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Scientists may have finally figured out how and why these leaks are appearing in the Earth's magnetic field

Satellite images collected by the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) mission revealed another large breach in the magnetic field responsible for protecting the Earth.

The magnetosphere helps protect the Earth from severe space weather, including possible disruptive solar winds, scientists said.  Being able to learn more about these holes will help scientists predict when electrical storms occur.

"The discovery overturns a long-standing belief about how and when most of the solar particles penetrate Earth's magnetic field, and could be used to predict when solar storms will be severe," UCLA NASA THEMIS mission investigator Vassilis Angelopoulos said in a statement.  "Based on these results, we expect more severe storms during the upcoming solar cycle."

Themis research indicates the magnetosphere sometimes has two cracks, which are big enough for solar wind -- with speeds up to 1 million MPH -- to hit the Earth's upper atmosphere.

The solar particles are electrically charged, which was no problem, but our magnetic field has tears that let the particles breach.

"Twenty times more solar particles cross the Earth's leaky magnetic shield when the sun's magnetic field is aligned with that of the Earth compared to when the two magnetic fields are oppositely directed," according to Cal researcher Marit Oieroset.

Scientists figured some type of "closed door" entry mechanism was used, but they weren't sure how important the closed door is for Earth.  Most particles hit the shield and float back into space, but some of the particles that get through are able to get energized while leading to possible power grid outages.

Most solar storms occur during the halfway section and on the final stretch of a solar cycle.  In 2008 it's at a minimum, and will reach its peak four years from now.



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Gotta give'em more time
By FITCamaro on 12/17/2008 8:52:51 AM , Rating: 2
Our shields can't repel solar particles of that magnitude!

I'm sure this is somehow mankind's fault as well.




RE: Gotta give'em more time
By Dreifort on 12/17/2008 8:59:11 AM , Rating: 2
the plasma cloak is seeping thru into the earth's atmosphere! oh nooooos!


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By therealnickdanger on 12/17/2008 9:24:56 AM , Rating: 5
It's a trap!


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By MrBlastman on 12/17/2008 10:45:24 AM , Rating: 4
Can't we just plug the astral gap with some Galactic Chewing Gumâ„¢ ? It is illogical to think that we can allow this solar invasion to penetrate our umbrella. Just plug the hole darn it.

Galactic Chewing Gumâ„¢ ... now in three new flavors! Blue Nova Explosion, Neutron Crush and Betelgeus Cherry! Patching up heavenly taste, one star at a time.


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By djkrypplephite on 12/17/2008 2:31:34 PM , Rating: 5
It must be George Bush's fault.


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By mdogs444 on 12/17/2008 9:06:29 AM , Rating: 3
The earths temperature rose for a while...global warming.

Its now cooling...more signs of global warming.

Sea levels will rise 15m.....global warming.

Sea levels are rising much less than expected....more global warming.

We have a plasma cloaking the earth...global warming.

Magnetic fields leak....global warming!

Even if you don't believe, can we please give up our daily lives so the polar bears don't have to swim so far for food? Quit being so selfish! Get a bicycle! Build a mud hut! Lace it with non-efficient and overpriced solar panels! Reuse your dirty bath water! Don't wash your clothes so often! Support the unions!


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By FITCamaro on 12/17/2008 10:18:58 AM , Rating: 3
Now they're saying the polar bears will survive on goose eggs. Maybe they'll learn to make an egg, cheese, and seal omelet.


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By MrPoletski on 12/17/2008 1:05:57 PM , Rating: 5
the Mcdonalds McEgg Cheeseal omelette...


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By MonkeyPaw on 12/17/2008 11:09:42 AM , Rating: 2
Is it so hard to believe that these magnetic holes are man's fault? After all, man discovered this problem, so we must be the cause of it, too. Sure, we don't know exactly how we're doing it, but the most commonly accepted theory is a large distortion generated from millions of refrigerator magnets in circulation. If everyone would stop buying these frivolous magnets to hold everything from important memos to decades old pictures on their appliances, this whole disaster could be mitigated. It's just too hard for many families to let it go, however, as many just like to have the name of their favorite vacation destinations magically bonded to their Maytags and Kelvinators. And since tape just doesn't want to stick to these bumpy surfaces, environmentalist groups are proposing that if people absolutely must have things on their fridges, they should use nails, tacks, or screws to attach these items.

