View Full Version : Discussion: Electrons Surfing on a Solar Wind

2003-Sep-10, 08:01 PM
SUMMARY: New research indicates that electrons may surf on magnetic waves driven by the solar wind, and get accelerated to the point they can cause some serious damage to spacecraft orbiting the Earth. The process is a result of the interaction between the Earth's magnetic field and fluctuations in the density of the solar wind. As the density of the solar wind changes, it causes waves in the magnetic field to ripple back to the Earth. Electrons can be caught in these ripples and surf back to the Earth so fast they can damage delicate electronics in space.

Comments or questions about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts.

2003-Sep-11, 03:39 PM
Ah, yes another case of "Experts" finding old magazines. The fact that accellerated electron activity
causes problems, was demonstrated during the "Cold War", Electronics manufacturers with U.S.
Government contracts had to certify that the components used were "RADIATION HARDENED".
Which meant most of the microprocessor stuff just coming out then. One of the first accepted for
space use was the RCA 1802 microprocessor and the 5101 memory chip. The electron problem
also rears its' head on Earth especially at the polar regions. I guess someone at NASA has been reading
old periodicals and decided to verify it! ;)

2003-Sep-11, 05:10 PM
Besides the damage that high energy particles can inflict on spacecraft, which is indeed well known from the early space days, it is also a clue to the electrical environment of the solar system. In the article it is stated that researchers were looking for internal factors, while they now find an important external factor (solar wind). This reasoning will ultimately lead to the insight that the sun driving the solar wind is also externally powered, which is precisely what an electric model of the universe states.
One more important note is the constant use of the term "magnetic reconnection" , this phenomenen does not exist! Magnetic field lines cannot reconnect, ever, the effects seen are more like a "short circuit" of the electrical fields, comparable to lightning.

2003-Sep-11, 05:28 PM
;) Yes, I had a bit of a problem with the Reconnect phenomenon as well! I see the
Universe as a constantly flowing, and variable EM field. I often wondered if there
might not be a way to , pardon the Pun, hitched a ride with a propagating field, you
would indeed get up to the speed of light, of course that was conjecture on my part. Your concept of EM fields may apply to the studies done, on tornadoes, as in
during lightning within them things like hay straw caught in the tornadoes wind are
propeled thru solid objects, where as I think the lightning is what passes through
leaving a "hole", and the wind drives the straw through, but not before the hole
closes trapping the straw in what would appear to be a solid object. Electro-magnetic phenomena as a rule tend to be different for each observer, depending on the subject of the investigation! Just a thought.

2003-Sep-11, 05:36 PM
Sorry for the second post but, I once studied an electromagnetic drawing of the
Coronasphere of the sun, and asked, if our sun has this magnetic shape might not
other suns have them, and are they interconnected somehow? I would pose the thought that if that is the case then transport between star systems could be affected by, electronically speaking, wrap the object in an electromagnetic exclusion field, and aim towards the star you want to go to and then let the solar
wind zip you into the denser part of the EM field, catch a moving EM wave and very likely "Surf" all the way to the next star, "probably at light speed or some such!

Jim :rolleyes:

2003-Sep-11, 07:28 PM
I'm not sure it will work, plasma (made from electrically charged particles in space) has a tendency to form double layers, forming separate "bubbles" isolated from each other. When you try to travel through space you need to cross these double layers. One such double layer is the sun's corona, another is the heliosphere at the outer reaches of the solar system (which hasn't been reached yet unfortunately). But maybe some smart people will find a way to use the electrical fields to accelarate spacecraft.
Deep Space One successfully used an ion drive, but that's a different principle.