conducting plasmas. Such a plasma is a much better conductor of electricity than any metal. The laws of physics that apply to gas, such as Boyles law and other gas laws to not apply in any way. As the galactic electrical current flows toward the sun and away from it, it first has to flow through the corona, which as you say is much less dense than the solar atmosphere further down. Because the corona is less dense, its plasma particles excited by the electric current can travel much faster. The speed of particles is the very definition of temperature. Most of the heat of the sun is generated by electricity the same way as it is on Earth by lightning or an electric arc welder. No one has ever generated a magnetic field by anything other than moving charge. It is these current impinging on and circulating in the sun that produce the enormous magnetic fields we observe.

Electricity is a force 10^39 times stronger than gravity. The only time gravity controls the motion of heavenly bodies, is when these are, fortunately for us, mostly electrically neutral. Most of the universe however is definitely NOT electrically neutral so that most matter exists not as solid, liquid or gas, but in the form of highly ionized plasma. I am an electrical engineer by profession, not a physicist or cosmologist. I am familiar with the laws of electricity and magnetism. What we observe on the sun and in the universe as a whole operates mostly by these laws because of the overwhelming overpowering strength of the electric interaction against gravity. If the rules of electricity and magnetism are taken into account, such fictitious purely mathematical constructs as dark energy, dark matter and black holes are not needed to explain the motion and behavior of stars and galaxies. Novas and supernovas can be explained in terms the dumping of electrical energy triggered by the interruption of inductive electric circuits. Mainstream scientists, especially cosmologists don't study electrical laws and plasma theories. Most of their models are based on the gravitational interaction which applies only to electrically neutral objects. If you want to know more about the electrical activity in the universe, you can look here:

http://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/eg-contents/ [thunderbolts.info]

There are other websites, but many of them go into esoteric math and field equations. The above-cited website gives a picture more in keeping with the knowledge that someone might have that is not specially schooled in electrical theory.

Re:Electric Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611239)

I referred to a gas because the parent post I was replying to used an example of gas. The point made, nonetheless, is completely independent of whether you are talking about gas, plasma, solids, etc., as long as it involves a low optical and thermal density material around a denser material.

It looks like you are trying to repeat the incorrect point I see come up with electric universe people a lot: scientist only treat the corona and other astrophysical examples as gas when it is obviously a plasma, as if the electric universe people are the only ones that acknowledge that. At best, this is implies a large disconnection from theories and research into the corona and other astrophysical plasmas by astrophysicists (there are whole journals, symposia, and research groups of mainstream physicists and astronomers dedicated studying such things and their properties as plasmas... I've lost count of the talks on the subject I've sat through at venues that weren't even specific to that field). At worst, it is disingenuous portrayal of "mainstream scientists" in an effort to bolster electric universe theories via a strawman argument. Either way, extrapolating from past discussions/experiences, it is probably a waste of time repeating explanations of mainstream theories that are already described well in many places.

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

grantspassalan (2531078) | more than 2 years ago | (#40610747)

Here we are not talking about a gas. The corona is an extremely hot plasma, heated by an electric current on its way to the solar atmosphere. Only a small fraction of the energy carried by the galactic electric current is dissipated in the Corona, but is nevertheless sufficient to produce incredibly high temperatures therein. Most of the electrical energy is dissipated in the form of electric arcs similar to lightning or a welder's torch.

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40758763)

"Only a small fraction of the energy carried by the galactic electric current is dissipated in the Corona"

And what is that current, in amps, if I may be so bold as to ask, grantspassalan?

And how much of it is dissipated in the corona?

Also, where does this current enter the Sun (or its corona)? Where does it leave?

Or, perhaps, is the Sun merely a Hotel California-like sink (current enters, but never leaves)?

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 2 years ago | (#40609255)

The fusion reaction supposedly happening in the interior of the Sun produces copious amounts of neutrinos. However, the number of neutrinos that should be measured here on earth from the sun are far below what we should see if the fusion model were correct.

Looks trollish to me but I do want to address this particular falsehood about solar neutrinos.

