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Earth’s Ionosphere, Magnetosphere, Auroras, LDE’s

I’ve been fascinated by radio since I was a young child. Radio seems to be a connection between our physical world and some sort of ether world outside of physical existence.

Speak into a microphone, modulate a transmitter, and if the signal is a high enough frequency to make it through the ionosphere, it goes out into space forever. Millennia after I’m gone from this worldly plain, signals, modulated with my voice, will still be traveling through space.

If the frequency isn’t high enough to make it through the ionosphere, well there is where some truly interesting stuff happens. There the signal may be absorbed, and since we know energy can neither be created nor destroyed, that means the signal is simply converted into some other form of energy. Or, the signal may be refracted back to Earth.

People commonly say the ionosphere “reflects” signals, but more properly it “refracts” them. The actual mechanics involve the interaction of an electromagnetic wave with free electrons in the ionosphere. In real terms the difference is that above a certain critical angle, the electromagnetic wave will not be directed back towards the Earth’s surface and there is phase shift and absorption. In the simplest of terms though it acts like a reflection if the frequency isn’t too high or the angle isn’t too steep.

There was a certain sense of immortality involved in radio. My voice will live on after I am long gone. There are phenomena involved that seemed to me, still seem to me, mystical and magical. One such phenomena that I occasionally encountered was something known as long delayed echo. Basically, one here’s an echo of the transmission delayed more than a simple reflection from the ionosphere can account for.

When I was operating my pirate radio station back in the mid 1970s, the frequency we normally ran on was 1200 Khz. At that time, there were a number of clear channel assignments, AM frequencies that only one station was permitted to transmit on at night, allowing reception of that station pretty much anywhere in the country (and many areas outside of the United States borders).

The only other station on 1200 Khz at the time was WOAI in San Antonio, Texas. We chose that frequency because WOAI’s signal was extremely weak in the Seattle area allowing our 100 watt signal to be heard over a fairly substantial distance. I never did receive any reports of it being received via skip however.

LDE, the phenomena of long delayed echoes is a truly strange one. When we operated our bootleg radio station, we had an off-the-air monitor (radio) to monitor our broadcast and make sure things were sounding good. When we’d turn the transmitter off, the AGC on the receiver would bring the gain up and you’d then here whatever noise was present on the frequency. Occasionally, I’d hear the last fraction of a second of our own broadcast repeat.

What made this possible? I don’t know but the ionosphere, magnetosphere, their interaction with each other, and with the solar wind, are all much stranger than commonly though. However, I do know that we received no reports of skip. Even if the signal had been strong enough to be reflected back to us, a trip around the Earth only takes about 1/7th of a second, the ionosphere and back only a few milliseconds, not long enough to account for the phenomena.

If not ionospheric, then what else could it be? One theory of LDE‘s is that, under the right conditions, a signal is converted into acoustic energy in the plasma of the ionosphere, travels some distance as an acoustic wave (which travels at the speed of sound in the ionosphere), and then is converted back to an electromagnetic wave. Mmm, maybe…

I should add all of this was happening before we had HAARP muddying the waters further. A funny thing about HAARP, I have heard and read all sorts of rumors about it’s capabilities being far greater than originally documented. Originally, HAARP was looking at using RF “heating” of the ionosphere, to intensify ionization in a region, to allow the bouncing of VHF and UHF signals that normally would not be reflected, back to the Earth’s surface. This would allow things like over the horizon radar and military communications over the horizon.

Recently, it was discovered that acoustic waves, sound, within the Sun, is coupled into the Sun’s magnetic field lines. It is these sound waves propagating in the magnetic field lines heat the chromosphere to 20,000 °C, and the corona one to two million °K, and during extreme activity as high as 3.6 million °K.

Many of the Suns magnetic field lines loop back upon themselves, but some do not and travel out into space and past our planet. They interact with the Earth’s magnetic field lines, and charged particles of the solar wind traveling along the Sun’s magnetic field lines couple into the Earth’s and travel along the Earth’s magnetic field lines, entering the atmosphere near the poles, exciting atoms in the upper atmosphere causing them to glow which is the phenomena we know as the Auroras.

I believe this system allows the coupling of the acoustic waves into the Sun all the way into the Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere, and atmosphere, and even into the planet itself.

