Northern Lights Process Like Untangling Twisted Strands of Spaghetti?
|2:03:06 AM, Sunday, June 03, 2012|
"(ScienceDaily June 1, 2012) - A University of Iowa researcher wants you to visualize a plate of spaghetti when you think of the northern lights.
That's because Jack Scudder, UI professor of physics and astronomy, and his colleagues have reached a milestone in describing how the northern lights work by way of a process called "magnetic reconnection."
The details are contained in a paper published in the June 5 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters; however, the process is best imagined as untangling twisted strands of spaghetti.
Diffuse gas -- called plasma -- flows outward from the sun as the "solar wind" and carries with it magnetic field lines ("spaghetti") from the sun.
The entanglement between magnetic field lines (spaghetti) from the sun and other field lines (spaghetti) anchored in Earth's core occurs when these field lines are brought together by gusts of solar wind..."
-- Praise the FSM!