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Solar Hurricane Rips Off Comet's Tail

ScuttleMonkey posted about 7 years ago | from the cited-for-comet-abuse dept.

Space 105

coondoggie writes to mention that NASA recently captured images of a solar hurricane ripping the tail off Encke's comet. "In a release, NASA said preliminary analysis suggests that the tail was ripped away when magnetic fields bumped together in an explosive process called "magnetic reconnection." Oppositely directed magnetic fields around the comet "bumped into each" by the magnetic fields in the hurricane. Suddenly, these fields linked together--they "reconnected"--releasing a burst of energy that tore off the comet's tail. A similar process takes place in Earth's magnetosphere during geomagnetic storms fueling, among other things, the Northern Lights, NASA said."

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I for one... (-1)

wolfman_jake (974273) | about 7 years ago | (#20816887)

...welcome our new comet-tail devouring overlords!

Breaking News !! Slashdot really does SUCK !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20817387)

Breaking News !! Slashdot really does SUCK !! Who makes this site, some place in Bombay ?? Craptastic !!

Re:I for one... (1)

corifornia2 (1158503) | about 7 years ago | (#20817945)

You are a goddamn retard. At least use that cliche fucking phrase when it makes sense or is humorous, not just to simply spout your byte wasting shit onto the intertubes.

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20818445)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but for something to be overrated, doesn't it first have to be, I don't know, rated?

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20821441)

HAR HAR HAR

Large unknown action in slashdot. Notably loads of anarchist bullshit.

HA, YES, MOD THIS DOWN.

COMMUNISTS! Stop the orgies, they're gross.

Wonder what the RF signature of that was like (4, Interesting)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about 7 years ago | (#20816897)

Don't you get a rather large electrical field when a magnetic field like that collapses? Should be an amazing radio source.

Re:Wonder what the RF signature of that was like (4, Interesting)

The_Wilschon (782534) | about 7 years ago | (#20818637)

Precisely. Magnetic reconnection releases a tremendous amount of energy, most of it in the form of EM radiation. It is the phenomenon responsible for, IIRC, many (most?) solar weather events, perhaps most notably solar flares.

Re:Wonder what the RF signature of that was like (2, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 7 years ago | (#20819921)

The source of the solar wind anomaly -- the recent "bare" magnetic storm -- is a much higher source of RF and other energy than any distant magnetic effects. It might have made a blip but would probably be drowned out by the main phenomenon.

Apropos of nothing (1)

Mille Mots (865955) | about 7 years ago | (#20825229)

For some strange, unknown reason I first parsed your post as:

Don't you get a rather large electrical bill when a magnetic field like that collapses? Should be an amazing revenue source.

Honestly, I have no idea why.

--
--- Next .sig Please --->

How is a Coronal Mass Ejection like a Hurricane? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20816907)

They both blow.

Tsk tsk tsk (4, Funny)

Bluesman (104513) | about 7 years ago | (#20816919)

That's very immature of the Sun. Fortunately, we know that the comet's tail will grow back, and it will be none the worse for wear.

Re:Tsk tsk tsk (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20817315)

In further news: The solar hurricane was named Lorena.

Re:Tsk tsk tsk (1)

Skevin (16048) | about 7 years ago | (#20817939)

No no no. It *ripped off* the tail, which means:

1. The Sun sold the Comet's Tail a Plasma TV, but when it got home, it discovered there was only a cement block in the box.
2. The Sun cheats at poker.
3. The Sun also hustles pool.

Pick one.

Solomon

Re:Tsk tsk tsk (4, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 7 years ago | (#20818091)

Fortunately, we know that the comet's tail will grow back

Well, hey, hold on there... we first need to decide whether this comet tail should be rebuilt at all. If another solar hurricane is just going to come and wash the tail away, then it's a waste of valuable ice and dust to rebuild it and we should disincentivize comet tails from forming by saying, hey, comet tails, we're not bailing you out anymore! Stop mooching off the rest of the solar system and take some responsibility for yourselves!

Curiously, by accident or design it seems that most of the damage and disruption was confined to the ion tail, instead of the wealthier dust tail area... that's typical electromagnetic justice for you.

Outrageous (0)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 7 years ago | (#20816927)

Won't somebody please think about the comets!

I propose (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20816931)

that this phenomenon be called Cosmic Castration.

Magnetic Reconnection? (3, Informative)

IMarvinTPA (104941) | about 7 years ago | (#20816947)

What is this Magnetic Reconnection thing you speak of?
http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/060711magnetic.htm [thunderbolts.info]

IMarv

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1, Interesting)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20817283)

For people wanting a more technical discussion of why magnetic reconnection is likely a farse, check this out ...

http://www.electric-cosmos.org/Rejoinder.htm [electric-cosmos.org]

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (3, Insightful)

kmac06 (608921) | about 7 years ago | (#20817907)

Uh...between well-agreed upon scientific data and interpretation vs one guy's ranting website (who's not a physicist), I'm gonna go with the peer-reviewed literature. This claims to single-handedly see a gaping hole in solar neutrino oscillation experiments, that no physicist sees. That is just screaming CRACKPOT!

As far as the magnetic reconnection issue...well there's no reason to trust (or even read) anything a crackpot like this says.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (4, Informative)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20818161)

Science is not a democracy, by the way. We do not vote on ideas based upon who is saying them, contrary to the increasing belief that this is how it works. Instead, we should attempt to understand the arguments that are being made and discuss the logic behind both sides in the argument.

There have been plenty of intelligent people who believed that space plasmas are electrical. You just have not read about them. Hannes Alfven, Ralph Juergens, Kristian Birkeland, Anthony Peratt, to name a few. Hannes Alfven received the Noble Physics Prize for his creation of magnetohydrodynamics, which is the mathematics used to model space plasmas. You may be surprised to learn that in his acceptance speech, he disagreed with the idea of modeling space plasmas with frozen-in-place magnetic fields -- a technique which he originated and that persists to this day. He was completely ignored.

If you have not read the story of Halton Arp, then you are limiting your exposure to observations to those which you agree with. In truth, there is no good reason for why Arp's observations are not correct. Arp has been obstructed from sharing his findings at every step of the way, oftentimes by the very people whose research is threatened by his observations.

There is a person on wikipedia called ScienceApologist, who has been censoring EU Theory from wikipedia on the basis that there are no published papers which support EU Theory. Well, Anthony Peratt, Wallace Thornhill and a handful of other EU theorists did in fact get published in September in an IEEE publication. ScienceApologist decided to actually send a letter to the IEEE editor, objecting that the papers were pseudo-scientific (and yet in the absence of any evidence supporting his statements). Apparently, his requirement that EU Theorists be published is in fact not sufficient at all. There appears to be no burden that can be met by the EU Theorists that would satisfy him, and the ethical problems associated with his being both a wikipedia referee and a player involved in influencing the publication of the theory appears to escape him.

Not being popular is not an excuse to avoid reading about something, especially when there are such over-zealous censors who believe it is their duty to prevent the public from understanding the debate about electricity in space. If a theory appears to be logically coherent and supported by observational evidence, then it stands a chance of being true regardless of how many adherents it possesses (nature does not care what people prefer to believe), and it deserves investigation and even attempts to quantify it. Evaluating theories purely on the basis of who looks or sounds the smartest is a downward spiral. I recommend that you think twice before suggesting that others follow your lead. You very well could be redirecting people away from fruitful lines of research and investigation. Despite your good intentions, you may in fact be causing harm. You can't possibly know until you *read* what the theory says and talk to people about it, right?

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (3, Insightful)

kmac06 (608921) | about 7 years ago | (#20818373)

I have no opinion on the magnetics going on here. I was pointing our the crackpottery of the first paragraph of your link, and saying that the rest of what he has to say should be ignored based on that (that doesn't mean everything he says is false--if he says 1+1=2 that's still true).