The solar neutrino problem was a major discrepancy between measurements of the numbers of neutrinos flowing through the Earth and theoretical models of the solar interior, lasting from the mid-1960s to about 2002. The discrepancy has since been resolved by new understanding of neutrino physics, requiring a modification of the Standard Model of particle physics – specifically, neutrino oscillation. Essentially, as neutrinos have mass, they can change from the type that had been expected to be produced in the Sun's interior into two types that would not be caught by the detectors in use at the time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_neutrino_problem [wikipedia.org]

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#40610261)

Lines of magnetic fields do not exist?
Ever seen the iron filings experiment?

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

grantspassalan (2531078) | more than 2 years ago | (#40610685)

The iron filings experiment is the where that whole idea of “lines” of magnetic fields comes from. It is a convenient way of describing the intensity and direction of the magnetic field, but the lines themselves do not exist. Weather maps are often depicted with isobar lines, showing the locations of equal pressure in the atmosphere. There are no such lines in the atmosphere of course. Such isobar lines do not break or reconnect, neither do magnetic “lines”. Any explanation that requires the “reconnection” of magnetic fields is bogus.

Re:Electric Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611163)

Isobars might not be the best analogy, as they are a scalar field as opposed to a vector field. Although fluid dynamics does have a much better analogy: vorticity. If you take the curl of the fluid velocity field, you get a "mathematical construct" that behaves very similar to the evolution of magnetic field lines in a plasma. You can have vorticity reconnection just like magnetic reconnection, and it is easy to set up a demonstration of this with smoke ring guns found in any college physics demonstration collection.

Re:Electric Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40610757)

And by filling an area with water, the shoreline will follow an altitude contour. Just as there are an infinite number of altitude contours, one of which can be realized by a shoreline, there are an infinite number of field lines, only a few of which are followed by filings (sort of, the reason the filings line up so well has to do with them perturbing the field and can lead to displaying some thing that the original magnetic fields didn't do). The parent was correct in the sense there is a difference between mathematical constructs and the observable world.

Whether or not that makes mathematical constructs "real" is a whole different issue that can fill an intro level philosophy course, but irrelevant in the end. To argue about whether magnetic field lines are a human construct and to see that as undermining the concept of magnetic reconstruction, shows a fundamental failure to grasp what magnetic reconnection is. The misunderstanding is both on theoretical level, in terms of what the theory (and basic physics) is describing, and on an experimental level, in terms of observed phenomenology. That line of reasoning works equally poorly for claiming magnetic compasses are bogus or any other effect of magnetism.

Re:Electric Sun? (2)

cusco (717999) | more than 2 years ago | (#40603111)

A couple of reasons, one of which is that the electric sun people can't even come up with an even vaguely coherent hypothesis for how their supposed electric circuit is supposed to work, and it explains almost none of the observed solar phenomena. The enormous quantity of electrons that are supposed to be streaming in from the interstellar gas (because they think that the interstellar gas heats the sun, not gravitationally-induced heating and hydrogen fusion) should be easily observable, in fact they should be constantly producing auroras visible all the way to the equator, but no electrical flux of this magnitude has been observed.

Like the idea of 'morphic fields' the 'electric universe' foolishness is unlikely to die for a long time, in spite of the absolute dearth of evidence for it and better explanations for which evidence does exist.

Re:Electric Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40603823)

Cusco so do you believe in the Sun God still? Maybe you better.
You stated;
"they should be constantly producing auroras visible all the way to the equator, but no electrical flux of this magnitude has been observed"? What do we think we are even looking for? You need to see the northern lights all the way to the equator? C'mon.
How do you see a grid as big as the whole universe? Simple, It's interacting /lacing magnetic fields. The largest surrounds ALL of the universe (and makes worm holes possible) What you do to one side affects the other side no matter the distance.
Are you so sure of what you need to "see" for yourself instead of grasping a new idea in you head?
Space is not empty as we once thought, it's full of water vapor/crystals among other things.
I find this totally fascinating.

