The Sun's magnetic field is about to flip

Aug 06, 2013 by Dr. Tony Phillips
The Sun's magnetic field is about to flip
An artist's concept of the heliospheric current sheet, which becomes more wavy when the sun's magnetic field flips.

(Phys.org) —Something big is about to happen on the sun. According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sun's vast magnetic field is about to flip.

"It looks like we're no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal," says solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University. "This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system."

The sun's changes polarity approximately every 11 years. It happens at the peak of each solar cycle as the sun's inner magnetic dynamo re-organizes itself. The coming reversal will mark the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24. Half of 'Solar Max' will be behind us, with half yet to come.

Hoeksema is the director of Stanford's Wilcox Solar Observatory, one of the few observatories in the world that monitor the sun's polar magnetic fields. The poles are a herald of change. Just as Earth scientists watch our planet's polar regions for signs of , solar physicists do the same thing for the sun. Magnetograms at Wilcox have been tracking the sun's polar magnetism since 1976, and they have recorded three grand reversals—with a fourth in the offing.

Solar physicist Phil Scherrer, also at Stanford, describes what happens: "The sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero, and then emerge again with the opposite polarity. This is a regular part of the ."

A reversal of the sun's magnetic field is, literally, a big event. The domain of the sun's magnetic influence (also known as the "") extends billions of kilometers beyond Pluto. Changes to the field's polarity ripple all the way out to the Voyager probes, on the doorstep of .

When solar physicists talk about solar field reversals, their conversation often centers on the "current sheet." The current sheet is a sprawling surface jutting outward from the sun's equator where the sun's slowly-rotating magnetic field induces an electrical current. The current itself is small, only one ten-billionth of an amp per square meter (0.0000000001 amps/m2), but there's a lot of it: the amperage flows through a region 10,000 km thick and billions of kilometers wide. Electrically speaking, the entire heliosphere is organized around this enormous sheet.

The Sun's magnetic field is about to flip
Astronomers at the Wilcox Solar Observatory (WSO) monitor the sun's global magnetic field on a daily basis.

During field reversals, the current sheet becomes very wavy. Scherrer likens the undulations to the seams on a baseball. As Earth orbits the sun, we dip in and out of the current sheet. Transitions from one side to another can stir up stormy space weather around our planet.

Cosmic rays are also affected. These are high-energy particles accelerated to nearly light speed by supernova explosions and other violent events in the galaxy. Cosmic rays are a danger to astronauts and space probes, and some researchers say they might affect the cloudiness and climate of Earth. The current sheet acts as a barrier to cosmic rays, deflecting them as they attempt to penetrate the inner solar system. A wavy, crinkly sheet acts as a better shield against these energetic particles from deep space.

As the field reversal approaches, data from Wilcox show that the sun's two hemispheres are out of synch.

"The sun's north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up," says Scherrer. "Soon, however, both poles will be reversed, and the second half of Solar Max will be underway."

When that happens, Hoeksema and Scherrer will share the news with their colleagues and the public.

Explore further: Bad weather delays SpaceX launch with 3-D printer

More information: wso.stanford.edu/

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El_Nose
1.6 / 5 (13) Aug 06, 2013
so currently our Sun has two poles that are the same -- right

The sun's north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up," says Scherrer. "Soon, however, both poles will be reversed,


so this might not be a great monopole, as it is not stable -- but it technically is one right?
Q-Star
3.3 / 5 (16) Aug 06, 2013
so currently our Sun has two poles that are the same -- right

The sun's north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up," says Scherrer. "Soon, however, both poles will be reversed,


so this might not be a great monopole, as it is not stable -- but it technically is one right?


Technically a monopole is a single particle, so no, it is not one. But I think ya might be misunderstanding the poles as applied to the sun. Their are still two opposite poles. (Meaning areas of "north" polarity and "south" polarity.) But with the sun their is no "geographic" north & south.
GSwift7
4.5 / 5 (15) Aug 06, 2013
so this might not be a great monopole, as it is not stable -- but it technically is one right


Think of the sun as being more like a big ball of dipoles. When you talk about the polarity of the whole sun, you're really talking about the average of all the individual fields it is composed of.
GSwift7
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 06, 2013
In my opinion the magnetic field is switched with direction of plasma flow beneath the Sun surface, which is circulating around barycenter of solar system


That doesn't sound unreasonable. However, I really don't think there's enough evidence to really support any given theory at this point, so it's all just guesses.