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (2, Informative)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20818537)

I was pointing our the crackpottery of the first paragraph of your link, and saying that the rest of what he has to say should be ignored based on that

But magnetic reconnection is *extremely* important as it attempts to explain why the Sun's atmosphere is 100x hotter than its surface. We see a similar inverse temperature situation with the Earth's atmosphere, but it is generally agreed that this is a result of an external energy source. If Don Scott is right about magnetic reconnection, then the most popular theory for how the Sun's core can heat up its atmosphere without heating up its surface is bunk. It is an important issue that people should attempt to understand. If you just set it aside, then you are actually refusing to consider the meat of his argument. That's not very helpful for evaluating whether or not he's right. We might as well judge his theory on what his hair looks like or the fact that he's not in a wheelchair or hasn't been on TV.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (3, Insightful)

kmac06 (608921) | about 7 years ago | (#20818599)

You're not getting (or intentionally ignoring) my point about the solar neutrino oscillations. This guy clearly either doesn't know what he's talking about, or for some reason isn't trying to convince any actual physicists. Either way, it means he shouldn't be taken seriously, regardless of what he's saying.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (2, Interesting)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20818715)

My understanding actually is that number of neutrinos emitted by the Sun are inversely correlated with sunspot frequency. If that is true, then that would tend to pose a serious problem for the standard solar model as that would suggest a correlation between neutrino generation and activity on the Sun's surface, which are supposed to be separated by a significant duration of time. Is this not true?

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20828367)

It also suggests a correlation between electron neutrino transmissivity (or, if you prefer, electron neutrino interactions) and activity at the sun's surface.

Observations of the sun's mass and energy output, combined with the standard model with respect to proton-proton chain fusion, predict electron neutrinos should appear in a fixed ratio with respect to tau and muon neutrinos from a sunwards direction compared to a non-sunwards direction. This ratio is lower (1/3 of the expected ratio) than reasonable if electron neutrinos have zero rest mass and cannot oscillate from one form to another.

Observations of all three types of neutrinos fully agree with the standard solar model with respect to the Mikheyev-Smirnov-Wolfenstein work that predicted weak force interactions between neutrinos and normal matter that agree with the mass and energy observations of the sun, in that 2/3 of the p-p fusion electron neutrinos would be converted to tau and muon neutrinos. MSW work also demonstrates neutrino oscillation through line-of-sight magnetic flux.

So, yes, there is an anticorrelation between sunspot cycle and the Homestake observations (which measures the electron neutrino flux). The lower count and greater than expected variability of electron neutrinos is consistent with neutrino interactions involving normal matter and magnetic fields. Other experiments measure all three forms of solar neutrinos with results consistent with MSW interactions, and also reveal an anticorrelation between the sunspot cycle and total neutrino flux. However, this is far from shocking, as very few stars have a perfectly stable radiant (photon) flux, including our own, and of course there are quite a number of much more strongly variable stars. The anticorrelation is mainly suggestive of changes in p-p fusion rates producing visible effects at the surface.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20843651)

Thank you for your comments. I consider my role as a liason between Slashdot and the Electric Universe Theorists. This effectively creates a filter whereby I handle the easier challenges (basically bringing people up to speed on the publications) and the more intelligent, difficult responses are forwarded directly to them. What you must understand is that although the names you may recognize as EU Theorists are limited in number, there is in fact a much larger number of sympathetic professionals who agree in principle with the theorists from all relevant disciplines, networking together to understand what the true role that electricity plays in space is. Collectively, the group is eager to receive intelligent challenges to EU theories and ideas. Yet, the group maintains its cohesiveness purely by the strength of the areas of agreement (after all, there is no research money in it!). For that reason, we find it very important to confront any serious problems with the EU model. And as more occasions arise to challenge the EU model, I encourage you to point out the problems that you may notice with my postings. Ultimately, my hope is that you will recognize that there is enough of a reasoned argument present to warrant a more public and meaningful discussion of electrical space plasmas.

Within that context, I've forwarded your comments. One of the members has done some detailed study of the solar neutrino deficit. In your last two sentences, you state:

However, this is far from shocking, as very few stars have a perfectly stable radiant (photon) flux, including our own, and of course are quite a number of much more strongly variable stars. The anticorrelation is mainly suggestive of changes in p-p fusion rates producing visible effects at the surface.

It appears in your response as though you suggest that a significant part of the neutrino oscillations are due to the variable magnetic fields near the surface, but you don't go into detail on this. But it seems to us that the real question remains. We're interested how exactly the fusion rates produce visible effects at the surface, and it appears as though this response does not directly address that enigma.

The theorists and advocates are interested in clarification on this point if you have the time to respond.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

Kyace (979188) | about 7 years ago | (#20820299)

Isaac Newton, after he wrote his famous laws, basically spent years trying to get alchemy to work. I'm sure many of his peers, 'actual physicists', thought he was a crackpot for trying. Please view the merits of an idea based on the proof behind it and against it, not solely on if you like the person or agree with everything else they are saying. I enjoy a quote about Newton's years spent in alchemy from a book by Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen and Terry Pratchett, paraphrasing saying that 'had there been any way of making alchemy work, Isaac Newton would likely have found it'.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

kmac06 (608921) | about 7 years ago | (#20820733)

And the guy on the street corner saying the end is near might be right. Sometime a crackpot is just a crackpot.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

Kyace (979188) | about 7 years ago | (#20820833)

You are welcome to your opinion of him as a crackpot, you are also welcome to dismiss out of hand any theory he puts forth based on your opinion of him. The only problem I have is when you tell other people that his ideas are to be dismissed without inspection because you think he is a crackpot. Other than the fact that this theory explaining the losing of the comet's tail also includes the sun, I didn't see anything linking it to his other work. If the theory is wrong, let someone find some proof to explain some other reason the plasma tail disappeared or some flaw in his sample data; rather than resorting to name calling.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20823821)

Sometime a crackpot is just a crackpot.

The problem is that many of the people who believe that space plasmas are electrical have very impressive credentials. Don Scott is merely one of many. Hannes Alfven was convinced enough of it that he postulated a mechanism for how charge separation could occur in space -- his critical ionization velocity -- which was subsequently validated within the laboratory.

When you erroneously call somebody a crackpot as a result of limiting your reading selection so much that you are unaware of the full history, you do a disservice to others who are trying to understand whether or not there is a real debate here. You basically help to convince others that there is no reason to hold such a discussion about electricity in space, and what's amazing is that you do it in spite of increasing evidence that a debate is warranted. You appear to be just completely oblivious that observations are confirming the statements of these people. If solar neutrinos, for instance, are anti-correlating with sunspot numbers, then that would clearly imply that the neutrinos are being generated near the surface of the Sun as opposed to inside of it. Within the standard solar model, there is a requirement that the neutrinos be generated something like 100,000 years *before* any surface effects could be observed. Don Scott's Electric Sun Hypothesis explains this enigmatic observation, and would furthermore explain why the corona is 100x hotter than the Sun's surface and why the solar wind continues to accelerate as it passes the planets.

You appear to believe that he is a crackpot on the sole basis of your own belief system rather than the evidence. It appears as though you are treating science as if it is a religion, or perhaps more appropriately, a cult. You have fallen prey to the field of public relations, which has convinced you that everything in astrophysics has already been figured out.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 years ago | (#20821151)

I'm sure many of his peers, 'actual physicists', thought he was a crackpot for trying.
I doubt it. Alchemy wasn't entirely discredited at the time Newton tried it. It's more likely that he was thought a crackpot for claiming that an apple pulls the Earth upwards as it falls (when everyone knows things fall down because that's what 'down' means) than for his dabbling.

Actually, this being Newton, it's more likely people thought he was a crackpot for giving a lecture to an empty room after frightening his students so much that none of them showed up to his lecture.

Context is important.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

DrWho520 (655973) | about 7 years ago | (#20821605)

I'm sure many of his peers, 'actual physicists', thought he was a crackpot for trying.
Probably not as many as you think. Elementalism and alchemy were still widely accepted in his day.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

ZwJGR (1014973) | about 7 years ago | (#20820183)

Magnetic reconnection does not exist and does not explain why the corona is hotter than than the sun's lower level (photosphere? I forget).
The explanation is indeed due to the electromagnetic nature of plasma, and the large potential differences and EM fields around the sun. However this is no need to gratuitously break several laws of physics by implying that field lines actually exist (they don't, they only represent the direction of a continuous unbreakable field), and that these so called lines can break and then reconnect, which is complete BS. A magnetic field is a continuous force field created about the motion of moving charge, not some open-ended spaghetti.

If magnetic field lines can break, then you'd better throw Maxwell, Einstein, Gauss, and a whole bunch of other scientists' work into the bin...

I've read Donald Scott's book the Electric Sky, and nowhere does it state or imply the existence. of magnetic field breakage or reconnection. (That book also gives a good, reasonable explanation of what is going on, using simple plasma dynamics).
I don't have the book with me (not mine), and I don't remember the details well enough to post them on /. (haven't read it for ages).