Magnetosphere
Image from Wikipedia Commons
This image is in the public domain.
Derived from an image created by NASA.

Because protons and electrons in the solar wind have the same magnitude of charge (opposite polarity) but differ in mass by a factor of 2,000, the electrons spiral along magnetic field lines more tightly than protons. I believe this creates a separation of charge that is the root of the charge between the ionosphere and the Earth rather than lighting. Lightning, I believe, is actually discharging this potential not charging it. That is evidenced by the increase in lightning activity during solar maximums.

What all this is leading up to is that I believe the Earth’s magnetosphere and the Sun’s are intimately
connected, and that coupling adds energy to the planetary system that results in climate changes as well as internal activity. I believe it is probably the this complex system that somehow accounts for LDE’s.

Some of the things I’ve seen on the net, like a proposal to alter the ionosphere to protect low Earth orbiting satellites during a high altitude nuclear explosion or a extreme solar event, suggest that our military knows a lot more about the workings of the ionosphere and it’s interaction with the Sun than the civilian sector.

Because the ionosphere is a non-linear medium, it is possible to transmit to high frequency signals, the difference of which is the desired frequency to be created, and by doing so create signals in the ELF range. The military sees this as a possible method of communicating with submerged submarines since ELF penetrates the oceans. It also penetrates land, and is a potential method of seeing underground structures.

The most interesting low frequencies are near the Schumann resonance where the resonant cavity formed by the ionosphere and Earth tend to amplify certain frequencies.

An interesting aspect of frequencies near the Schumann resonance is that these are also frequencies close to those of human brain waves, and it has already been shown that external fields will entrain the brain and by extension affect states of consciousness. It is possible to entrain the brain to a low frequency and induce relaxation, lethargy, or sleep, or to higher frequencies, and induce alertness, anxiety, excitation, and irritation.

The creation of these low frequency signals of high amplitude can also effect the Earth’s magnetic field lines, and in turn steer where particles from the solar wind penetrate the atmosphere. This has the potential to be used as an extremely destructive weapon.

Another potential use, and I can’t help but wonder if the military isn’t exploring this although I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere, is the potential to extract huge quantities of energy from the ionosphere in the form of a DC electric current.

In short, the ionosphere is conductive, the Earth is conductive. A charge of between 100 v/meter and
300 v/meter exists between the ionosphere and ground. The interesting thing here is that it is also claimed that the ionosphere has a potential to ground of about 300KV. The problem here is if this were true then the ionosphere would only be 1-3 kilometers above the Earth, so something is wrong with one of those figures. Either the field strength has to be lower, or the total potential higher. If one could create an ionized column from the ground to the ionosphere, a huge current would discharge through that ionized column. The amount of energy involved would be unimaginably huge.

Well, just a few thoughts, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on this subject. There is so much more I could say about this subject, and will say in the future, but I’ve got to do some work so can’t spend all night writing.

The Scientific Method

The Scientific method does not lend itself well to the examination of phenomena which are transient in nature are are not repeatable upon demand or perhaps at all.

It annoys me that mainstream science dismisses out of hand anything which it can not address. Mainstream science can’t make an extraterrestrial space craft appear, nor can it make a predictive vision or dream happen on demand. Cold fusion can’t be reproduced with 100% success. Gravity shielding can’t be reproduced at the same level that Podklenov claimed.

There are phenomena in nature that just don’t lend themselves to production on demand, either because we don’t understand all the circumstances necessary for their production or because we can not produce the circumstances necessary for their production.

If you’ve experienced one or more of these phenomena then, to the degree you trust your own sanity, you know they are real, but a third party will tend to have less faith in your sanity than you. Until and unless enough people experience a phenomena for it to become part of our consensus reality it won’t be accepted by the scientific community unless it can become scientifically proven, which again phenomena which are not repeatable upon demand do not lend themselves to.

I think in part this is due to arrogance in the mainstream scientific community who are largely under the mistaken belief that they already know 99% of everything there is to know. I don’t think we, as a species, are anywhere close to understanding ourselves or the universe of which we are apart. I believe there is still much to be learned, and that the best position from which to learn is one of not assuming what we think we know is absolute truth.