Another contending theory I like is where there are two (or more) layers inside the sun, which rotate independently in the same direction, but almost in sync (this syncronization could be any multiple of resonance, so one could be twice the rotation rate of the other, etc.), so they push and pull on eachother as one gets a little ahead of the other then it slows down and the other gets ahead, etc.

It would work something like this: http://en.wikiped...esonance

Where the layers aren't quite locked into a perfect resonance yet, but they're trying to get there.
jscroft
1.9 / 5 (32) Aug 06, 2013
Wait a minute... Solar activity affects cloudiness and climate??? Somebody please explain to my how my big ol' gas-guzzlin' pickup truck is driving all this solar activity.
rug
3.7 / 5 (24) Aug 06, 2013
Wait a minute... Solar activity affects cloudiness and climate??? Somebody please explain to my how my big ol' gas-guzzlin' pickup truck is driving all this solar activity.


Really? you are going to try and turn this into a climate change thread? Man you really need to get some help. You've got a problem.
sql_yoda
4.5 / 5 (16) Aug 06, 2013
Wait a minute... Solar activity affects cloudiness and climate??? Somebody please explain to my how my big ol' gas-guzzlin' pickup truck is driving all this solar activity.


Solar activity affects climate - the article says nothing about climate affecting solar activity, nor does it address your vehicle's affect on climate change.
GSwift7
3.6 / 5 (20) Aug 06, 2013
Really? you are going to try and turn this into a climate change thread? Man you really need to get some help. You've got a problem.


I agree. Take your climate extreemism to the environment section. There's plenty of climate zombies eager to argue with you there. If not, then create multiple accounts and argue with yourself. Then you can totally win the argument.

Meanwhile, back on topic, this peak should be interesting since this is the first one we have observed with the newest generation of instruments.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (20) Aug 06, 2013
There is also another possibility, a transformer action in the circuit powering the sun.
http://www.thunde...rity.htm
rug
3.7 / 5 (9) Aug 06, 2013
Meanwhile, back on topic, this peak should be interesting since this is the first one we have observed with the newest generation of instruments.


I'm not a scientist by any means but I'm looking forward to this data coming out. I'm curios if it's going to go along with predictions. Should be interesting either way. Since Earth has been through a few pole flips it might even give us some insight on what is going on with the earth when this happens.
Gmr
2.7 / 5 (11) Aug 06, 2013
There is also another possibility, a transformer action along the circuit powering the sun.
http://www.thunde...rity.htm


I saw that movie. I don't think one of them could survive at those temperatures for long.
adam_russell_9615
5 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2013
so this might not be a great monopole, as it is not stable -- but it technically is one right


Think of the sun as being more like a big ball of dipoles. When you talk about the polarity of the whole sun, you're really talking about the average of all the individual fields it is composed of.


Yea, but even with a big bag of dipoles - each dipole has a north and a south and they are equal. I see what you are saying that they add up to a north and a south pole but then the north and south pole would still be equal (and opposite). How on earth (;-0) does one go away before the other?
barakn
3 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2013
Another great find at http://www.thunde...rity.htm
Protoplasmix
1 / 5 (7) Aug 06, 2013
Interesting opinion, Franklins. A nice synopsis of peer-reviewed work on the question of the barycenter affecting sunspot activity was given at the Astronomy Cafe:
http://www.astron...923.html

After reading that, I wondered where the barycenter was during the Maunder Minimum -- found a paper on that, and also covering the Dalton Minimum, called "Dynamical characterization of the last prolonged solar minima" at http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.5436

It makes sense that with only Jupiter and the sun, the sun would merely wobble, and with the addition of the other planets it becomes a sloshy wobble.

Have there been any dynamics or related structures observed by probing with helioseismology when the barycenter dips below the surface? Franklins, who made the sunspot dissipation observations?
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (16) Aug 07, 2013
There is no barycenter, as the sun moves through space it traces out a helical path. The planets orbit in a helical path;
http://www.djsadh...imation/

Although this animation doesn't show the helical path of the sun itself, it gives a better picture of the electrodynamic solar system. The 2D orbital imagery of the solar system we are taught in school is a throwback to heliocentrism.