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 7 years ago | (#20825467)

"Science is not a democracy, by the way."

Agreed.

"Instead, we should attempt to understand the arguments that are being made and discuss the logic behind both sides in the argument."

Science is not a democracy; all ideas and proposals need not and should not be given equal weight, and it is proper for ideas that are outlandish on their face to be casually dismissed without bothering to engage in such a dialog; the nature of the claims make it apparent that a truly rational discourse with its adherent is not forthcoming.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof: don't expect to be considered until you've gathered such proof.

"There have been plenty of intelligent people who believed that space plasmas are electrical."

And they did their work in the Nineteenth Century. Not that "plenty" matters any because, as you correctly pointed out, science is not a democracy.

"There is a person on wikipedia called ScienceApologist, who has been censoring EU Theory from wikipedia on the basis that there are no published papers which support EU Theory."

I'm being repressed! Come see the violence inherent in the system! 40 points on Ye Olde Crackpot Index [ucr.edu] .

"EU theorists did in fact get published in September in an IEEE publication. "

Science is not a democracy: electrical engineers and cosmologists are not equals. Electrical engineers are not qualified to comment on the nature of the observable universe any more than a cosmologist is qualified to design a microprocessor.

"Not being popular is not an excuse to avoid reading about something,"

Science is not a democracy: it's not being ignored because it's unpopular, it's being ignored because it's unlikely.

"especially when there are such over-zealous censors who believe it is their duty to prevent the public from understanding the debate about electricity in space."

Science is not a democracy: in the interest of promoting human understanding, it is his duty to fight mis- and disinformation, to "prevent the public from misunderstanding the lack of a debate about electricity in space," as it were.

"Evaluating theories purely on the basis of who looks or sounds the smartest is a downward spiral."

But evaluating theories based on an educated guess as to their likelihood, and noting when proposals cherry-pick favorable observations and conveniently ignore damning evidence to the contrary, is a necessary culling. Again, science is not a democracy, and extraordinary proof is required.

As I mentioned earlier, many imaginative thinkers from the Nineteenth Century would have agreed with what you espouse, due to the lack of collected evidence, of observations. But here in the Twenty-First, not only have we gathered a mountain of evidence to the contrary, but we now apply the science learned from that contrary evidence on a daily basis; computers that rely on the quantum mechanical properties of semiconductors, powered by nuclear fission, have been propelled by general relativity to places scarcely imagined a century ago, and you're spending your time trying to sift through data collected by these space probes, trying to find something that can be twisted and misconstrued to support your pet theory, all while ignoring (indeed, hoping to dismiss) the science behind how those probes were built, how they got there, and how they gathered that data.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20844325)

Your response is quite clever in that it strictly focuses on the successes of technology as a means of proving that space interpretations are correct. It's a very common fallicy, but it completely ignores the fact that we don't interpret our way to semiconductor chips. When a chip does not work, we learn from our mistakes. When an astrophysicist makes a bad interpretation based upon some incorrect mathematical modeling he learned within magnetohydrodynamics about the nature of plasmas, there are not necessarily any repercussions from that one individual mistake to guide his next interpretation to be any more accurate. I'm a computer engineer by trade, so I see where you're coming from. But I'm afraid that your over-simplification ignores the most important aspect of chip design: broken chips don't sell. In the end though, quantum mechanics has thus far failed to create a comprehensive explanation for our observations, and so we must continue to allow for the possibility that other explanations are possible.

As for Relativity guiding our space probes or satellites, that is yet another poorly-informed fallacy. Probes are designed to respond to their environment. They correct their courses when they go off course. Did you know that Relativity has no relevant bearing whatsoever on the synchronization of satellite clocks? In a personal conversation with David Thomson, who has studied these subjects his entire life in pursuit of an aether model that works ...

I do strongly support General Relativity, but that does not mean I believe that any picture with four or five bright objects viewed through a fisheye lens are evidence for it. Although Eddington did selectively put forth data on the solar eclipse in 1919 there have been numerous confirmations later on for light bending around the Sun. Also, Mercury's precession is well documented. The nonsense about GPS systems is a bunch of crap. We are told that GPS systems wouldn't work if it weren't for GR, SR, Sagnac, and other corrections. Although the Sagnac and GR corrections have been systematically verified through numerous experiments, the correction factor is extremely small compared to the constant empirically derived ionospheric interference adjustment. The ionospheric adjustment is on the order of 1000 times greater than the various Relativity, Sagnac, and other adjustments thrown in for ceremonial purposes only. It's like calculating the distance between a ship and helicopter in rough seas, and even though the ship is bouncing up and down by three meters a tiny adjustment of three millimeters is incorporated to account for the stretching of the metal. It's meaningless from a scientific point of view.

So, you just learned something new. Now, the real test is how do you react to this new information? Will you adhere to your prior belief in spite of all such new observations that disconfirm your prior belief system? Or will you begin to apply skepticism *equally* to all theories if you start to realize that the superficial, popular view of science is not always the most accurate?

You state that ...

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof: don't expect to be considered until you've gathered such proof.

In other words, you are *more* skeptical of anything that is not popular or commonly believed. This is a common issue within science today. Many space advocates cling to this philosophy, and yet they assume that the peer review system -- the professional astrophysicists -- are, or at least at some point *were*, somehow above it long enough to scientifically rule out everything that is not currently popular in astrophysics. This is where you err in your logic. Mainstream science is *also* and for many years has been pseudo-skeptical when it comes to electricity in space. This dates back to the days when Sidney Chapman refused to even look at Kristian Birkeland's terrella experiment, and it has led mainstream science to be prone to developing consensus before adequate rigor has been applied. There is no shortage of history of science stories to demonstrate this as it relates to space plasmas. But so long as you allow your beliefs to trump the new information you're learning, you will continue to believe that these historical details lack any meaningful significance -- or even exist! I urge you to look into the *stories* of the popular theories and listen to what the heretics are saying as it will turn your superficial views about space plasmas into a more informed, experimentially-based understanding. We can, after all, do experiments with plasmas in the laboratory, you know? And plasmas do represent 99.999% of all visible matter within space, right? Perhaps there *are* in fact things that plasma physicists and electrical engineers can teach astrophysicists as they tend to spend a bit more time in the lab ...

There is great value in having heretics in science because it creates dialogue. When a mainstream astrophysicist tells you about space, you remember and perhaps memorize. It's only when a heretic questions his claim and replaces them with a different view that you go back and question your own assumptions and begin to *think* about what is being said on *both* sides. Your arguments that EU Theorists should not be heard out and listened to is in fact an argument that people should not think about the role of electricity in space -- and you make the case perhaps even completely unaware of what their books say, and oblivious to the large number of observations that support their theories on a weekly basis.

So long as we don't have a theory of everything, I can't imagine any reason why we should be telling people to not think about any reasonable arguments (and the EU arguments are, despite your own uninformed beliefs, quite reasonable). If you disagree and have some sort of evidence that EU Theory is just plain wrong, I have a direct line to the theorists that we can utilize. Fire away. But keep in mind that I've been asking people here on these forums this same question for more than a year now, and it's extremely rare that people are able to generate anything of any substance that induced the theorists to retract something on their websites or within their books.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20847823)

I think your biggest problem is that you are using rhetoric instead of actual real data to try to convince people of something that flies in that face of commonly tested and perfectly workable theory. For instance your quotes on relativity and all are in practice completely irrelevant, because they in no way represent anything like the real body of evidence supporting Special and General Relativity, or Quantum Mechanics. What founders of theories thought is irrelevant as well, the only thing that matters is real life verifiable testable results.

Which leads to the lab tests and well lab tests are lab tests, if your lab test doesn't match observed reality, you usually assume that you got your assumption wrong about what happens in reality. As far as I know, EU does not match observed reality. to give an example even though I'm a bit hazy on EU, consider charge build up on objects which I believe EU predicts, this can be measured when probes visit them, which they have I believe and yes, some probes do have equipment which can measure electrical fields. As such the theory probably seems to have some predictive problems, which is certainly something that gets theories from even the greatest luminaries ignored.

