Aurora Borealis Lights Up Sky Over Ayrshire on September 27th 2019, Scotland.
This may just be a coincidence with an article I previously wrote, so I decide to modify it to get it up to date.
What we know about the planets is based on assumption using earth standards, but we have found from observation and survey that Venus and the Earth have similar external geological characteristics. We do not really know of the internal structure of the earth, but guess it is formed in a certain way from what happens to vibrations that pass through it. So we can only assume that the other rocky planets were formed in a similar way and are similar in construction.
We assume that Mars, the Earth and Venus were formed about the same time as the sun, so are of a similar age, and due to their densities and outlying crust characteristics have similar internal construction, which is a molten iron core.
Venus is hot, so we are assuming that as it is of the roughly same size as the earth, it very similar, being close closer to the sun but is still too hot internally so it is presumed that it has never developed a magnetic field.
Earth is cooler and has developed a magnetic field. This is assumed to protect us from most of the rigours of the solar wind.
Mars is smaller and cooler, but of similar densities to the others, so we assume it had a magnetic field but lost it, thus allowing the solar wind to strip it of most of its atmosphere.
If this is the route that planetary magnetism takes, the question is where are we on this line of between not having such a field due to high temperature, and to not having a field due to lack of it?
We further have the knowledge that other sources of magnetic field are also possible, as with the sun and the formation of sunspots where the power can reach 4000 gauss, but that happens with hydrogen and a temperature of about 4000-6000C and internally where the temperatures can reach 17 million C. The interplanetary magnetic field shows it’s lines of force with the solar wind that doesn’t just spread out even from its surface, but does it in a spiral form. This spiral form may have a curious effect on similar magnetic fields that are contained within planets.
A spiral form similar to this can be seen in the workings of an electric motor where in its most efficient form its rotor is powered by such a shaped spiral magnetic field. If this field that extends out to the distance of Pluto has such a powerful effect, solar flares that amplify this magnetic effect to the extreme could provoke a sympathetic response from earths magnetic field.
We have two main magnetic poles. The south magnetic pole has basically stayed where is was, but over the past 140 years it has been moving going from about 200 feet a day at the start and since about the 1990’s is now moving at about 500 feet a day, and is over Canada, so it’s not surprising to get aurorae appear over Scotland. From studying rocks it’s know that the north and south poles have flipped a number of times in the past 20 million years, so it could mean that we are due for another one soon.
If it flips, it may take as much as 100 years to stabilise. This could mean that the magnetic field that shields the earth could be compromised for that period. If there were a Carrington Event happening at the same time it wouldn’t be too good for the earth’s electronics.
The current velocity of movement at this date, 29/9/2019 is 700 feet per day, is also moving westerly and there are signs it could reach latitude 40 and the United States or Atlantic within 2 years. This would suggest a polar shift within the next 100 years, possibly as little as 50. It really depends on how elastic the system is. Very elastic 100 years, very inflexible 20 years. Other people who are watching the events taking place say 4-7 years.
I don’t believe in coincidences, that probabilities don’t rule physics, just being a mathematical tool for calculation, and there is always an event following a cause. So I put forward the idea that the quickening of the polar shift is no coincidence, and may be the result of a the Carrington event in 1859. Such events are not uncommon, and considering that we stand on a mass of spinning magnetic iron, with the sun being a mass of spinning magnetic hydrogen fields, it’s likely that there is some form of interaction. It could be that a hit by a major coronal ejection is the driver for such shifts in magnetic poles, a similar charge hit strengthening or speeding up the field and a negative hit slowing down or reversing the field. I remember in my primary school of three bar magnets in circles on a piece of wood, the centre one turning the other two in different directions if moved differently.
The interesting point is at which the temperatures are involved for the various structures. The sun being mostly hydrogen 4000-15 million C, Venus, earth, mars, Jupiter, Saturn. My worry is the chance of a double Carrington event.
If we take the likelihood of a Carrington type event to happen once in 100 years up to once in 200 years then the likelihood of a ‘Double Carrington’ happening is the square of that period. This gives a range from 10,000-40,000 years. You would may get first a destabilisation of the earth’s magnetic field, then a subsequent event while that field is at its weakest state.