"Most people today still believe, perhaps unconsciously, in the heliocentric universe. ... Every newspaper in the land has a section on astrology, yet few have anything at all on astronomy."
Hannes Alfven

cantdrive85
1 / 5 (15) Aug 07, 2013
Actually, here is the helical solar animation.
http://www.youtub...-ooITrws

The one error is treating the sun like a comet.
It's probably more like on of these (although less energetic) z-pinches
http://apod.nasa....612.html

spinning along one of these birkeland currents
https://www.googl...bih=1075

You can essentially image his solar path line would be the twisting pair of 3ly wide helical birkeland currents generating an electromotive force as they twist about each other, occasionally experiencing an instability which curls into a plasmoid at the center of a electric z-pinch discharge.
A plasmoid sun.
http://www.youtub...PetpI50U
barakn
4.8 / 5 (9) Aug 07, 2013
There is no barycenter... -cantdrive85
Barycenter is simply a fancy term for center of mass. Of course the solar system has a barycenter.
Although this animation doesn't show the helical path of the sun itself, it gives a better picture of the electrodynamic solar system. The 2D orbital imagery of the solar system we are taught in school is a throwback to heliocentrism.
No, it's just that most of us are smart enough to use a convenient reference frame.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (16) Aug 07, 2013
No, it's just that most of us are smart enough to use a convenient reference frame.

Or is it laziness. I was unaware finding the true mechanics of any system was not about "convenience" for the scientists but to truly understand a system. How can you truly examine a 3D system in 2D? In addition, with the Sun traveling as it does, the planets must orbit the sun without Einstein's self imposed speed limit for gravity. If it weren't the case the orbits would quickly degrade.
DarkHorse66
5 / 5 (8) Aug 07, 2013
....In addition, with the Sun traveling as it does, the planets must orbit the sun without Einstein's self imposed speed limit for gravity. If it weren't the case the orbits would quickly degrade.

HUH???
I have never found anything like that in serious books or articles, or had any physics lecturers that would espouse such a belief. How did you deduce that?!?!
Reference Please!
DH66
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 07, 2013
so this might not be a great monopole, as it is not stable -- but it technically is one right?

At present it looks like a multipole with the geographical north/south poles currently having the same sign.

It's a bit (a tiny bit) like if you put two bar magnets end-to-end with the same poles in the middle (e.g. N-S S-N). Do you have a monopole? No. Do you have the same magnetic signs at geographically opposite ends of the ENTIRE structure? Yes

And it's pretty obvious that this is not a stable configuration - but just an intermittent state towards a 'regular' alignment.
DarkHorse66
5 / 5 (1) Aug 07, 2013
It's a bit (a tiny bit) like if you put two bar magnets end-to-end with the same poles in the middle (e.g. N-S S-N). Do you have a monopole? No. Do you have the same magnetic signs at geographically opposite ends of the ENTIRE structure? Yes
And it's pretty obvious that this is not a stable configuration - but just an intermittent state towards a 'regular' alignment.

I agree with what you say, but I would qualify that statement about the monopole. It would appear that you can have 2 polarities, but still have a monopole in the case of a sphere. Just to throw a pussy amoung the pigeons, try this scenario:
http://www.physic...t=520997
Best Regards, DH66
GSwift7
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 07, 2013
How on earth (;-0) does one go away before the other?


You're still treating the magnetic field as a single entity. Each component acts just as you would expect, but they are not all of equal magnitude. Let's take a grossly simplified example: Pretend the sun's magnetic field has two sources; two giant electromagnets inside the sun, one above the core and one below the core (north and south of the core if you prefer). As you know, the strength and polarity of an electromagnet depend on the direction and amplitude of current flowing through them. So, if we start out with both of them being equal, then the sun as a whole will have a perfect dipole from our POV. Decrease the power on one and the poles will be lop-sided. If they are equal but opposite, they'll cancel out between them (at the core) and have the same polarity at both poles (two north or two south poles).

did that help?

lol, i see antialias also answered with a similar example
GSwift7
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 07, 2013
As antialias pointed out, this is not a stable configuration. I would like to further point out that it takes a LOT of potential energy to force the polarity into this unstable configuration. It basically goes from the stable state into an unstable state, which represents a huge decrease in entropy, which nature doesn't like (entropy always naturally seeks to increase, so that any system will be at its lowest possible energy state before it is stable).