So overall seen, with failed predictions and thus no obvious extra benefit. Done by people who aren't in the field and basing there claims on lab tests instead of real world tests. Not ignoring the point where they or their supporters claim suppression by the experts etc etc. and really your credibility flies out the window. No person who wants to argue on rational grounds can possibly except anything with such poor backing, at best it could be considered as very interesting speculation (I have some interesting theories as well, but failing any real proof, they certainly don't get any more hearing then interesting speculation). So if you really wanted to be taken seriously you would,
A. Show how all current observations can be made to fit EU, failing that, what possibly use does it have? Admittedly their is space for specialized theories, but EU I believe is a general theory, so that would require explaining literally all astronomical observations in a credible way.
B. Devise and then actually execute real world experiments or observations that show beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt that it must and can only be explained by an EU type theory and not any other.

Basically to return to the beginning statements I believe you used yourself, science isn't a democracy. However it does expect all theories to be treated equally at the start, which basically comes down to not believing them unless proven otherwise. This was as true of Relativity as Quantum Mechanics, no one believed in those theories, even though they looked very promising and had much theoretical work put in to them until they were actually proven to be true and not just once but a lot of times and in many different ways. Sufficient testing to satisfy the skeptics on both those theories took about half a century, yet I do not believe any of the proponents cried foul, instead they devised tests and then ran them to show why the skeptics were wrong and they were right.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? Immee, baby! (1)

aqk (844307) | about 7 years ago | (#20833517)

Immanuel!

Immanuel Velikovsky! Is that you? Heyyyy!

Watcha doin' on /., you old rascal? When we gonna switch poles, huh?
You promised! Next ten years? OK,then!


Re:Magnetic Reconnection? Immee, baby! (1)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20843739)

And I suppose you are a big fan of Carl Sagan? Have you read "Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky" by Ginenthal? Not that I'm a big fan of the big V, but at least I realize that he was given a truly *raw* and unfair treatment by Sagan.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

iendedi (687301) | about 7 years ago | (#20834145)

Science is not a democracy, by the way. We do not vote on ideas based upon who is saying them, contrary to the increasing belief that this is how it works. Instead, we should attempt to understand the arguments that are being made and discuss the logic behind both sides in the argument.
The unfortunate reality is that science can be very threatening to established business interests. Most naive young scientists and engineers have an idealistic model in their minds of how science operates, completely ignoring politics, power, business and capitalism. But the world can be a very hostile place for brilliance, when that brilliance touches on any of the following subjects:
  1. Energy production or consumption, especially when ideas threaten profit streams of oil or power generation utilities
  2. Pharmaceutical or other cures, especially when they potentially eliminate entire business sectors of the medical industry
  3. Anything that can be weaponized or provide strategic military advantage
  4. Many less contentious subjects are nonetheless victims of the same problem...

If you have not read the story of Halton Arp, then you are limiting your exposure to observations to those which you agree with. In truth, there is no good reason for why Arp's observations are not correct. Arp has been obstructed from sharing his findings at every step of the way, oftentimes by the very people whose research is threatened by his observations.
Sometimes, the simplest explanation is not necessarily the correct one. There are many very real conspiracies of science and physics in particular. Of the list items, above, physics is threatening both to energy industrialists and to military industrialists. This is a subject that is highly controlled by an "in" crowd.

There appears to be no burden that can be met by the EU Theorists that would satisfy him, and the ethical problems associated with his being both a wikipedia referee and a player involved in influencing the publication of the theory appears to escape him.
Sounds to me like he is doing exactly what he intends to do. Perhaps the Electronic Universe theories have some merit, and it is not believed to be in the interest of various powerful parties for this knowledge to be widely known. I'm sorry to have to break your innocence, but this is the real world.

Despite your good intentions, you may in fact be causing harm. You can't possibly know until you *read* what the theory says and talk to people about it, right?
Whether that particular individual is doing it on purpose or not is not known, but I guarantee you that many are. Trying to reason with people about what is right and wrong from the point of view of the philosophy of science, when their objection is to censor science that is considered dangerous to powerful interests is paramount to trying to debate a hungry lion into living a vegetarian lifestyle. You can't do it. Instead, you must wake up to the reality of the problem and find new ways to fight for the advancement of science. They will try to make you look crazy, to discredit you; That is their job. Remember that. It's their job.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20844431)

I've certainly heard this view before, and I have to admit that I cannot discount it. There are increasingly ways around these bottlenecks though. We don't actually need wikipedia, and we only modestly need peer review publications. It's always been my impression that the requirement for peer review publication is an excuse that will be subsituted with another as quickly as the requirement is met. The real battle IMO is for peoples' belief systems.

We are making slow, albeit steady, progress. Laypeople are picking up copies of "The Electric Sky" and realizing the strength of the arguments. Things will get *really* interesting though once the public starts reading Dwardu Cardona. "God Star" remains an undiscovered gem that will eventually rock the foundations of science.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20818113)

pseudoscientific crap, mod parent down. we don't fit our equations to what we see, we predict phenomena from our equations and test theory by making observations and this is why the "electric cosomos" "theory" fails miserably.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (2, Interesting)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20818327)

Does it matter that Wallace Thornhill was able to predict nearly all of the results of the Deep Impact mission to comet Tempel 1?

Are you aware of what helioseismology is and what the implications of the oxygen ratio crisis are? Helioseismology was created to model activity on the Sun based upon observations and theories regarding the Sun's composition. Everybody claimed that it "proved" that we understood the Sun's inner workings. Then, one day, it was discovered that the theories regarding the Sun's composition were in fact somehow wrong.

Are you aware that jets are being discovered on a nearly weekly basis now that are tens and even hundreds of thousands of light years? These jets emit x-rays, which means that the energy for them must be actively replenished in order for the full length of the jet to remain illuminated all at once.

Are you aware that the solar wind continues to accelerate as it leaves the Sun, and even as it passes the planets? Are you aware that mainstream stellar theories lack a convincing theory for how this is possible?

Are you aware that lightning has been observed to be traveling to the edge of Earth's atmosphere, 40 miles above its surface to the edge of space? Why would it be doing that?

Are you aware that stars have been observed to bounce all over the HR diagram?

Are you aware that Halton Arp's statistics have been validated by a third party recently?

What is it about space plasmas that would make them different from laboratory plasmas? In the laboratory, plasmas exhibit three distinct operating modes (dark, glow and arc) and electrical resistance based upon charge density, and a gas becomes a plasma with less than 1% ionization.

Are you aware that we see rilles on all sorts of planets within our solar system that move both up and down with the terrain, in apparent defiance of gravity?

Did you know that all sorts of strange human-created objects and even human bones have been found over the years inside of coal mines, hundreds of feet below the ground's surface, and even inside of rocks?

Did you know that we sent four probes to investigate Venus' anomalous temperature, and all four probes determined that Venus was emitting around 15% more heat than it was absorbing?

Are you aware that there is an inordinate amount of fossil evidence that supports the notion that the Earth used to have a uniform temperature over its entire surface?

Are you aware that the field of comparative mythology (which covers ancient astronomical recordings and historical documents too) has been in a crisis for at least 20 years now, and that there have been recent breakthroughs that reveal that there is information within ancient documents that indicate that the universe operates according to a plasma-based cosmology? Have you read "God Star" by Dwardu Cardona?

Are you aware that solar neutrinos appear to negatively correlate with sunspot frequency? Do understand what this means?

My guess is that you have been restricting your reading materials in a pseudo-skeptical manner. I recommend that you read what is being said before discounting it. That would certainly reduce the amount of garbage that people have to wade through on these forums to get to actual discussion.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (3, Insightful)

lindseyp (988332) | about 7 years ago | (#20819647)

Well bloody hell.. you could have provided some references.

Now all I have to go on are three newly-ordered-from-amazon books. by Arp, Scott, and Lerner. I don't think all the points you mention in your post are covered there.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

Fred_A (10934) | about 7 years ago | (#20820561)

Are you aware of what helioseismology is and what the implications of the oxygen ratio crisis are? Helioseismology was created to model activity on the Sun based upon observations and theories regarding the Sun's composition. Everybody claimed that it "proved" that we understood the Sun's inner workings. Then, one day, it was discovered that the theories regarding the Sun's composition were in fact somehow wrong.
I thought everyone knew for years (at least) that the sun wasn't a barge (or a chariot as an alternative theory stated) drifting across the sky. This is hardly news.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 years ago | (#20821161)

So, what you're saying is, the sun isn't like a barge (or chariot), it's a series of tubes?

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20824325)

So, what you're saying is, the sun isn't like a barge (or chariot), it's a series of tubes?

Actually, I would agree that the Sun does in fact look like a series of tubes ...