Those who wish to help save the planet by removing their magnets should dispose of them properly. For a small fee, these magnets will be collected and safely stored until they can be properly destroyed. When enough magnets are collected, they will be packed into a rocket and launched into the sun. After millions of magnets are properly destroyed, scientists will then study the earth's magnetic field to see if this measure has worked. If the field doesn't show signs of improvement, then it is obvious that refrigerator magnets are not the only magnets causing the problem, so a new magnet purge of a wider scale will take place. One thing is sure, we must act now, before magnets make the planet uninhabitable.


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By Mathos on 12/17/2008 1:01:02 PM , Rating: 5
Or to sum up your reply..... He who smellt it, dealt it.


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By MrPoletski on 12/17/2008 1:06:46 PM , Rating: 2
whoever said the rhyme did the crime.

Oh crap I just said the rhyme.


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By FITCamaro on 12/17/2008 1:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
Funny how that kinda works in real life since most rap "artists" are criminals.


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By Spuke on 12/17/2008 3:42:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Funny how that kinda works in real life since most rap "artists" are criminals.
Most rap artists aren't criminals but act like them. Most of these guys were raised in middle class neighborhoods and some have degrees. It's a ploy to sell records, that's all. Do some commit crimes? Sure, it's part of the act. Ask a gang member if he listens to rap. Most don't because the artists are fake. And they're correct.


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By Baov on 12/17/2008 11:53:26 PM , Rating: 2
Is it better to be criminal than to be a phony?


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By BruceLeet on 12/17/2008 5:56:47 PM , Rating: 2
Your country music has "kissing cousins"


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By FITCamaro on 12/17/2008 11:56:30 PM , Rating: 2
I hate country.


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By Narlock on 12/17/2008 12:09:11 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Magnetic fields leak....global warming!


This article makes no mention of global warming. Lipstick on a pygmy mouse?

Intensify the forward batteries. I don't want anything to get through!


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By Spivonious on 12/17/2008 9:45:52 AM , Rating: 4
How can they be jamming us if they don't know that we're...coming.


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By Chapbass on 12/17/2008 10:19:14 AM , Rating: 3
We wont last long against those solar winds!

Longer than we will against that global warming!

*panic*


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By xXxTweakxXx on 12/17/2008 10:02:12 AM , Rating: 3
We will deal with your Earth friends soon enough


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By Spivonious on 12/17/2008 4:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
This is the best comment thread of all time. George Lucas would be proud.


RE: Gotta give'em more time
By Shuswapper on 12/17/2008 8:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
I canna keep the shields up much longer Captain! We need to get more power from the warp core into the shield generator or we're not gonna survive another direct hit!


2008 + 4 = 2012
By Chimpie on 12/17/2008 9:28:37 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Most solar storms occur during the halfway section and on the final stretch of a solar cycle. In 2008 it's at a minimum, and will reach its peak four years from now.


Four years from now is 2012. The End of Days!

Oh noooooooo!




RE: 2008 + 4 = 2012
By docmilo on 12/17/2008 9:44:30 AM , Rating: 3
Don't worry about the end of days. Just take 2 morning after pills and it's all good.

Oh, and it's just the end of the calendar, not the end of the world.


RE: 2008 + 4 = 2012
By Gzus666 on 12/17/2008 9:46:53 AM , Rating: 4
DAMN YOU MAYANS FOR BEING RIGHT!!!


RE: 2008 + 4 = 2012
By Screwballl on 12/17/2008 11:54:37 AM , Rating: 2
Nah we still have 30 years to go until end of the world

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2038_problem


RE: 2008 + 4 = 2012
By ThePooBurner on 12/17/2008 4:59:06 PM , Rating: 2
You beat me to it! :) And actually, 2012 is just the begining of the end. The dawning of a new era of life. It matches up with when the solar system is in line with the galaxy's center star and receives a burst of new energy/marks one full rotation of the solarsystem around the galaxy (or maybe it's just one of the quarters of the galaxy. like a season. i forget which one. It's all facinating stuff, though).


RE: 2008 + 4 = 2012
By foolsgambit11 on 12/17/2008 6:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but can't you always draw a line between two points? So isn't our solar system always in line with the galaxy's 'center star'?


RE: 2008 + 4 = 2012
By BruceLeet on 12/17/2008 5:59:39 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the LHC will be 100% operational by 2012 I'd say this is all lining up in perfect timing, decaying gravity etc turn on LHC and create a black hole. Makes sense now.


