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AURORA OUTBURST: Last night, for the second night in a row, sky watchers around the Arctic Circle witnessed an impressive display of auroras. “I’ve never seen anything close to this,” says Aaro Kukkohovi, who photographed an eruption of light over Lumijoki, Finland:

“What a fantastic burst of energy–like something blew a hole into Earth’s magnetic field just above us!”

Hi Robert,

Spotted this fascinating piece on http://www.spaceweather.com/ today:

Kukkohovi’s rhetorical flourish isn’t far wrong. The cause of the display was the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) tipping south and opening a ‘crack‘ in Earth’s magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in and fuelled a G1-class geomagnetic storm. This was a high latitude event; the lights were brightest over Scandinavia, Iceland and Greenland.

Best regards,

Hans Schreuder
Analytical chemist

 

10 Responses to Magnetic field cracking open

  1. HF says:

    Those images of the sun giving off the bursts is amazing.

    https://allroadsleadtofema.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/entry-1/

  2. Laurel says:

    at spaceweather last night early am they had a spectacular snap of a Blue Flash.
    apparently rare and usually green..

    and arent we all glad that series of 3 CMEs we facing away from earth.

  3. spepper says:

    Wondering if this is a more common effect than we may have only recently discovered. Since there is a twice-a-year occurence that the earth comes into an “equinox” position relative to the sun, on the first days of spring and fall, the pressure that the solar wind exerts on the earth’s magnetic field is relatively equal on those specific days along the earth’s magnetic axis. The effect seen on earth as witnessed currently may be from a “bull whip effect” of solar pressure hitting the earth’s magnetic field along the “waistline” or at an equidistant point between the magnetic poles, creating the maximum “tsunami effect” that ripples towards each pole. Sort of like a trampoline, where you can get way more potential energy at the center (when the earth is at equinox, twice a year with respect to the sun), as opposed to along the edges (at the soltices of maximum angular deflection of the earth axis to the sun).

  4. win says:

    Robert Felix told me to ask readers this question about magnetic ropes. On pages 154-55 of Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps it says “solar wind particles flow in along these ropes, providing energy for geomagnetic storms and auroras.”

    My question: Is it possible that the weakening magnetosphere is responsible for the decrease in number of particles traveling down these ropes and striking the earth?

  5. Mr. C says:

    This must be the final sign that a faster shift of the polls is coming. The 3CME could make it back around the sun like the one a few weeks ago that slamed the magnetic field. There is No clue yet to what caused this crack.

  6. Christine says:

    @spepper…I agree. We have better technology now to see more as well.

  7. Fran says:

    Is this related with increased volcanic activity, I mean a weakened Magnetosphere?

  8. Mr. C says:

    Is the field still open ? massive flares are coming around the sun. Are we still moving south in norway? The mega quakes could be on the way.

  9. Astro says:

    Interesting considering the latest earthquake activity
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-23RKV1lJFM&feature=youtu.be


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