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

Mac_OSX-1 (632402) | more than 2 years ago | (#40608373)

The EU "Electric Sun" makes no testable predictions. When asking EU 'theorists' about the value of the magnetic field around the Sun according to their Z-pinch model, and how it is calculated, so we can compare to spacecraft measurements, we get no answer. Attempts to build a model based on their descriptions generate values that are factors of thousands to millions of times larger than the measurments.
That is not a characteristic of a working theory.
If we ask about the particle energy and flux of particles based on the EU solar 'cathode' model, we get no answer. Attempts to build a model based on their descriptions generate values that indicate that if such currents existed, they would be fatal to satellites and astronauts.
This is not a characteristic of a working theory.
For a quick summary of the failures of EU, see
http://dealingwithcreationisminastronomy.blogspot.com/p/challenges-for-electric-universe.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

Michael Mozina (1229430) | more than 2 years ago | (#40658651)

This is simply not true. There is in fact a very specific prediction for the Birkeland solar model listed at http://www.thesurfaceofthesun.com/blog.htm [thesurfaceofthesun.com] Since it's one of the few models that predicts a mass separated atmosphere, there is a specific prediction related to Neon +4 output from the sun, and the prediction that it originates in the photosphere not the coronal loops. As usual, you're claims about it's predictive capacity are simply false.

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

Mac_OSX-1 (632402) | more than 2 years ago | (#40692757)

1) Astronomers do know about electric fields in space. I have written much on this topic. (Electric Universe: Whither the Electric Currents? [blogspot.com] ).

2) The standard of science is the numerical results of the mathematical models must match the observations. If you claim the 'Birkeland' model works better than the standard model, then you must meet that standard.
Where are the numerical results from the model you advocate? Can you tell me the proton and electron density and energy or magnetic field at Earth's orbit predicted by your model and show how it is calculated? Where is the solar spectrum computed from first principles by the model you advocate? The lives of astronauts depend on you being able to demonstrate this!
If you can't meet that standard, then your model fails. Game over.
The ACTUAL track record of "Electric Sun" models making testable numerical predictions is dismal (Electric Cosmos: The Solar Resistor Model [blogspot.com] , Electric Cosmos: The Solar Capacitor Model. III [blogspot.com] )

3) I see a number of errors on your page. SDO first light images were not completely calibrated for intensity or scale information. Have you looked at more recent images on their site?
a) Doing science analysis on JPEG images or MPEG movies is just inviting embarrassment. You have to go back to the original data after the instrument has been calibrated.
b) Your sunspot data has obvious problems (Sunspot Number [spaceweather.com] ). Did you just make it up? And why only data to 1980? Are you trying to hide something about the more recent data?

And that's just what I could determine scanning your page before I realized some text was being clipped in my reader due to your lousy page formatting. I suspect I have hit just the beginning of your errors.

Re:Electric Sun? (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736115)

For much the same reason the Pioneer Anomaly, decades ago, did not suddenly make geocentrism a cool idea worth (re-)investigating.

How does this affect age estimates for the Sun (3, Interesting)

borroff (267566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601459)

What I would like to know is how this change in measured convection rate affects our models of solar lifecycles. Granted, this may be a methodology error; IANAP (anymore), so I can't answer that question, but it seems to me some important new questions arise as a result of this finding. Does this mean stars age slower than we thought, or faster - or is the rate unchanged? Is the overall heat transfer is slower, is some other known mechanism transferring more heat, or is there some unknown transfer mechanism we have yet to discover? There's a lot of work for some lucky grad students out there.

The Sun's Fusion is Failing! (1)

Antipater (2053064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601629)

Assemble our hottest astronauts!

Electric Universe crackpots (2, Interesting)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601927)

The Electric Universe crackpots have always claimed [thunderbolts.info] that convection had nothing to do with it. [thunderbolts.info]

I've been fascinated with the thunderbolts.info site for quite a while. They haven't yet convinced me that we need to throw out our conventional understanding of the universe, but they have some extremely fascinating theories, and I'm disappointed that I haven't seen any serious responses to their theories.

Re:Electric Universe pulsars, etc (1)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 2 years ago | (#40602947)

I too remain open and skeptical of BOTH the unproven established theories and the unproven alternatives. One thing that really made me consider the electric theories is pulsar rotations. I find it much easier to conceive of a fast rotating electric field causing the periodicity than super fast spinning hyper dense matter.