This huge amount of energy required to raise the potential energy state of the sun's magnetic poles COMPLETELY rules out anything except an internal process. I think even the barycenter theory wouldn't work out. If that was the source, then this flip would affect the angular momentum of the solar system, since that would be the source of the energy. Since this happens every 11 years, I don't think it would be sustainable on stellar time scales. It would eventually stop itself. I wonder how the numbers work out exactly?
El_Nose
1 / 5 (1) Aug 07, 2013
@Qstar

The sun's north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up


how does this not mean the sun currently has two poles of the same sign?
GSwift7
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 07, 2013
to El Nose:

See the two comments by AntiAlias and I just above yours. Having two areas of opposite polarity doesn't break any laws of nature. It's not a single field.

If you view it from far enough out, such as the boundary of the magnetoshpere, it will be a normal dipole as you suggest. The variations they're talking about in this story are local variations within the complex soup of fields that compose the total field.
Fisty_McBeefpunch
1 / 5 (7) Aug 07, 2013
Cue Alex Jones in 3..2... Already my fb timeline is buzzing with pseudoscience.
HannesAlfven
1.6 / 5 (14) Aug 07, 2013
Re: "HUH??? I have never found anything like that in serious books or articles, or had any physics lecturers that would espouse such a belief. How did you deduce that?!?!
Reference Please!"

Search on "speed of gravity tom van flandern". You'll get his works, as well as an analysis by Miles Mathis. Van Flandern's paper starts ...

The most amazing thing I was taught as a graduate student of celestial mechanics at Yale in the 1960s was that all gravitational interactions between bodies in all dynamical systems had to be taken as instantaneous. This seemed unacceptable on two counts. In the first place, it seemed to be a form of "action at a distance". Perhaps no one has so elegantly expressed the objection to such a concept better than Sir Isaac Newton

[...]
HannesAlfven
1.6 / 5 (14) Aug 07, 2013
[...]

"That one body may act upon another at a distance through a vacuum, without the mediation of any thing else, by and through which their action and force may be conveyed from one to the other, is to me so great an absurdity, that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking, can ever fall into it." (See Hoffman, 1983.) But mediation requires propagation, and finite bodies should be incapable of propagation at infinite speeds since that would require infinite energy. So instantaneous gravity seemed to have an element of magic to it.

The second objection was that we had all been taught that Einstein's special relativity (SR), an experimentally well-established theory, proved that nothing could propagate in forward time at a speed greater than that of light in a vacuum. Indeed, as astronomers we were taught to calculate orbits using instantaneous forces; then extract the position of some body along its orbit at a time of interest, and

[...]
HannesAlfven
1.5 / 5 (15) Aug 07, 2013
[...]

calculate where that position would appear as seen from Earth by allowing for the finite propagation speed of light from there to here. It seemed incongruous to allow for the finite speed of light from the body to the Earth, but to take the effect of Earth's gravity on that same body as propagating from here to there instantaneously. Yet that was the required procedure to get the correct answers.

These objections were certainly not new when I raised them. They have been raised and answered thousands of times in dozens of different ways over the years since general relativity (GR) was set forth in 1916. Even today in discussions of gravity in USENET newsgroups on the Internet, the most frequently asked question and debated topic is "What is the speed of gravity?" It is only heard less often in the classroom because many teachers and most textbooks head off the question by hastily assuring students that gravitational waves propagate at the speed of light,

[...]
HannesAlfven
1.6 / 5 (14) Aug 07, 2013
[...]

leaving the firm impression, whether intended or not, that the question of gravity's propagation speed has already been answered.

Yet, anyone with a computer and orbit computation or numerical integration software can verify the consequences of introducing a delay into gravitational interactions. The effect on computed orbits is usually disastrous because conservation of angular momentum is destroyed ...

---

But, of course, Van Flandern was a critic of conventional theories, so that makes him a pseudoscientist, right?

Isn't it strange that we expect our professional scientists to unify physics without teaching the students of physics all of the controversies associated with our dominant theories?

Isn't it also a bit unusual that so many professionals simply accept that speed of gravity = c, without actually attempting to get a simulation to work? It really begs the question of what these constructs "consensus" and "anti-science" really mean ...
Q-Star
2.8 / 5 (9) Aug 07, 2013
@Qstar

The sun's north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up


how does this not mean the sun currently has two poles of the same sign?


No, there is a magnetic "north" pole and a magnetic "south" pole. (By convention they have opposite signs. Catching up is referring to concentrating at the geographic "north" and "south" (which for the sun is a misnomer.)

