What do the portals in Earth's magnetic field suggest?
"A NASA-funded researcher at the University of Iowa has figured out how to find them.
"We call them X-points or electron diffusion regions," explains plasma physicist Jack Scudder of the University of Iowa. "They're places where the magnetic field of Earth connects to the magnetic field of the Sun, creating an uninterrupted path leading from our own planet to the sun's atmosphere 93 million miles away."
Observations by NASA's THEMIS spacecraft and Europe's Cluster probes suggest that these magnetic portals open and close dozens of times each day. They're typically located a few tens of thousands of kilometers from Earth where the geomagnetic field meets the onrushing solar wind. Most portals are small and short-lived; others are yawning, vast, and sustained. Tons of energetic particles can flow through the openings, heating Earth's upper atmosphere, sparking geomagnetic storms, and igniting bright polar auroras.
NASA is planning a mission called "MMS," short for Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, due to launch in 2014, to study the phenomenon. Bristling with energetic particle detectors and magnetic sensors, the four spacecraft of MMS will spread out in Earth's magnetosphere and surround the portals to observe how they work".
- Nutty ProfessorLv 56 years agoFavorite Answer
I think it means there are magnetic pathways along which electrons can travel just like it says in the article.
Take away the word portal and it is no different to the way a vacuum tube works.
- PaulLv 76 years ago
Well, "portals" is a poor name.
Magnetic fields interact. It's natural, not magic.
- marsel_duchampLv 76 years ago
That physics is a fascinating subject with lots more to be learned.
Unless you are the kind of religious person who thinks all answers are in the bible. I wonder why god didn't mention this in there? (Here come the twisted interpretations saying it is in the bible).
- RuthLv 76 years ago
It suggests the sun and earth work together. The universe is structured. Interesting thanks!
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- ShinigamiLv 76 years ago
Idk, but it sure looks like an angel protecting the earth, doesn't it?
- choko_canyonLv 76 years ago
WTF is this question doing in the religion and spirituality section?