The reason why such an event such as a mass coronal ejection can be more serious, is when the charge of that ejection is opposite to the earth’s current polarity in areas that are more developed, closer to the poles. This of like linearly polarised sunglasses where one way looks dark, and turn it by 90 degrees and the darkness mostly disappears. A similar polarity is rejected and flows around the planet. An opposing polarity has a major effect and is almost drawn into the system, but mainly affecting the other pole. If the polarity is destabilised it is similar to having no electromagnetic shield at all and normal glass.
This is where a single event has relatively minor damage, fields becoming confused until they revert to the new fluid movement of the core. But a second similar subsequent event causes localised eddies that could take as much as 10,000 years to reform properly.
We do not know how common Very large Coronal Mass Ejections are, but the first major one which is widely know is what is called the ‘Carrington Event’ in 1859, when the aurora was so bright, that over the Rocky Mountains in the US the glow woke gold miners, who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning. We have very sketchy details, as it was so long ago, but it lasted at its peak about an hour, but the effects were recorded in the US and Europe, with an aurorae of different degrees around the world. It may be that the earth took a direct hit, but it may have also been a small partial hit. Other minor ones occurred in 1921, 1960 and 1989, the last causing outages in Quebec. There was supposed to have been a ‘Carrington Class’ event in 2012 that was in a direction that missed the earth.
Currently all the civilizations on the planet run on interlinked and inter-dependent communications, supply, defence, transport and food production systems. They all run on electricity and cabling, mostly on semiconductors and control chips, and they are becoming more and more dependent on each component functioning properly. Vehicles are becoming no different, especially electric ones. If you consider that there have been 16 major blackouts affecting between 20-600 million people in different countries in the past 50 years, most of which were short, lasting only about 12 hours, the interdependence is obvious, even though only one has been put down to a CME.
The use of metals have really only taken off in the past 500 years. Before that there was generally little use, and use of electricity has only been around for just over 100 years. Science before the 1850’s was there, but mainly on observation and inference, which changed with Maxwell, so before then we have to look for notable physical events. In our age of instant reporting of things that are unusual, it is hard for the world to miss things. It was not so 150 years ago, when quite often only things which were really important got mentioned and catalogued, and then maybe only one line in a diary, and going back a couple of thousand, the eruption of Vesuvius was only believed by the fastidious recording of Pliny the Elder. Such odd occurrences might be reserved for the actions of the Gods and not considered recordable, especially if it happened in the daytime. Even then you are hampered by events not being reported For CME’s the most telling seems to be the occurrence of things like powerful aurorae at low latitudes.
Seneca mentioned an aurora that was visible over Ostia, near Rome, that was a city about latitude 40°, that experienced it in about 40BC. There was one in Berlin in 1797, Halley stated that they had not been common for a while before 1716, and Celsius states the oldest residents of Uppsala thought they were rare before 1716, having never seen one. There was a major aurora at low latitude in 1872.
We should only look at those events first which actually hit the earth, rather than include ones that don’t, as prior to the 1970’s nobody was really looking for them. This gives a rough guideline in the last 250 years of a major event about every 53 years, of which one was very large. This varies tremendously so you could have a variance by something like 20%. The sun is an active beast, so it is quite capable of varying tremendously. What are its capabilities?
If the factor of notable to major is about 1:5, then this suggests that a large event should happen on average about every 212- 318 years. If the factor for large to massive is similar, then this suggests every 850-1900 years, and massive to super massive every 3400-11000 years, within the age of current civilization.
So much for observed events.
The earth orbits the sun on a course that is about 590 million miles in each period, so that is our moving target. CME’s occur mainly in the area 30° N & S of the suns equator, but usually much closer, so roughly in our plane. Also they spread out as they get farther out, at speeds between 7 thousand – 7 million miles per hour. Because they consist of charged particles, the faster they go the less they spread out in core intensities, like a faster bullet deviating less. Also they can be polarised in different ways, which will allow varying levels of deflection by the earth’s magnetosphere, like jabbing a pointed stick into a spinning football. One way it just bounces off, the other it punctures.
We have recorded one large event in 1859 and another in 2012, 153 years. For our modern world either one hitting earth would have had major effects.
The biggest sunspots observed are around 16,000 miles across so the effective area which it will shoot particles directly out would be around 2°, or coinciding the CME reaching us in the same 2 days in the earth year after it was ejected.
Below is a chart of the yearly movement of the magnetic north pole in feet per year.