From http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=APCPCS000932000001000026000001 [aip.org] :

The abstract wrote:
Recent studies suggest that flux-tube-like structures may exist in the solar wind. In this scenario, the solar wind plasma are confined in many individual flux tubes and plasma in these flux tubes move independently from each other. Within each flux tubes, the (MHD) turbulence is due to the local non-linear dynamics. Across the boundaries between adjacent flux tubes, however, the (MHD) turbulence receives another contribution from the sudden change of magnetic field directions between different flux tubes. Thus the solar wind turbulence will naturally be of multiscale and intermittent. In this paper, using the procedure we developed in [1], we analyze magnetic field data obtained from Ulysses spacecraft in both fast and slow solar wind, at various radii and latitudes. Our results show flux tubes exist in both the fast and the slow solar wind. ©2007 American Institute of Physics

If you've ever seen a novelty plasma globe, then you know what I'm getting at. If the term "flux tube" confuses you, then feel free to substitute in the concept of a current-carrying wire ... ;)

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

iendedi (687301) | about 7 years ago | (#20834231)

My guess is that you have been restricting your reading materials in a pseudo-skeptical manner. I recommend that you read what is being said before discounting it. That would certainly reduce the amount of garbage that people have to wade through on these forums to get to actual discussion.
That's a pretty impressive retort to being called pseudo-scientific.

There was a time when learned men actively sought out phenomena that didn't agree with understood scientific theory so that they may have new material from which to work from. Today, it has been programmed into our pseudo-intellectuals that they shouldn't even bother looking at something that doesn't fit with well understood theory. I can't honestly see how someone could call themselves a scientist if all they do is read about and study phenomena that agrees with what they learned in school. But this does appear to be the world we find ourselves in. It's a shame.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (1)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20846445)

There was a time when learned men actively sought out phenomena that didn't agree with understood scientific theory so that they may have new material from which to work from. Today, it has been programmed into our pseudo-intellectuals that they shouldn't even bother looking at something that doesn't fit with well understood theory. I can't honestly see how someone could call themselves a scientist if all they do is read about and study phenomena that agrees with what they learned in school. But this does appear to be the world we find ourselves in. It's a shame.

The truly sad thing to me is that these people don't view the decision to ignore against-the-mainstream theories worth even thinking about. But in truth, it is a decision to favor the emotional attachments that they have developed for their belief systems over the possibility of innovative technologies that will make their own lives better. If they understood the ramifications of their emotional attachments, they might make a more rational choice. But, the system is as it is because it has evolved into a stable state. The philosophy of pseudo-skepticism prevents them from ever learning these ramifications.

They also oftentimes fail to recognize the bigger context of the situation. What's being argued ultimately by the EU Theorists is that highly violent and transient events can have a dramatic effect upon the universe, our solar system, our Sun and even our own planet. We see dramatic and rather clear and convincing evidence for this everywhere around us, both within the solar system and in our observations of deep space. By allowing themselves to be taken in by this notion that space plasmas are like fluids -- only affected by gravity -- the advocates of the popular theories imagine that we are comparatively disconnected from the more violent portions of the universe. They are able to compartmentalize the fact the mainstream does not understand 94% of the universe as if that stuff doesn't actually do anything, and they assume that they can permit themselves to not be concerned about it. This approach will in the long run play out like a Greek Tragedy if the course is not adjusted.

It was a great surprise to me to learn that the biggest impediment to a predictive and useful theory of everything, and creating a sustained presence within the universe is ultimately not so much our intelligence or knowledge, but far more so a function of our psychological preference for adhering to belief systems. In order to figure out the universe, society has to collectively give up all of the emotional attachments that we have developed for our popular space stories. And when you think hard about it, and finally get that that is in fact the problem, it's a great big "duh" moment. Space has become too much entertainment for the public. The stories are so fantastical at this point that the public is subconsciously developing a preference for the most absurd space stories that people can think of. The end result is that the more mundane, yet real, explanations become lost in all of the excitement of multiple dimensions, black holes, dark matter, and so on. The mathematics is the glue that keeps it all bound together, and it is highly effective at accomplishing that.

Re:Magnetic Reconnection? (2, Informative)

CorSci81 (1007499) | about 7 years ago | (#20818241)

Well, it goes like this [wikipedia.org] .

That you just posted is a piece of pseudo-scientific dreck from all I can tell. I had a course on MHD in grad school, the theory of magnetic reconnection most certainly can account for the speed of energy release in solar events. It's also an important problem in plasma instability in tokamaks. Searching on google scholar didn't find any peer-reviewed papers by plasma physicists refuting magnetic reconnection.

Perhaps they were confused by Biskamp's 1986 paper [aip.org] on the Sweet-Parker model failing to achieve fast reconnection that was cleared up in a 1992 paper [osti.gov] by Priest and they missed that Biskamp himself seems to accept fast reconnection as possible in his 1994 paper [sciencedirect.com] ?

Tail wasn't connected anyway (5, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | about 7 years ago | (#20816973)

The tail of a comet isn't connected to the comet anyway; it's material that's already fallen off the comet. A better headline would be "solar hurricane redirects comet's tail". But in this age of violent analogies, "rips off" gets preference.

Re:Tail wasn't connected anyway (2, Insightful)

Cesium12 (1065628) | about 7 years ago | (#20817131)

But the tail was associated with the rest of the comet gravitationally and by virtue of moving in the same direction. You're right, 'redirects' might be a better word, but 'rips off' isn't a bad choice, except in that it implies comets are solid masses.

Re:Tail wasn't connected anyway (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 7 years ago | (#20819941)

Comets generally are solid masses (if of low density). It is the tails that are not.

Re:Tail wasn't connected anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20818317)

Well if you're going to be technical, the lizard who's tail I just removed isn't attached either. It just happens that ionic, covalent, and vanderwall forces hold it adjacent to the body...

And yea, when you compare the sun's gravity to my hand the forces are probably about proportional.

In a Beowulf cluster in Soviet Russia... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20817007)

comet's tail rips off solar hurricane and computers destroy magnetic fields

Toonces' World of Nature (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20817033)

That's it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20817053)

What, no video? :P

Reptillian origin? (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | about 7 years ago | (#20817073)

Lets observe if the comet re-grows it's tail. If it does, this could lead us to the true origin of reptiles!

Oh no... (0)

Chineseyes (691744) | about 7 years ago | (#20817085)

...now Enck won't be able to reach SSJ4!!

Will it grow back? (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 7 years ago | (#20817087)

I wonder if the Coronal Mass Ejection contained enough energy to melt/burn off what was creating the tail (ice or whatnot) or if it removed the tail temporarily. Anyone have any further knowledge on the subject?

Come again? (0, Redundant)

E++99 (880734) | about 7 years ago | (#20817099)

It RIPS OFF the tail? Really? You do realize, of course, that comet tails aren't actually connected to the comets?

The real question... (1, Funny)

rez_rat (1618) | about 7 years ago | (#20817163)

is if it also tore the comet a new asshole!

S-

Re:The real question... (1)

kauttapiste (633236) | about 7 years ago | (#20820493)

is if it also tore the comet a new asshole!

Well with the "coronal mass ejection", you betcha it did!

cheers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20817239)

I tip my hat to IMarvinTPA, who beat me to it, but this reeks of the Electric Sun/Universe/Sky,.

Plans A-G failed.... Now, Mother Nature is (-1, Troll)

davidsyes (765062) | about 7 years ago | (#20817273)

implementing...

Preparation...

"SH"

(Cometary Solar Hurricane Hemorrhoid Removal)

(Yes, I am expecting to hear: 'you dou*he bag' from somebody...)

Re:Plans A-G failed.... Now, Mother Nature is (0)

davidsyes (765062) | about 7 years ago | (#20817895)

TROLL?? It was meant to be a pun, you insensitive clod.

that's what happens when you cross the streams (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20817277)

Dr. Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.
Dr. Peter Venkman: What?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Don't cross the streams.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?
Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.
Dr. Peter Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad?"
Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

Solar Hurricane??? (5, Informative)

flajann (658201) | about 7 years ago | (#20817339)

What is a "Solar Hurricane"? This is a astronomical term to which I am unfamiliar.
I wonder if they are talking about coronal mass ejections? If so, I don't get the analogy. Hurricanes are basically large vortices's. Coronal Mass Ejections are not.

Re:Solar Hurricane??? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20817859)

RTFM, they say very clearly that they are talking about coronal mass ejections. They also tell you why. you lazy, show off flameboy retard.