Geographic "NORTH" & "SOUTH" do not relate to magnetic "NORTH" & "SOUTH" except to cartographers of the earth in the modern era. At times past, the Earth's geographic north pole would have attracted the "south" pointer of a compass. The Earth hasn't flipped, the magnetic poles reversed. It's a poorly understood phenomenon as far as mechanisms go.

A monopole is a hypothetical fundamental single particle. A single particle, not a mass of particles.
Q-Star
3 / 5 (12) Aug 07, 2013
Re: "HUH??? I have never found anything like that in serious books or articles, or had any physics lecturers that would espouse such a belief. How did you deduce that?!?!
Reference Please!"

Search on "speed of gravity tom van flandern". You'll get his works, as well as an analysis by Miles Mathis. Van Flandern's paper starts,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


Planets sometimes go critical and explode,,,,,,,,,,,

Aliens built monuments on Mars,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Newton & Einstein were morons as pointed out by La Sage,,,,,,,,,,,,

Yeppers, I would call his work serious and compelling.

He started his career brilliantly but his mind started to go,,, must have been something to do with the hippy & and drug culture he go caught up in.
adam_russell_9615
1 / 5 (3) Aug 07, 2013
How on earth (;-0) does one go away before the other?


Let's take a grossly simplified example: Pretend the sun's magnetic field has two sources; two giant electromagnets inside the sun, one above the core and one below the core (north and south of the core if you prefer). As you know, the strength and polarity of an electromagnet depend on the direction and amplitude of current flowing through them. So, if we start out with both of them being equal, then the sun as a whole will have a perfect dipole from our POV. Decrease the power on one and the poles will be lop-sided. If they are equal but opposite, they'll cancel out between them (at the core) and have the same polarity at both poles (two north or two south poles).


Are you saying that the remaining dipole, being off center will show one of its poles but not the other (because one pole is buried inside the sun)? I hope you arent saying that the dipole consists of 2 separate fields.
HannesAlfven
1.3 / 5 (12) Aug 07, 2013
Ahhhh ... After all, doing a simulation to validate a fundamental concept which props up an entire paradigm is JUST LIKE drug culture and alien monuments on Mars. Why bother asking these obviously "political" questions when we can plainly see that the man was insane?

Message to the students: Whatever you do, please remember that at the end of the day you will be working for some large institution. Just as they are not paying you to be "mavericky", your graduate program professors are watching the types of questions you ask to see if you really do "think like a scientist". Here's a tip: If you want to fit into this culture, you're going to want to avoid asking the political questions. Professionals don't do politics. Just do the work you're assigned, and you'll have a bright future.

And whatever you do, please do NOT read Jeff Schmidt's book, Disciplined Minds. The madness has spread to him, Noam Chomsky and the thousand or so other researchers who took a stand against the AIP.
GSwift7
3.3 / 5 (9) Aug 07, 2013
to HannesAlfven:

Are you sure you're posting on the correct thread? This story doesn't have anything to do with propagation of gravity. That's an impressive wall-o-text though, and an interesting topic of cosmological theory. The nature and propagation of gravity is at the heart of why we don't yet have a GUT. Nothing seems to work in all situations without creating at least one type of paradox in some other situations. You could argue in circles about it forever.

For now, the best we have are partial solutions, and when using any of them, an educated professional will understand the limitations. If you're looking for absolute truth, then go to church and choose to believe; science doesn't deal in absolutes, since no theory can ever be proven absolutely correct.
cantdrive85
1.3 / 5 (14) Aug 07, 2013
Q;
Ahh yes, the strawman, red herring, and/or ad hominen attack. It's like a bad 80's sitcom that won't go away. Do you ever discuss science? What's really amazing as ever single person who questions what you believe as being a "crank", "crackpot", or heavy drug user. Hal Arp is another "brilliant scientist" by your estimation, who "went crackpot" as soon as he changed his position. Strangely, his position changed AFTER observation didn't agree with theory, just as one would expect from a scientist. Shortly after his opinion changed, and after one of his papers ("Companion Galaxies on the Ends of Spiral Arms") was rejected simply because the editor of 'Astrophysical Journal' at the time (Chandrasekhar) stated "this exceeds my imagination", his telescope time was taken away and was forced out by his "peers". That's how "science" works these days.

"In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual."
Galileo Galilei
adam_russell_9615
not rated yet Aug 07, 2013
so this might not be a great monopole, as it is not stable -- but it technically is one right?

At present it looks like a multipole with the geographical north/south poles currently having the same sign.

