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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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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
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.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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