Re:Solar Hurricane??? (1)

icegreentea (974342) | about 7 years ago | (#20817983)

i think its a reference to the massive winds from a hurricane. from any single point, the size of the hurricane makes it appear that the wind is coming in from pretty much one direction, even if it is rotating. it's a crappy analogy, but it works after a fashion. and yes, they are talking about CMEs. it's in the first article.

Re:Solar Hurricane??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20818201)

So essentially the article title was written for an illiterate person. Gotcha.

Re:Solar Hurricane??? (2, Informative)

meowsqueak (599208) | about 7 years ago | (#20818323)

Silly terms from fluid mechanics. There's no such thing as a solar 'wind'. It's the movement of charged particles in an electric field - an electric current.

Or maybe they are just using the term 'hurricane' as an emotional allusion to a violent storm.

Re:Solar Hurricane??? (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | about 7 years ago | (#20818523)

It's true it's juvenile, but on the other hand, if it makes even one person curious enough to research and find out if that is actually what it is or not, can it be all bad?

I always tell kids certain books are forbidden to them, for example, which almost gaurantees they'll go and read it at the first opportunity.

Re:Solar Hurricane??? (1)

Dausha (546002) | about 7 years ago | (#20818545)

A Solar Hurricane is a result of gradual warming of the Earth caused by SUVs and PEOPLE that impacts weather patterns on the Sun. There used to be fewer Solar hurricanes until after the U.S. started to cut its emissions in the 1970s, when emissions increased.

Re:Solar Hurricane??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20820913)

Well, despite this being Slashdot, you could click the link. From TF NASA Article: NASA's STEREO satellite captured the first images ever of a collision between a solar "hurricane", called a coronal mass ejection (CME), and a comet.

Solar Hurricane = CME (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | about 7 years ago | (#20822323)

I first heard the analogy at a NOAA presentation on 'Space Weather'. The speaker (can't remember his name) compared CMEs to hurricanes, and flares to tornados. So, it might work in the context that both CMEs and flares are solar events but are different types of events, just as hurricanes and tornados are wind events but are not the same thing. Now, flares tend to be more highly localized but more energy dense (just as tornados are vs. hurricanes). I don't think the analogy works without that context, however.

As for exactly _what_ a CME is ... well, I've asked some of the scientists that I work with*, and it's well over my head, but my understanding is that there's still some ambiguity over exactly what they're caused by, and that's the point of the STEREO mission. (understand what causes them, so they can better predict when one's going to happen, and potentially hit the Earth or spacecraft)

* I'm a sysadmin/programmer attached to both the Solar Data Analysis Center and the STEREO Science Center, so 'that I work with' includes scientists actively involved with the STEREO project.

Cometary Tails as Electron Sources (2, Interesting)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20817453)

What's actually really interesting is the *other* comet-related article that came out today regarding findings related to the Ulysses probe traveling through the tail of Comet McNaught. Particularly (from http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/071001_comet_surprises.html [space.com] ) ...

The study, detailed in the Oct. 1 issue of Astrophysical Journal, also found the comet tail acted as a source of electrons for the solar wind.

The solar wind consists of charged atoms that are missing most of their electrons, but Ulysses found that solar wind particles passing through the comet's atmosphere could regain some of those electrons. The particles exhibit a different charge when they do this, which SWICS can detect.

Both findings are a surprise to scientists. Thomas Zurbuchen, a study team member at the University of Michigan (U-M), likened Ulysses' pass through the comet tail to putting your hand in the waters of Lake Michigan and pulling out a fish.

The Electric Comet theory is covered in good detail here:

http://www.thunderbolts.info/pdf/ElectricComet.pdf [thunderbolts.info]

I'm sure that Wallace Thornhill will have something to say about this eventually, but this appears to confirm the Electric Universe hypothesis that comets are not sublimating dirty snowballs, but rather electrical phenomenon. The OH that's being observed in cometary tails appears to be the result of electric machining of oxygen from silicates in the comet, which then combine with hydrogen protons from the solar wind to create OH. In other words, the OH is not necessarily an indication of sublimation.

I realize that many people here on Slashdot do not *like* EU Theory and its general lack of quantification, but when our observations appear to be supporting a particular theory, it makes sense that people should temporarily suspend their disbelief and read up on what the theory says. Keep in mind that there is a difference between saying that a theory is not properly quantified and a theory *cannot* be quantified. People have been arguing for sometime now that simple calculations can "prove" that there are not enough charged particles within interstellar space to power the Sun, but these calculations are based upon some rather dramatic assumptions that are not supported by the evolving big picture of the Sun. For instance, of particular importance is the recent paper demonstrating that the solar wind possesses "flux tubes" ...

From http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=APCPCS000932000001000026000001 [aip.org]

The abstract wrote:
Recent studies suggest that flux-tube-like structures may exist in the solar wind. In this scenario, the solar wind plasma are confined in many individual flux tubes and plasma in these flux tubes move independently from each other. Within each flux tubes, the (MHD) turbulence is due to the local non-linear dynamics. Across the boundaries between adjacent flux tubes, however, the (MHD) turbulence receives another contribution from the sudden change of magnetic field directions between different flux tubes. Thus the solar wind turbulence will naturally be of multiscale and intermittent. In this paper, using the procedure we developed in [1], we analyze magnetic field data obtained from Ulysses spacecraft in both fast and slow solar wind, at various radii and latitudes. Our results show flux tubes exist in both the fast and the slow solar wind. ©2007 American Institute of Physics

In other words, the solar wind appears to bear some resemblance to a novelty plasma ball. My impression is that there is likely very little difference between a "flux tube" and a Birkeland Current.

Re:Cometary Tails as Electron Sources (3, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 7 years ago | (#20818169)

"this appears to confirm the Electric Universe hypothesis that comets are not sublimating dirty snowballs, but rather electrical phenomenon."

Why mod you down when I can point you here? [wikipedia.org]

"Keep in mind that there is a difference between saying that a theory is not properly quantified and a theory *cannot* be quantified."

A theory can be unquantifiable due to its subject matter (intelligent design) or, as is the case with the "electric universe theory," due to its authors' refusal to let it be quantified when it would be to their egos' detriment. Only observations that have a (usually fleetingly small) connection to this pet theory are allowed in, permitting people such as yourself to churn out several paragraphs of "We're right!" all while cheerfully ignoring something as trivial as we've fucking been there! In that respect, you have more in common with the Flat Earth types than the ID folks you allude to, whose statements are truly unassailable (placing it outside the realm of science) rather than willfully ignorant.

At least you're "interesting" rather than "informative." Thank His Noodliness for such small blessings.

Re:Cometary Tails as Electron Sources (1)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20818449)

Quantifying EU Theory is not as simple as you seem to imply in the absence of agreement on several important questions that remain. For instance, there is still no aether theory that everybody can agree on. It has nothing to do with ego, and your comments border on slanderous. There is legitimate disagreement amongst the theorists on how to replace quantum mechanics, to what degree to believe the various pieces of evidence that supports Relativity (gravitational lensing, for instance, appears to be quite bunk, as does the 1919 eclipse, but Mercury's precession appears to be a valid prediction) and there remains quite a bit of disagreement between adherents on how the Sun operates (Is it a Neutron Star? Is there validity to the Iron Sun Theories?). These are all legitimate questions that can only be resolved through additional observation. Quantification will simply not help in narrowing these things down.

You've certainly hit all of the buzz-words that people on Slashdot attempt to use to describe EU Theory, but is there really any substance to your allegation that delicate egos are the cause of a lack of quantification? No, it appears that you just made this up.

Re:Cometary Tails as Electron Sources (2, Informative)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 7 years ago | (#20820547)

"For instance, there is still no aether theory that everybody can agree on."

Only because you insist on including yourselves in "everybody." Any hand-waving explanations for the lack of an aether wind belong in the same category as epicycles.

"There is legitimate disagreement amongst the theorists on how to replace quantum mechanics"

Replace quantum mechanics? Why? Have all of our semiconductors suddenly stopped working?

"gravitational lensing, for instance, appears to be quite bunk,"

Um... [wikipedia.org]

"as does the 1919 eclipse"

And what of the 70 other total eclipses during the Twentieth Century?

"These are all legitimate questions that can only be resolved through additional observation."

How can these questions be resolved through "additional observation" when the only reason you still have such questions is that you are ignoring all the observations that indicate just how wrong-headed your questions are?