I try to look at all of our existing knowledge as models that make useful predictions about reality not as an absolute explanation of reality. I think this is a healthier approach that leaves more open to learning and discovery than the more common dogmatic approach.

I try to gather the data that doesn’t fit, hoping enough data might eventually point to a new better theory that makes more accurate and complete predictions about our reality.

NASA Tether Video

This has been out for a while but I still don’t know what to make of it. I’d post on the forum but haven’t figured out how to make phpbb3 allow html yet.

The tether is supposed to be eighty miles away at the time this is filmed. These circular objects are dismissed by NASA as being ice crystals. Yet, you can see them pass behind the tether in the video which would make them several miles in diameter.

Viewzone Magazine

I added a new site, Viewzone Magazine.

There is a difficulty in the field of science. On the one hand, there are 6.4 billion individuals on this planet, many of them have very active imaginations, and many of those have access to the Internet. You can’t believe everything you read, a very large percentage is bogus.

On the other hand, if you stick to peer reviewed journals like Nature, you’ll only rarely find anything printed which contradicts established theories and thus very little progress is possible.

Viewzone has a lot of questionable material, but they also have a lot of leading edge, you won’t hear about it elsewhere, material. As fringe science sites go I think this site has quite a lot of good information in the mix. But you have to exercise some critical thinking and responsibility when you read this site.

Sidebar Additions

I’ve added a several sites to the side bar. Space Flight Now which deals with space flight, space exploration, cosmology and astrophysics. The Space Review seems to be focused on manned space flight. Exploratorium offers down to Earth experiments and demonstrations educators and science hobbyists can use to teach and learn science.

These links will live on in the sidebar even after this post has scrolled.

Problem with Singularities

Black Holes are an interesting topic, I’m not convince they exist in their originally conceived form, that of a singularity. Problem with quantum physics aside, there is also the problem of angular momentum and relativity.

Everything in the universe possesses angular momentum, whether it be a collapsing star or space dust or whatever, it spins. To conserve angular momentum, as something collapses it spins faster, just as a ballerina spins faster when she brings her arms near her body.

Material collapsing will approach relativistic velocities at some point. It can not go faster than the speed of light but it can get closer and closer, and as it does, it will acquire more and more relativistic mass. The fact that it can’t spin infinitely fast means it can never collapse entirely into a singularity.

Even if the material only approaches the speed of light, we should see the effect of relativistic mass on the gravity signature of black holes and the effect that it has on the surrounding space. We don’t seem to see this so something must prevent the collapse from continuing past some stable point, otherwise we’d keep seeing the relativistic mass continue to rise towards infinity swallowing the entire universe. We are still here to contemplate this so I think it’s safe to assume this has not yet happened, in at least 13.7 billion years, this has not yet happened in our universe.

Magnetic Anomaly

On a mailing list that I am on someone described an experiment in which they made a transformer where the primary consisted of a normal winding of insulted copper wire. The transformer was one designed to be easily disassembled for demonstrations.

They made a secondary of 15 turns of 1mm PVC insulated wire and measured the output, both open, and under load. Then they made an identical secondary except that it was encased in a ring of steel pipe with the ends not quite touching.

When the primary was powered up, the output voltage induced in the 15 turn secondary was the same whether it was unshielded or inside the ring of steel pipe. Open circuit voltage or voltage measured with a lamp load were not affected by the presence of the pipe.

The experimenters question was, if voltage induced in the secondary involves the coil cutting the flux as they referred to it, why was voltage not reduced when shielded inside the steel pipe. And a secondary question was, in a transformer design where flux is designed to stay in the core, how does it cut the coil and induce a voltage. Any flux which does escape the core is considered “leakage flux” and generally transformer cores are designed to minimize that. I’d add to that, a toroidal transformer where there is essentially no leakage flux is as efficient as you can get.

The whole cutting lines of flux concept is one I’ve never been comfortable with, I think it derives from the old iron filings experiments where they filings lined themselves up in lines that people assumed to be magnetic lines of force, but I think that assumption was incorrect; without the filings there is just a magnetic field gradient, not “lines”, the lines form because when one filing aligns with the gradient, it essentially short-circuits that magnetic field gradient over it’s length and so the magnetic gradient potential is higher near it’s ends attracting other filings, they in turn do the same thing and so the end result is filings self-organizing themselves into lines.