It's a bit (a tiny bit) like if you put two bar magnets end-to-end with the same poles in the middle (e.g. N-S S-N). Do you have a monopole? No. Do you have the same magnetic signs at geographically opposite ends of the ENTIRE structure? Yes


I dont see how you can say you would have the same same magnetic sign at both poles. If the 2 magnets are equal they would cancel. You could not have a north pole at both ends, nor could you have a north pole at one end and no south pole. If one is stronger than the other then it would dominate and you would still end up with a north and a south pole of equal strength. Not suggesting monopoles here, but I just dont see how any combination of additive fields could ever yield one pole changing before the other.
adam_russell_9615
not rated yet Aug 07, 2013
Ok, now I think I see. When they say the south is catching up they dont mean the south magnetic pole they mean the south geographic pole. yes?
Q-Star
3.3 / 5 (12) Aug 07, 2013
Not suggesting monopoles here, but I just dont see how any combination of additive fields could ever yield one pole changing before the other.


One pole is not "changing" before the other. It's a poorly understood phenomenon. But think of it as a "fluid" magnet. Not a rigid "bar" magnet. The container of this magnet does not change it's orientation with the universe, but the fluid inside rearranges it's alignment. Like bending a bar magnet and twisting it into a horseshoe or pretzel shape, the poles can move around, theoretically they could be side by side in the same hemisphere. Or one could be on the geographic pole while the other is on the equator. They are subject to migration, we have observed this in the Sun, other stars and planets.

Don't tie "GEOGRAPHIC" pole down to the "MAGNETIC" pole. They are related mechanically but can be different dynamically.
HannesAlfven
1.6 / 5 (13) Aug 07, 2013
Re: "Nothing seems to work in all situations without creating at least one type of paradox in some other situations."

But, it plainly appears that people who question the dominant theories are basically considered to alternately be either insane, cranks, pseudoscientists or anti-science. There is the technical paradox, but there also appear to be institutional paradoxes ...

Professionalism involves thinking within the confines of an assigned framework, yet scientists are generally assumed by the public to not shy away from questioning assumptions.

Critical thinking absolutely demands questioning assumptions, but the questioning of certain important assumptions in science consistently produces derision and defensiveness.

Unification would seem to involve both critical and creative aspects of theory-making, yet creativity is generally undermined by professionalism.

So, is it that the paradox is purely a technical one?
rug
1.8 / 5 (8) Aug 07, 2013
Don't tie "GEOGRAPHIC" pole down to the "MAGNETIC" pole. They are related mechanically but can be different dynamically.


I think the perfect example of this would be Neptune.
"The magnetic dipole axis of Neptune is tilted at an angle of 47o to the spin axis of the planet"
http://www-ssc.ig...mag.html

Considering Neptune is the only planet in our solar system to be spinning sideways relative to the other planets. With the magnetic poles still roughly aligned with all the other planets. It brings to mind there might be a cause to this magnetic alignment of which I have no knowledge.
no fate
1.6 / 5 (8) Aug 07, 2013
@GSwift- There are several GUT's drifting around out there, just none that satisfy mainstream beliefs. That isn't a bad thing but some deserve more merit than they are given by the scientific community. Gravity and the assumptions around it's nature create the paradox's that the mainstream runs into.
GSwift7
4 / 5 (4) Aug 07, 2013
to hannes:

But, it plainly appears that people who question the dominant theories are basically considered to alternately be either insane, cranks, pseudoscientists or anti-science. There is the technical paradox, but there also appear to be institutional paradoxes


There's a huge difference between a reasonable challenge and wild conjecture, but that's somewhat subjective. I think some people get too hung up in absolutionisms (if that's not a word, it should be, lol). For example, just because GR seems to suggest a few things that are hard to believe, some people jump to totally reinvent every key concept of science. It's like, "oh there's a mistake, so the whole thing is wrong". That's like having a few words spelled wrong in a dictionary and inventing your own language in stead. That just doesn't make sense.
GSwift7
2.4 / 5 (7) Aug 07, 2013
to no fate:

@GSwift- There are several GUT's drifting around out there, just none that satisfy mainstream beliefs


If by 'mainstream beliefs' you mean math and observations and predictions and all that sort of mumbo jumbo, then yes.

To my knowledge, there's only a handful of real theories (by real, I mean the kind that has all that mumbo jumbo like math and predictions that match observations) that are still even close to viable. The majority of alternative theories have made predictions that are shown not to be true.

