Solar wind weakens Mercury’s magnetic field

Solar wind weakens Mercury’s magnetic field

More proof of an electromagnetic universe

Why is Mercury’s magnetic field so much weaker than Earth’s?

Because the solar wind – the electric current constantly flowing from the Sun – counteracts Mercury’s internal dynamo and thus weakens its magnetic field., say scientists at the Technische Universität Braunschweig and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research.

So let me ask you. If the solar wind can affect Mercury’s magnetic field so drastically, then why, given the right circumstances, couldn’t it affect the earth’s magnetic field? And why, given the right alignment, couldn’t it lead to a magnetic reversal?

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Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

7 thoughts on “Solar wind weakens Mercury’s magnetic field

  1. C’mon – everybody knows Mercury has no “greenhouse gases” and therefore completely lacks the magical “greenhouse effect” which is just right to keep you toasty warm because the Sun can’t – except when it runs away and then it fries you to death.

    Climate “scientists” have REALLY big computers to prove it is the only effect to have.

  2. That requires assuming that they happen to be right, and there is always a good chance that they aren’t. If you believe in an electromagnetic universe, then you probably will have to discount the theory of the internal dynamo, especially for a planet that appears to be tidal locked to the Sun, therefore doesn’t rotate but once a revolution. I’d rather doubt that there could be an “internal dynamo” spinning at any rate to maintain a magnetic field with the surface of the planet locked. In fact I rather find it difficult to believe any planet has a “core” capable of rotating faster than the surface unless it is being driven by an external force such as the “solar wind.”

      • And perhaps BECA– USE of the solar wind that is weakening, we see OUR magnetic field weakening as well. I am aware that the cosmic ray energy is being kept at bay, if you will, by the solar wind, but what if it drops to the point that the cosmic rays are more prevalent than the wind? Might that cause a reversal that might be maintained by the winds when they pick back up? That might explain why there would be “evolutionary leaps” at the times of reversals since cosmic rays have been thought to cause mutations. Something to consider, I suppose.

    • I barely “believe” in anything. I’m not sure why an electromagnetic universe would preclude “an internal dynamo.” It’s pretty clear that there are serious problems with standard cosmology, but that is a problem with theory. There is no really sufficient theory for a planetary magnetic field at present. The dynamism, field strength and dip distribution all suggest that a conducting fluid is involved, but there are also some really interesting minerals with very strong similarities with known superconductors, so perhaps the real mechanism is a complex. A tidal-locked body is 1) not non-rotating; it spins at a rate that matches it’s year, and 2) if you consider how it is we know that there have been geomagnetic reversals, then it would appear feasible that a tectonically dead planet might retain a fossil magnetic field just like cold lava or a cold earthen hearth does. That is just two possibilities. There’s also the fact that a conductor moved through a magnetic field develops a current, which in turn would generate another magnetic field. We have lots of puzzle pieces but I doubt we even have really found the picture’s corners yet. Happy New Years.

  3. One quick answer would be that there is no reason it would not affect the earth’s field and sound physics says it would, but the solar field is only about 1/1000 the strength at earth compared to what Mercury is exposed to. So the effect would be there, but arguably not generally of significant strength. The other side issue is that we don’t actually know what generates the earth’s – or any – planetary field. Consequently, we really don’t know what will or will not affect it at measurable levels.

  4. well the solar winds DO affect our magnetic fields..the flares this week have reached us, my radio kept going awol in spurts wed thursday, and the auroras have been speccy for the nthn watchers.
    still a couple of spots able to upset us facing our way for some days yet.

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