Re:Electric Universe crackpots (1)

freality (324306) | more than 2 years ago | (#40606287)

They don't read like crackpots to me. Name-calling alternative perspectives is something more indicative of religion than science ;p Also, this is the interwebz; there are actual crackpots in abundance.

From their site:

"... theories tend to harden into ‘facts,’ even in the face of mounting
contradictions. Astronomer Carl Sagan’s Cosmos was published a
quarter-century ago. At that time, some questions were still permitted.
On the issue of redshift, Sagan wrote: “There is nevertheless a
nagging suspicion among some astronomers, that all may not be right
with the deduction, from the redshift of galaxies via the Doppler effect,
that the universe is expanding. The astronomer Halton Arp has found
enigmatic and disturbing cases where a galaxy and a quasar, or a pair
of galaxies, that are in apparent physical association have very
different redshifts....” - p 20. http://www.thunderbolts.info/EU%20Intro%20and%20Chap1.pdf [thunderbolts.info]

They're overall arguing that electrodynamics can better explain many astronomical observations than gravitation + dark matter, dark energy and modifications to cosmological constants.

That seems reasonable; correct or not is a matter to be determined.

Dark matter, dark energy, etc. are the first examples I give to friends who are skeptical of big bang cosmology or even science in general, showing it as an example of how science is full of bad "working" theories, but we know it and keep chipping away. I hope I'm not wrong.

Re:Electric Universe crackpots (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736313)

"They're overall arguing that electrodynamics can better explain many astronomical observations than gravitation + dark matter, dark energy and modifications to cosmological constants."

LOL. We must be reading different websites; I found nothing at all to suggest that anyone has developed any models which show " that electrodynamics can explain any astronomical observations"!

At least none that aren't already well-established parts of mainstream astrophysics. Care to share, freality?

Re:Electric Universe crackpots (1)

freality (324306) | more than 2 years ago | (#40754359)

The one I looked at most closely was in the intro chapter to one of the books they linked:

http://www.thunderbolts.info/EU%20Intro%20and%20Chap1.pdf [thunderbolts.info]

That the shapes and spins of galaxies can be shown in simulation by collapsing parallel electric filaments ("pinch" effect), p. 26.. In contrast, from what I understand, you have to introduce a majority of dark matter & energy into such a simulation to get a stable galaxy if the stars interact otherwise with only gravity.

Something I'm looking at that's related to this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Run [wikipedia.org]

It runs an N-body particle solver using gravitational interactions, to run the cosmic microwave background "forward" to see what kind of modern universe it should develop. This produces the pictures of the filamentary large-scale structure of the universe that I've become accustomed to seeing in recent years, but it turns out you can use the same software to model both radiative and magnetic coupling effects. Here's a variation showing how radiation changes stellar evolution:

    http://www.astro.ex.ac.uk/people/mbate/Cluster/clusterRT.html [ex.ac.uk]

Same basic large-scale structure, but different number of "stars", different brightnesses, speeds, etc.

I've got the GADGET code running on my MacBook Air using MacPorts, etc.. should be fun, though very slow :)

Re:Electric Universe crackpots (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40756575)

"That the shapes and spins of galaxies can be shown in simulation by collapsing parallel electric filaments ("pinch" effect), "

No, your source is lying.

In 1986, Peratt published two Plasma Cosmology (NOT Electric Universe) papers, reporting the results of some simulations (similar to, but not quite the same as, what you wrote). However, these were not simulations of real galaxies. Why not? Because real galaxies contain stars (duh!), whose motions ("spins", to use your term) cannot possibly be represented in Peratt's simulations (stars have charge-to-mass ratios vastly different from the ions Peratt assumed, in his simulations).

Worse, real galaxies do not have double nuclei with the same shape as those in Peratt's simulations. And so on.