Some would say this is so with GR, due to dark matter and such, but that's just a matter of opinion. While dark matter has yet to be observed, that's not the same as observing something that proves it wrong. It's still possible that we will find the dark matter, or some other explanation of why the universe acts like dark matter is there, without tossing out all of GR.
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 07, 2013
There's a huge difference between a reasonable challenge and wild conjecture, but that's somewhat subjective. I think some people get too hung up in absolutionisms (if that's not a word, it should be, lol). For example, just because GR seems to suggest a few things that are hard to believe, some people jump to totally reinvent every key concept of science. It's like, "oh there's a mistake, so the whole thing is wrong". That's like having a few words spelled wrong in a dictionary and inventing your own language in stead. That just doesn't make sense.

Don't confuse GR as being science as a whole. Any theory/hypothesis can be cast aside w/o "reinventing every key concept of science", all that needs reinventing are the explanations shown to be false. Also, when the foundational concepts are erroneous, as many relativist ideas are, then yes it is within reason to cast off the entire concept.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Aug 07, 2013
It would appear that you can have 2 polarities, but still have a monopole in the case of a sphere.

You'll run into problems with field lines in that case (the sun ejecta still show marked alignment along field lines - which would look entirely different if you had a monopole.)

Please note that we don't observe a sun that is all one pole. Just that the geographical poles are currently LOCALLY the same magnetic polarity. There's a lot of local south and north poles all over the rest of the surface.

I would like to further point out that it takes a LOT of potential energy to force the polarity into this unstable configuration.

Agreed. Though the more magnetic dipoles you add the less the internal energy required to show the configration we observe. But it also increases the complexity of the internal model. So we're looking for the simplest model that can give the current picture.

no fate
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 07, 2013
Math is a language, a universally communicative tool, not a predictive one and certainly not a belief. Observations are truths (when interpreted correctly), not beliefs and predictions are guesses based on fact. I wouldn't say any of that is mumbo jumbo.

What I did say, paraphrased, is that any model based on gravity will generate paradox's. We observe it's effect, can calculate it's force and equate it to mass, the failure is in it's assumed relationship to the space the mass occupies. A theory/model not born of those assumptions, based solely on what we observe works much better.

Practical, functional and math that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye
I would call it a supermodel...if the tag wasn't already used for something else.

It isn't my theory but it is one that, when complete, will not be rife with mumbo jumbo. For example, an effect clearly generated by a field will not be ascribed to a particle...and subsequent search for said particle.


rug
1.7 / 5 (6) Aug 07, 2013
@No Fate - Since when is Math not a predictive tool? Math predicts if I have one pen and pick up another I will have two. You know what, it's right. Wow, math just predicted something.

All Smart ass comments aside, it was the math in the GR theory that predicted black holes. There has been a lot of evidence for them gathered now. GR's formulas predicted the whole GPS time issue. What do you know, we have it and was able to account for it.

Thank you Math for predicting the future. If you didn't I might not know how much my pay check would be this week.
no fate
1 / 5 (5) Aug 07, 2013
RUG - when you have 1 pen, and you pick up another math tells you that you now have two, math did not predict that you would pick up the pen. That is addition, not prediction. As for BH's, when we actually locate a region of space that matches the description of a BH, I will humbly digress. That said, it is well known GR works very well at describing local phenomenon and I applaud it's usefulness for the same reasons as you. It just does a less than stellar job with the universe as a whole.
rug
2.5 / 5 (8) Aug 07, 2013
No it wouldn't predict I was going to pick up the pen but then again that would be the choice of formula to use. However, using the addition formula it could predict how many I was going to have after before I picked it up. This is a very simplified version granted and yes it is just addition. If I didn't know how many I would have and wanted to know I could do the math before I do the action.

I've got no problem with the fact that GR has it's faults. My only problem is with the fact you seem to think math can't make predictions. If the formula is correct it will predict the outcome.

Oh and on the black hole thing...this is rather convincing. http://www.extrem...as-cloud
Gmr
3.5 / 5 (8) Aug 07, 2013

...Any theory/hypothesis can be cast aside w/o "reinventing every key concept of science", all that needs reinventing are the explanations shown to be false. ..


This is so bad it's not even wrong.

This bizarre wordplay comes from philosophical or religious discussions, where you just have to poke one hole to deflate the whole mass of words. That's not how science works. Any "new" explanation needs to do the old one one better, not just point to a gray area and say that it invalidates the whole structure.