"but is there really any substance to your allegation that delicate egos are the cause of a lack of quantification? No, it appears that you just made this up."

Don't you mean that I need to make more observations?

Re:Cometary Tails as Electron Sources (1)

pln2bz (449850) | about 7 years ago | (#20831783)

First of all, it has never conclusively been determined that there exists no aether. There is no shortage of papers on the Internet that reason through the experiments that have been conducted to date, and many conclude that an aether was never rigorously excluded. You may not be aware that David Thomson, originator of the Aether Physics Model, claims to have generated an aether model that accurately predicts the electron binding energies of *every* single element within the periodic table. But more than that, it appears that evidence for an aether is ironically getting in the way of validating the more acceptable theories ...

PHYSICS NEWS UPDATE

The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News

Number 841 October 2, 2007 by Phillip F. Schewe www.aip.org/pnu

THE VACUUM STRIKES BACK. Modern physics has shown that the vacuum, previously thought of as a state of total nothingness, is really a seething background of virtual particles springing in and out of existence until they can seize enough energy to materialize as *real* particles. In high energy collisions at accelerator labs, some of the original beam energy can be consumed by ripping particle-antiparticle pairs out of the vacuum. Sometimes this process is the very reason for doing the experiment, but sometimes it is only a detriment. For example, in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), under construction at the CERN lab in Geneva, a major source of beam losses (particles exiting from the usable beam) for heavy-ion collisions is expected to be a class of event in which the counter-moving ions pass each other and don*t interact except to spawn a pair of particles---an electron and positron---one of which (the positron) goes off to oblivion while the other (the electron) latches onto one of the ions. This ion, bearing an extra electric charge, will now behave slightly differently as it races through the chain of powerful magnets that normally steer the particles around the accelerator. Going a certain distance, the modified ion will leave its fellows and smash into the beam pipe carrying the beams, thus heating up the pipe and surrounding magnet coils.

Fearing these future beam losses, accelerator physicists have sought to observe this effect at an existing machine, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at the Brookhaven Lab on Long Island. And they found what they were looking for, a tiny splash of energy amounting to about .0002 watts, or about what a firefly puts out. The RHIC beam for these tests consisted of copper ions each carrying 6.3 TeV of energy (about 100 GeV per nucleon). According to CERN scientist John Jowett (john.jowett@cern.ch, 41-22-7676-643) this troublesome class of events, referred to as bound-free-pair production (or BFPP, the bound referring to the electron and the free to the positron), will be much more formidable at LHC than at RHIC. First of all, the pair production scales as the atomic number of the nucleus (or the charge of the nucleus, denoted by the letter Z) raised to the seventh power. The LHC heavy-ion collisions will use beams composed of lead ions. The more highly charged nucleus and the larger energies (574 TeV per lead nucleus) mean the BFPP process should be some 100,000 times more prominent than in the test at RHIC. This would amount to about 25 watts, the equivalent of a reading lamp. That doesn't sound like much but, when deposited in the ultra-cold (1.9 K) magnets of the LHC, it could bring them to the brink of "quenching" out of their superconducting state, interrupting the operation of the huge machine. (Bruce et al., Physical Review Letters, 5 October 2007; journalists can obtain the text from www.aip.org/physnews/select; other background material at arxiv.org/abs/0706.3356v2), http://cern.ch/AccelConf/e04/PAPERS/MOPLT020.PDF [cern.ch] , Vol. I, Chapter 21 of the LHC Design Report, available at http://ab-div.web.cern.ch/ab-div/Publications/LHC-DesignReport.html [web.cern.ch] )

As for the Abell Cluster, this is hardly convincing. Not only does the "lens" lack the matter necessary to bend the light without the use of dark matter (which is almost certainly just electrical space plasmas in the dark mode anyways), but Hoyle has already quantitatively demonstrated that there are far more claims of discoveries of gravitational lenses than should be occurring even by mainstream standards. But, that aside, many of these supposed lensing objects are postulated to be as much due to their unusual redshifts. The redshift=distance paradigm must deal with these objects in part because Halton Arp's *observations* are still being denied (even though his statistics have recently been validated by a third party).

But times are changing with respect to lensing. People are starting to speak up. May I recommend this:

Astrophysical Evidence shows Profound Fundamental Principles of Mathematical Physics have been misapplied to Current Concepts of Gravitational Lensing.

updated 13 September 2007

Abstract

Examination of the literature in many renown refereed journals consistently shows that some very important fundamental principles in Mathematical Physics have been seriously misapplied to prevailing concepts in Gravitational lensing or just simply ignored. The fundamental principle known as Gauss' law, applied to gravitational fields for a point mass particle enclosed inside of an analytical Gaussian sphere, analogous to the Gauss' law in Electrodynamics which is applied to an electric field of a point charge enclosed inside of a analytical Gaussian sphere. The Gauss' law serves as a very important guide for the understanding of complicated problems. This important fundamental principle is scarcely applied or simply misapplied in the publications on gravitational lensing. Another important fundamental principle is that of the principle of optical reciprocity, an essential tool for the understanding of complex optical lens systems and techniques for the treatment of optical light rays. Major publications in renown refereed journals on the subject matter of gravitational lensing all too often present artist depictions on how a distorted image might appear due to gravitational effects on the emitted light. The illustrations and artist depictions are all often not based on sound fundamental reasoning supported by principles taught in modern academia. This study finds that an intensely observed phenomena in modern Astrophysics, believed to be good prospects for the detection of gravitational lensing, are too often not treated with the important fundaments which are scarcely applied or simply misapplied in the publications. For this reason, the astrophysical observations at Sagittarius A*, a region located at the galactic center of the Milky Way, has been seriously misinterpreted. The will be the focal punt of this discussion.
http://www.extinctionshift.com/SignificantFindings.htm [extinctionshift.com]

Details on this event have been published in the highly esteemed and renown refereed journal, the Astronomische Nachrichten (English title: Astronomical Notes). The title of the article is: "Time resolved images from the center of the Galaxy appear to counter General Relativity," Dowdye, Jr., E.H., Astronomische Nachrichten, Volume 328, Issue 2, Date: February 2007, Pages 186-191.

The Author is Dr. Edward H. Dowdye, Jr., a physicist and laser optics engineer currently at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.
http://newsblaze.com/story/2007041105070700002.mwir/newsblaze/MARYLAND/Maryland.html [newsblaze.com]

Of particular interest with that paper is that there has been such scant skepticism about lensing that many objects that should possess lensing are rarely checked for it. This lack of rigor in allowing a consensus to formulate in spite of these objects indicates a *desire* to prove that lensing is true rather than an objective investigation into whether or not it is true. You surely cannot blame somebody for being skeptical of lensing in light of such simple and straightforward data points.

As for eclipses and other evidence for Relativity, I don't doubt that there exists some evidence that suggests validity for Relativity. We can clearly generate proofs for many different cosmologies and theories. I question the general pseudo-skeptical approach though towards proving the popular theories. There is such a strong preference for studies that support the popular paradigms and such strong opposition to papers that tend to disconfirm the mainstream theories that I am currently and appropriately skeptical (as you should be too) of *every* proof for Relativity. My skepticism is in part a reaction to the over-zealousness of mainstream astrophysicists and advocates in their refusal to admit into public awareness any debate regarding the possibility that space plasmas are electrical, that quasars are not metaphysically bright objects at the edge of space or that the cosmic microwave background is not just an electrically-generated local fog. There is an active and vicious campaign to exclude the airing of such evidences on wikipedia, for instance.

There have been many clues along the way in building the current mainstream theories where people had more than enough reason to seriously consider alternative cosmologies. Like here ...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060905104549.htm [sciencedaily.com]

But at each new problem, a new ad hoc theory is postulated involving mathematics based upon either obscure or non-existent astrophysical processes. You surely cannot blame a person for being highly skeptical of math that lacks a solid physical model. That is how James Maxwell successfully figured out Maxwell's Equations after all.