Magnetic poles
By rudolphna on 12/17/2008 10:25:49 AM , Rating: 1
I seem to recall that its been several million years since hte magnetic poles have switched, and the magnetic field is growing weaker by the day. Could this possibly be prelude to the N/S poles switching, which scientists say is entirely possible within our lifetime? On a side note, what would happen? North becomes south, south north, East and west... I assume Everything would stay the same, just switch from north to south etc. What do you think?




RE: Magnetic poles
By pwndcake on 12/17/2008 11:08:21 AM , Rating: 4
Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria!


RE: Magnetic poles
By FITCamaro on 12/17/2008 12:34:46 PM , Rating: 2
Dunno about all that, but we would be dead.


RE: Magnetic poles
By foolsgambit11 on 12/17/2008 7:03:57 PM , Rating: 3
So be good, for goodness sake.... wooah! Somebody's coming! Santa Clause is coming tooooooo town!

No studying.


RE: Magnetic poles
By Ringold on 12/17/2008 4:35:48 PM , Rating: 2
If it happens every few million years, then most species are able to survive it, so I don't see why it'd be anything more than annoying. It'd render aviation highly reliant on GPS and radio navigation, but at least we have that technology now. I'd heard about this too, I think on Discovery channel a while back.


RE: Magnetic poles
By ThePooBurner on 12/17/2008 5:02:34 PM , Rating: 2
I saw the same special. It was like 5-6 years ago. The poles are in the middle of switch and in about 100-200 years the poles will both be in the center of the earth and effectively nutralizing the field entirely till they move out again and finish the switch. The whole cycle is something like 10,000 years, with a 400ish year switch period.


Spaceballs
By Spookster on 12/17/2008 10:42:11 AM , Rating: 3
Oh dear! We must stop MegaMaid before she sucks all the air out of our atmosphere.




RE: Spaceballs
By Gzus666 on 12/17/2008 11:22:12 AM , Rating: 4
It's OK, my understanding is she has gone from suck to blow.


RE: Spaceballs
By FITCamaro on 12/17/2008 12:33:58 PM , Rating: 1
The question is, did she swallow?


RE: Spaceballs
By Gzus666 on 12/17/2008 3:00:52 PM , Rating: 2
The movie really never went into that. Of course, maybe they had a special features thing on the DVD that went into that more. I know I learned Druish princesses are a pain in the ass.


By Smilin on 12/17/2008 12:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
How to Debunk Global warming on Dailytech in 4 easy steps!

First, The facts I have to work with:
1. Scientists say there are holes in plasma shields.
2. Scientists don't say that there haven't always been holes in them.

PAYDIRT! I can back my crazy whacked out logic that disputes global warming with this stuff! Hellz Yeah!

Here is how:
Step 1. I can imply that scientists ARE saying that the holes are recently formed and manmade (not saying they weren't is the same right?)

Step 2. The scientists sound crackpot (even though he didn't say what I said he did)

Step 3. I imply that these same scientists are the ones that study global warming (after all a scientist is a scientist right?)

Step 4. There is no global warming and it's all crackpot scientists!




By pwndcake on 12/17/2008 12:59:17 PM , Rating: 2
Your ideas intrigue me, and I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.


By Smilin on 12/17/2008 1:28:01 PM , Rating: 2
Step 5... vote down anyone who reveals this secret. rampant believe for/against global warming must take precedent over any logical discussion.


By foolsgambit11 on 12/17/2008 7:07:21 PM , Rating: 2
Step 6: Profit!


Very Interesting
By clovell on 12/17/2008 11:39:18 AM , Rating: 2
Between this and the STEREO mission, we should be better able to forecast the effects of solar storms on the earth, beneath the magnetosphere.

Has there been any mention of attempting to enhance current models from the STEREO mission with the THEMIS data, Michael?




RE: Very Interesting
By rosskey711 on 12/17/2008 10:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
To anyone that thinks this is man-made is clearly ignorant about the earth's magnetic field which is caused by hot molten metals swirling around the core and being that we have never even come close to punching through the crust we're about 6000km away from directly affecting anything.. but does anyone know why DailyTech is so anti global warming? they never report anything for the pro-global warming I thought the job of a journalist was to be impartial


We're doomed!
By Ordr on 12/17/2008 9:18:57 AM , Rating: 2
DOOOOOOMED!

{/bender}




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