This is tantamount to me saying I can build you an equivalent house with better roofing, and just providing a few tiles to replace bad ones. You can't live in a few tiles - ergo, I have not built you a "better" house - I haven't even built you a house.
no fate
1 / 5 (4) Aug 08, 2013
Rug: We use math to calculate unknown variables,but this isn't prediction. Math doesn't predict a value, it tells you the exact value of said variable if all of your others are correct. It's predictive value is only as good as the established knowledge, if that knowledge is sound the equation is said to have good predictive value only in that it describes observed reality very well. After typing that it sounds like we are saying the same thing and just differ on our perception of what a prediction is.

Your link is also a matter of perception. IMO it is plasma entering a region of intense magnetic flux and rapidly rotating matter. Not neccessarily a singularity as described by GR.
_lijahpaul_oses
1 / 5 (11) Aug 08, 2013
The Record Sun disturbances were prophesy by the Word researcher on the website mentioned below in past yahoo/space.com commentary copied and pasted below ... It has Begun... She is correct in one respect, they must stay from the fray, if not right in their theories and conclusions! There is one website wherein the cause of aging and death has been found through mere Word research of the already collected data of God's science, on the website the conclusive information that touches on that subject cannot be denied, and has given all Righteousness to God's word the Bible wherein it was prophesy that in this day Science will have proved God's mystery Revelation 10:7... Go to the sites mentioned below in past yahoo commentary copied and pasted below... It has Begun .. Our Lord's science has proved His mystery and instead His children of Science deny Him while reaping the benefits of His delivered Knowledge! For evidence that He and He alone brought forth Science go to proof
meBigGuy
5 / 5 (2) Aug 10, 2013
Isn't that special.
IronhorseA
1 / 5 (3) Aug 11, 2013


Some would say this is so with GR, due to dark matter and such, but that's just a matter of opinion. While dark matter has yet to be observed, that's not the same as observing something that proves it wrong. It's still possible that we will find the dark matter, or some other explanation of why the universe acts like dark matter is there, without tossing out all of GR.


The problem isn't with GR, but with astronomers who are too lazy to use it and instead use Newtonian Gravity due to it being more 'calculation friendly'. The high non-linearity of GR causes unexpected results when used in weak field calculations (as opposed to the strong fields around black holes).
Greenwood
5 / 5 (2) Aug 11, 2013
The problem isn't with GR, but with astronomers who are too lazy to use it and instead use Newtonian Gravity due to it being more 'calculation friendly'. The high non-linearity of GR causes unexpected results when used in weak field calculations (as opposed to the strong fields around black holes).


No. It's imposed on most solutions that in the weak field limit GR produces newtonian mechanics. It's in the strong field case nonlinearity causes unexpected results, as you would expect. What you claim has never been shown to be an issue.
IronhorseA
1 / 5 (3) Aug 11, 2013
The problem isn't with GR, but with astronomers who are too lazy to use it and instead use Newtonian Gravity due to it being more 'calculation friendly'. The high non-linearity of GR causes unexpected results when used in weak field calculations (as opposed to the strong fields around black holes).


No. It's imposed on most solutions that in the weak field limit GR produces newtonian mechanics. It's in the strong field case nonlinearity causes unexpected results, as you would expect. What you claim has never been shown to be an issue.


Tell that to Dr. Cooperstock et. al. who specifically modeled both a galaxy and galactic cluster and used GR instead of the newtonian limit. BTW, the 'lazy astronomer' comment was his. ;P
Q-Star
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 11, 2013
Tell that to Dr. Cooperstock et. al. who specifically modeled both a galaxy and galactic cluster and used GR instead of the newtonian limit. BTW, the 'lazy astronomer' comment was his. ;P


Actually Cooperstock's original methods on this haven't stood the test of time and subsequent observations. Each time a criticism of his methodology was presented he would move the goal post around. His results have achieved by manipulating the weight of various terms in Einstein's field equations, ie, he starts with the answers, and then jiggles the terms so that they give that answer. In his maths he gives different weights to the different axises of spacetime.

They were interesting exercises but not very compelling to refute the lambda-CDM model.
peteshift
1 / 5 (3) Sep 14, 2013
a character in my novel was pretty hot on this, he had a model figured but not to the point of having it hung up and nicely painted : his point was about the cultural effects, i suspect he was a bit political, what with his pockets building up charge and then flipping, gradually bringing the whole around. just a thought...