Re:Electric Universe crackpots (1)

freality (324306) | more than 2 years ago | (#40757207)

Hm, I think you're missing my point... I wasn't supporting their claims as more correct than a gravitationally-based cosmology, just noting that they seemed to be making reasonable conjectures, albeit non-mainstream, and that they didn't deserve to be called names. I said:

    "That seems reasonable; correct or not is a matter to be determined."

The same can be said about dark energy/matter. Reasonable, but correctness TBD. It is problematic for a simulation to not model all know behaviors of a system, but nonetheless, we do it all the time and often find useful models in them.

Agreed, this is better termed Plasma Cosmology, not Electric Universe as that appears to be commercially co-opted; maybe you're reacting more to that; I was reading more of the folks they cited than the .info website. More:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_cosmology#Large_scale_structure [wikipedia.org]

Re:Electric Universe crackpots (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40758669)

And I think you're missing mine.

You seemed pretty clear, when you claimed "They're overall arguing that electrodynamics can better explain many astronomical observations than gravitation + dark matter, dark energy and modifications to cosmological constants", where "they" refers to what's found on a particular website (actually, PDF), that you linked to. My point: there's no substance to any such claims (other than those which merely repeat what you can easily find from any mainstream source).

At least, none which has any quantitative, internally consistent legs to stand on.

"Agreed, this is better termed Plasma Cosmology, not Electric Universe [...] I was reading more of the folks they cited than the .info website."

Then why not say so? Why give airtime to folk who, not to put too fine a point on it, are deliberately lying? Who might, therefore, be reasonably called crackpots?

"That seems reasonable; correct or not is a matter to be determined."

Yes, it (the PC stuff) may indeed seem reasonable. However, it has long since been determined that it cannot possibly be correct. Or, more precisely, every single one of the principals involved in those efforts is either dead or has stopped doing research into showing that the reasonable-sounding ideas actually match the relevant, cold, hard, objective, quantitative astronomical data. For example, Peratt has published nothing new, on this topic, since the late 1980s (yes, he's published stuff, but none of it involves new research), and Lerner's last work on this seems to be sometime in the 1990s. In the meantime, the quantity and quality of the directly relevant astronomical data has grown enormously, from the WMAP results to the thousands of hours of Hubble observations to the SDSS to data from Spitzer, Herschel, Chandra, Fermi, WISE, ...

Don't you find it odd that, given the tens of thousands of hours EU and PC proponents have spent promoting their ideas on websites across the internet, and given the hundreds (thousands?) of ardent fans, not a single one has done anything to develop these ideas, on a scientifically-sound basis?

Re:Electric Universe crackpots (1)

Mac_OSX-1 (632402) | more than 2 years ago | (#40622499)

If you can't find responses to their claims, then you haven't been looking very hard. Basic conservation laws and Maxwell's equations accessible to high school physics students reveal serious problems. See http://dealingwithcreationisminastronomy.blogspot.com/p/challenges-for-electric-universe.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Electric Universe crackpots (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736253)

Thunderbolts has theories? Really?

"Theories" as in "speculative guesses", sure, they have lots of those.

"Theories" as in "scientific theories", well, I have yet to find any on that site; which are the ones you found, uigrad_2000?

Clearly that now means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40602739)

The Tardis is slowly burning up at the center of the sun enabling us ... oh, wait nevermind there's already an episode about that.

Alternative sun physics model: solid surface (1)

freality (324306) | more than 2 years ago | (#40602995)

This has been floating around the net for a while.. I think I first saw it on slashdot many years ago:

    http://www.thesurfaceofthesun.com/ [thesurfaceofthesun.com]

Maybe a solid metallic surface would align better with low observed surface wave transfer compared to a soupy plasma.

Re:Alternative sun physics model: solid surface (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40758811)

"Maybe a solid metallic surface would align better with low observed surface wave transfer compared to a soupy plasma." Perhaps it would.

Given how much energy the Sun radiates, per second, per square metre of its surface, an interesting follow-on question might be: How could such a surface remain metallic?

solar magnetism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40603017)

Fucking solar magnetism - how does it work?

CAPTCHA: hydrogen

http://electric-cosmos.org/sun.htm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40603689)

http://electric-cosmos.org/sun.htm

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