Monday, March 12, 2012

Mars gets more of its atmosphere stripped away from Solar Storms than Earth

    Solar flares: Be glad you're on Earth, not Mars (+video)

    Click (+video) above to see video.


    Solar flares: Be glad you're on Earth, not Mars 

    The recent solar flares provide a dramatic backdrop for a study that shows Mars gets far more of its atmosphere stripped away by solar storms than does Earth. Thank you, magnetosphere.

    By Pete Spotts, Staff writer / March 8, 2012
    This NASA image shows the solar flare that sent a solar storm of charged particles heading toward Earth.
    When solar storms strike Earth, as they have this week, the planet's magnetic field is a first line of defense against fast-moving clouds of charged particles hurtling from the sun.
    At midnight UT the active solar region 1429 unleashed a powerful X5.4-class flare. X-class solar flares are the strongest of the flares. They are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms.

    It appears that right after the large X5.4 flare another slightly lower, X1 flare (5 times smaller) occurred. You can clearly see a wave going across the Sun.

    NASA says that they are still gathering data and that the Space Weather Forecast Lab will have updates available soon.

    A new study hints at how important that line of defense is in fostering a livable planet.
    During a bout of turbulence in the solar wind in 2008, researchers found that Mars lost oxygen atoms in its atmosphere 10 times faster than did Earth – an observation the team attributes at least in part to the relative strength of each planet's magnetic field.
    It marks the first time researchers have measured the effects of the solar wind on two planets at the same time and under the same windy conditions, and there is hope that the study can be extended to Venus, which has no magnetic field at all.
    On one level, the results aren't surprising, the researchers acknowledge. Scientists have long thought that the presence of a natural, magnetic deflector shield would help a planet retain an atmosphere. This is seen as one reason Mars, with a magnetic field one-tenth as strong as Earth's, has such a comparatively tenuous atmosphere.
    Yet during the past few years, discoveries involving the Earth's relatively expansive magnetosphere – the region of space around the planet that falls under the influence of its magnetic field – have cast some doubt on details of this generally accepted idea, the researchers say.
    Some studies have suggested that the Earth's magnetosphere may be more efficient at transferring energy from the solar wind to the upper atmosphere than on smaller planets with weaker, smaller magnetospheres. This would render Earth's field a less-effective windbreak than previously thought.
    By measuring the effect of the same solar-wind conditions on two planets at the same time, researchers can better quantify the shielding effect, as well as make comparisons to see how shield efficiency might change with the size of the magnetosphere.
    The team, led by Yong Wei, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, took advantage of a conjunction between Mars, Earth, and the sun in 2008. Mars and Earth lined up on the same side of the sun, an event that occurs roughly every 25 months. That put both planets in the same general solar-wind environment.
    Instruments aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter, and on a flotilla of four ESA craft that study how the sun affects the near-Earth environment, provided data on the loss of oxygen ions from each planet's upper atmosphere.
    When a particularly turbulent region of the solar wind hit each planet, the additional rate of oxygen loss at Mars was 10 times higher than at Earth.
    With another ESA orbiter circling Venus and able to make measurements similar to Mars Express and the ESA's near-Earth flotilla, the team is looking forward to a current favorable alignment between the sun, Earth, Mars, and Venus to make additional measurements and comparisons.
    This alignment comes as the sun is nearing the peak of its 11-year sunspot cycle, when eruptions like the coronal-mass ejection and solar flares this week happen most frequently. The team hopes to measure the effect these larger, far more energetic blasts of charged particles have on the erosion of atmospheres.
    Venus will make an interesting addition to the lineup. It's about as big as Earth, with a far thicker atmosphere, but no magnetic field.
    The results of the Mars-Earth comparison are being published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research.
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    My theory is that our genetics originally came from Mars and the planet that was the Asteroid Belt before it was blown up by a thermonuclear war that was proven by a Soviet Union Probe in the 1970s. Even though this information was suppressed by Christian and Islamic Churches in the western world because it doesn't agree with their theology much like what happened to Galileo in his time, it doesn't lessen the truth of the thermonuclear war that destroyed what some call Maldek (the Asteroid Belt) and likely blew off much of Mars' atmosphere at that time. LIkely we are the remnants of that DNA strain that was interbred with Apes to make us stronger and immunologically more adapted to earth. So, likely we are half from earth and half from somewhere else originally (including Maldek and Mars). It is my belief that one of the reasons we had to leave Mars is because of Solar Storms depleting oxygen off of the atmosphere of Mars at too high a rate and likely cancer from the lack of a ozone protection there. But part of the cause of our ancestors leaving there likely was the use of electricity by breaking the magnetic fields of magnets. This likely helped cause the depletion of the magnetosphere there. If I am right in my theory then we are presently depleting our own magnetosphere by using electricity that comes from breaking the magnetic fields of magnets. It is possible that the only safe form of electricity might come from Solar Cells because that doesn't break a magnetic field. So Solar Cells likely don't deplete our magnetosphere.

    However, in regard to us right now I think someone has to prove or disprove my theory about depletion of the magnetosphere before we wind up like Mars once again. I asked the Head of one of the UC (University of California) departments in Physics about this and he said, "Power comes from a power generation station". I said, "Yes. I understand this but what is this doing to the magnetosphere long term?" He said he didn't think they were related. However, I still have a bad feeling in my gut and intuition that we are making the same mistakes as our ancestors did on Mars once again. And I hope we don't have to change planets again in order for some of us to survive as a result of making the exact same mistakes once again.

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