Another major problem with mainstream astrophysicists is this hierarchical structure they've created for cosmological evidence. The mathematicians that have taken over astrophysics act as if they are the ultimate gatekeepers for evidence, and any data that does not support their own cosmology is deemed to be lacking substance. They argue, for instance, that there is no astrophysical meaning within the writings and stories that humans have told for thousands of years because the stories and writings do not make sense within the mainstream models. Not only is this quite arrogant, and lacking in rigor, but it will ultimately turn out to be a very bad bet for the mainstream. "God Star" by Dwardu Cardona will eventually receive the attention that it deserves. It turns out that the problem with the ancient writings and stories is that the true story of what they all say in unison *requires* a plasma-based catastrophist-style cosmology in order to explain what those people are in fact plainly telling us. The problem up to this point has been that the translators have been mistranslating the texts through the context of uniformitarianism and traditional astrophysical theories. Once you take that impediment out of the equation, all of the cultures from all of the continents agree to an exceptional degree on what mankind's history for the past 10,000 years has been. That mathematicians and astrophysicists would not feel obligated to consider such evidence without even viewing or checking into it does not surprise me in the least. That they believe they can completely ignore the fossil evidence too -- which validates Dwardu's translations and indicates quite clearly that past temperatures on the Earth were the same at all latitudes -- is somewhat shocking. That they consider stories regarding the Garden of Eden to be primarily religious in nature perfectly demonstrates their lack of awareness of ancient writings (which demonstrate that nearly all cultures write of this phenomenon, regardless of religion).

But their selective exclusion of evidence will ultimately be exposed. The truth is that we do not get to choose evidence based upon its type or findings. Evidence is evidence is evidence, and we must react to and develop tests for all of it.

Re:Cometary Tails as Electron Sources (1)

LordVorp (988488) | about 7 years ago | (#20834273)

You'd probably like "Physics Without Einstein" by Dr. Harold Aspden (http://www.aspden.org/ [aspden.org] & http://www.energyscience.co.uk/ [energyscience.co.uk] ). From the sound of it, you've come in your research to see the holes that Relativity leaves in explaining the universe, and Aspden's theory shows how the formulas of General and Special Relativity can be derived from 19th century aether-based physics.

Re:Cometary Tails as Electron Sources (1)

ZwJGR (1014973) | about 7 years ago | (#20820375)

"this appears to confirm the Electric Universe hypothesis that comets are not sublimating dirty snowballs, but rather electrical phenomenon."

Why mod you down when I can point you here? [wikipedia.org]

The article neither proves nor disproves either theory.
What isn't mentioned in that wikipedia article is the arc between the probe and the comet just before impact.
If you think about it, the comet is passing through a charged region of space (solar wind), hence it will be equalise potential to the surrounding plasma. Hence as a probe with a different potential approaches (similar to that of the Earth), an arc discharges between the two.
The comet is an electrical phenomenom in exactly the same sense that anything else in the (charged) solar wind is.
(It's gets more interesting as the comet moves closer and further away from the sun, etc. but that's another issue).

As for being sublimating snowballs, etc. other texts I have read about that space mission indicated virtually no ice at all. It would make some sense, why would cold ice emit a X-rays as comets do (look it up, if you don't believe me).

I've always found the dirty snowball theory amusing, but that is just me.

As for the EU theory in general, while there are many crackpots and imbeciles who act as you suggest, I have yet to the scientists who know what they are talking about refuses quantisisation of the EU or the relate theories.

Re:Cometary Tails as Electron Sources (2, Interesting)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 7 years ago | (#20820599)

"The article neither proves nor disproves either theory."

Only if you ignore the reported figures for what was ejected from the impact: 250,000 metric tons of water.

"What isn't mentioned in that wikipedia article is the arc between the probe and the comet just before impact.
If you think about it, the comet is passing through a charged region of space (solar wind), hence it will be equalise potential to the surrounding plasma. Hence as a probe with a different potential approaches (similar to that of the Earth), an arc discharges between the two."


Only if the difference in electrical potential is great enough to cause a current to flow through a vacuum (or is the vacuum something else you don't believe in?). Here's an idea: maybe the arc wasn't discussed because there wasn't one.

"other texts I have read about that space mission indicated virtually no ice at all."

And if it's written, it must be true and require no verification! Especially the more outlandish writings!

"I have yet to the scientists who know what they are talking about refuses quantisisation of the EU or the relate theories."
  1. Because you decide who "does" and "does not" know what they're talking about. If you don't like what they say, they just "don't know."
  2. Because rational people have better things to do with their time than try to explain to those who refuse to listen

Re:Cometary Tails as Electron Sources (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20829167)

Or, alternatively, the solar wind mainly comprises alphas produced in p-p nuclear fusion. Alpha particles (4He+ : the nucleus of two protons and two neutrons with zero) are a form of ionizing radiation, which, you know, might ionize any neutral particles they encounter.

This is unsurprising electron exchange, and it's why there is a tendency for all large objects in space to be electrically neutral. So it's hard to consider this evidence for large electric currents in space.

The real surprise is that the density of comet tails is not very large, and the density of the solar wind is not very large, so one would not expect there to be such a velocity slowdown of solar wind particles in the lee of the cometary tail, however there were luckily-timed CMEs detected by SOHO prior to the 2004 encounters between Ulysses and McNaught and comet SOHO (named after the solar observer satellite).

The electron exchange is not so much a surprise as a solution to the (surprising) slowdown -- the donation of one or two electrons by an atom in the tail of the comet is paid for by a transfer of kinetic energy. This process is readily visible here on earth surrounding alpha emitters in cold drift cloud chambers, for example, but comet tails are (usually) much less dense. You can probably find a cloud chamber displaying this at a local museum, if you live in an urban area.

That the solar wind is nonuniform is expected, especially in the aftermath of a CME. Confirming (or falsifying!) several expected anisotropies are essentially the point of the SEPICA, SWEPAM, SWICS, SWIMS and ULEIS instruments on board the ACE spacecraft.

OMG (0, Redundant)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 7 years ago | (#20817531)

Did it hurt?

Re:OMG (1)

Artemon12 (1166035) | about 7 years ago | (#20828029)

No certainly.

Violence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20817567)

Well did someone call the police?

Cranky shamanky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20817927)

What is it about these articles that really get the cranks going?

Spaceweather.com has... (4, Interesting)

Assassin bug (835070) | about 7 years ago | (#20817947)

... an animated GIF [spaceweather.com] that is kind of nifty. I bet if that CME hit earth containing a comet tail the light show would be impressive!

Re:Spaceweather.com has... (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 7 years ago | (#20818861)

From TFA: NASAs video [nasa.gov] . WTF? Shouldn't NASA be showing your video?

Re:Spaceweather.com has... (1)

Assassin bug (835070) | about 7 years ago | (#20821943)

Calm down there skippy. I provided a link because NASA's "video" is an animation, which was already provided as a link in the post. The link that I provided was actual video capture from the actual encounter and not an artist's rendition! It was probably submitted to SpaceWeather by someone working at the STEREO [nasa.gov] project, but I don't really know.

Oh lord... (1)

Ne-fishy (978911) | about 7 years ago | (#20847837)

Space sperm ftw!

Ouchie (1)

Aqua04 (859925) | about 7 years ago | (#20818143)

Aaaawwww. Poor comet ! Fortunately they are like lizards. It takes them a while to recover, but the tail grows back in time.

Seriously, though, I have a question. I have not read TFA, but I'll get around to it, so if I need to do that to answer this question then don't bother to answer this lazy bum. Why would a solar hurricane rip off the plasma t(r)ail ? Wouldn't the tail just increase, ie. wouldn't more material from the comet just go into it with increased winds ?

And put it in lizard terms if you can. (just joking)

Re:Ouchie (1)

RuBLed (995686) | about 7 years ago | (#20818561)

I believe the tail would wiggle a bit afterwards...

Slashdot party game (3, Funny)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | about 7 years ago | (#20818879)

Just in time for Slashdot's birthday party: Rip the tail off the comet!

mod pup (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20819489)

Periodic comets (2, Interesting)

rcw-home (122017) | about 7 years ago | (#20819629)

From the article:

The comet is only the second repeating, or periodic, comet ever identified
If not wrong, then this is certainly misleading. Encke's Comet was the second periodic comet identified, but sheesh - would you say "Sputnik 2 was only the second satellite ever launched"? There are hundreds of known periodic comets [wikipedia.org] .

I live in Miami (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about 7 years ago | (#20820319)

do I have to put up the storm shutters? I don't think my steel shutters are going to stop a solar storm :O

Re:I live in Miami (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | about 7 years ago | (#20825503)

do I have to put up the storm shutters?
No, but (y)our solar windstorm insurance premiums just doubled overnight.

I ripped off my parakeet's tail once... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20821557)

...and I didn't need a magnetic field to do it.
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