David, Thank you for that descriptive reply. I am reading it over until
I see what you are talking about. I may ask again about parts of it. But
again I want to thank you for this great reply. Walter
On Thu, 12 Sep 2002 13:34:53 -0000 "David" <b1blancer1@...
--- In methanehydrateclub@y..., foryeshua1@j... wrote:
> B1, I do not understand what is meant by "the interplanetary field
> sharply Southward." My concept of the magnetosphere is a field
> blunted on the Sun side and which trails out behind the earth a long
> If it is this field as it reacts with other planets, then I have some
> concept of what it is. Walter
You're right about the magnetosphere. In fact, our club picture is a
representation of it. The part that trails out behind is called the
magnetotail. Interesting trivia item : The largest object in the
solar system is not the sun, but Jupiter's magnetotail! The Earth's
magentosphere, contrary to what you would think, emerges from the
south pole and reenters at the north pole. By strict definition, what
we call the north pole is actually the magnetic south pole!
The interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) comes from the sun's magnetic
field, and is carried by the solar wind. Therefore, the solar wind
has a magnetic field associated with it. The IMF is measured in nT
(nano-telsas). It isn't very strong. It usually runs at 15 nT or
less. In contrast, Earth's magnetic field is around 40,000 nT.
The IMF can either be north or south pointing. A south pointing IMF
is pointing opposite from the flow of Earth's magnetic field flow.
The result is that a south-pointing IMF will interfere with and weaken
Earth's magnetic field. Basically, just think of two fans sitting on
a table and pointing at each other. The airflow from one interferes
with and weakens the airflow from the other. When Earth's magnetic
field gets weakened, its renders the Earth more prone to the solar
wind gusts, and geomagnetic storms (and aurora) can be the result.
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