MATRIXSYNTH: Earth's Magnetic Field Producing Sine Waves

Friday, November 23, 2018

Earth's Magnetic Field Producing Sine Waves


This one is in via MATRIXSYNTH reader Gerard, spotted on SpaceWeather.com:

"A RARE WAVE IN EARTH'S MAGNETIC FIELD: When a stream of solar wind hits Earth, magnetometers around the Arctic Circle normally go haywire, their needles swinging chaotically as local magnetic fields react to the buffeting of the solar wind. On Nov. 18th, however, something quite different happened. Solar wind hit Earth and produced ... a pure, almost-musical sine wave.

Rob Stammes recorded the event from the Polarlightcenter, a magnetic observatory in the Lofoten Islands of Norway. "A very stable ~15 second magnetic oscillation commenced and persisted for several hours," he says. "The magnetic field was swinging back and forth by 0.06 degrees, peak to peak, with the regularity of a metronome."

Imagine blowing across a piece of paper, making it flutter with your breath. The solar wind can have a similar effect on magnetic fields. The waves Stammes recorded are essentially flutters propagating down the flanks of Earth's magnetosphere excited by the breath of the sun. Researchers call them 'pulsations continuous' -- or 'Pc' for short.

'A very sensitive magnetometer is required to record these delicate waves,' says Stammes. 'I use a mechanical magnetometer with bar magnets suspended from a special wire. LEDs and light detectors in an isolated dark box record the motion of the magnets, while vanes in oil damp out non-magnetic interference.'"

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