The questions are of interest. Working in various fields involving transmission of audio signals in shielded coaxial cables, I’ve always noted the lack of 100% effective shielding and attributed that to the fact that the shielding materials had electrical resistance and where therefore unable to completely exclude magnetic fields. I wouldn’t have been surprised that some field is induced in the secondary, after all the shield was incomplete, there was a gap, and steel is not a particularly good conductor and therefore shield.

That no difference in output was observed, that is surprising, and then the whole question about transformer theory and flux being contained within the core is also interesting. Please feel free to use comments or e-mail to add your thoughts on this subject.

Crackpots and Geniuses

Crackpots and Geniuses seem to be equally excluded from mainstream science. It presents a dilemma when it comes to including numerous alternative or fringe science sites and concepts. Mainstream science has become frustratingly dogmatic. The more we insist we know all there is to know, the more difficult it becomes to discover. We should not confuse science with truth. A theory, even if it makes successful predictions, is still a theory. The success of those predictions doesn’t prove the theory is truth, it only proves that it makes accurate predictions in a set of circumstances.

Newtons law of gravity made wonderfully accurate predictions under most ordinary circumstances. Nature being what it is provided us with one example where Newtons law of gravity failed, in the motion of Mercury. For the motion of Mercury to be fully explained, relativity had to be invoked. General relativity makes accurate predictions under a broader set of circumstances than does Newtonian physics. But it fails under some circumstances also. It fails to properly describe the rate of deceleration of the Pioneer spacecraft. This has become known as the Pioneer Anomaly. The anomaly hasn’t been limited to Pioneer, other spacecraft near the edge of the solar system have demonstrated similar anomalous deceleration.

It is clear to me that we don’t understand the force of gravity to the degree we think we do. Gravity waves have been predicted by physicists for decades. Numerous gravity wave experiments, Australia has ACIGA, The German-British project GEO 600, NASA LISA spaced base interferometry experiment, LIGO at CalTech, the Japanese projects LIGM and Tama 300, the French/Italian project VIRGO and the Italian project AURIGA, have all failed to definitively detect gravity waves.

A weak but existent connection between gravity and electromagnetism was predicted by Einstein. An effect still very weak but orders of magnitude stronger than predicted. Such a force has been measured around rotating superconductive rings. Gravitational forces emanating from rotating superconductors have been measured at various laboratories. They have fallen far short of those claimed by Eugene Podkletnov, a Russian scientists, who claims to have seen gravity reduction up to 2%, but still several orders of magnitude greater than predicted by Einstein.

These things and more convince me that there is still much to learn, and so I have included some sites which I am confident contain crackpot material because I believe within them from time to time also will be found some genuine science that will not make it’s way into mainstream journals anytime soon.

Spy

The ingenuity of some people is beyond belief. Take a look at this article in the New Scientist.

I’ve heard of people spying on computer data by detecting the radio frequency emissions from the monitor and it is not real difficult for me to understand how that might be done.

But this one never occurred to me. It is possible to see what’s on someone’s computer monitor by just the light reflected off the wall or diffused through curtains, and this can even be done from a great distance via a telescope.

That this was possible never occurred to me before. The article did not elaborate on HOW this was done. Being familiar with how CRT displays work, after reading that was possible, it was immediately obvious to me how it was possible.

On a CRT display, an electron beam is swept from left to right and top to bottom. Thus the light hitting the wall, which appears to be a diffuse flickering glow, is actually rapidly modulating as the electron beams trace out the image on the monitors phosphors.

with a sensitive light detector at the focal point of a telescope, one need only determine the horizontal and vertical sweep rates, and this can be determined by the regular dimming during the fly back and vertical retrace periods, in order to reconstruct the image. The electron beam is swept from left to right, each successive line lower than the one before. When it gets all the way to the right, it rapidly “flys back”, and during this time it is turned off so it doesn’t make lines backwards across the display. That off period should be recognizable and usable as a sync period. A similar thing happens when the beam reaches the bottom of the screen and has to return to the top.

Essentially what you have is a three channel optical link. You need filters to separate red/green/blue, but for each channel the data is basically a serial optical link.