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PersianPaladin

Sun’s rotating ‘magnet’ pulls lightning towards UK

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Interesting research. An excerpt from the article:-

 

Lead author of the research Dr Matt Owens said: “We’ve discovered that the Sun’s powerful magnetic field is having a big influence on UK lightning rates.

“The Sun’s magnetic field is like a bar magnet, so as the Sun rotates its magnetic field alternately points toward and away from the Earth, pulling the Earth’s own magnetic field one way and then another.â€

In their study, the researchers used satellite and Met Office data to show that between 2001 and 2006, the UK experienced a 50% increase in thunderstorms when the HMF (heliospheric magnetic field)  pointed towards the Sun and away from Earth.

This change of direction can skew or ‘bend’ the Earth’s own magnetic field and the researchers believe that this could expose some regions of the upper atmosphere to more galactic cosmic rays—tiny particles from across the Universe accelerated to close to the speed of light by exploding stars.

“From our results, we propose that galactic cosmic rays are channelled to different locations around the globe, which can trigger lightning in already charged-up thunderclouds. The changes to our magnetic field could also make thunderstorms more likely by acting like an extra battery in the atmospheric electric circuit, helping to further ‘charge up’ clouds,†Dr Owens continued.

The results build on a previous study by University of Reading researchers, also published in Environmental Research Letters, which found an unexpected link between energetic particles from the Sun and lightning rates on Earth.

 

 

http://www.iop.org/news/14/nov/page_64495.html

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  shouldn't this be... 'suns rotating magnet pulls lightning towards linconlshire'.

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It's very interesting stuff. Until now, researchers basically have not been able to explain why clouds actually produce lightning because the strength of the electrical fields are an order of magnitude too weak. Processes such as run-away breakdown of cosmic rays as well as charged solar particles have been hypothesized but the whole process is still yet to be understood. The idea that clouds are given a significant amount of charge from space is pretty cool, I think - and perhaps we should thank the Russians for getting this area of research started.

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The concept of galactic cosmic rays travelling with the speed of light and charging the already charged up thunderclouds sounds pretty plausible to me!

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The obvious question that comes to mind, though, is: why would cosmic rays direct lightning towards the UK? What's so special about the UK?? :D

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The obvious question that comes to mind, though, is: why would cosmic rays direct lightning towards the UK? What's so special about the UK?? :D

If the Daily Mail got hold of this article they would blame our 'generous' benefits system. :D   I've only seen lightning once this summer. :cc_confused:  Has there been an increase?

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Im always very skeptical about these studies. Correlation doesn't always mean causation.

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If the Daily Mail got hold of this article they would blame our 'generous' benefits system. :D   I've only seen lightning once this summer. :cc_confused:  Has there been an increase?

Bloody lightning. comin over ere!

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Seems to be having the reverse effect in Warwickshire. :D  

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Bloody lightning. comin over ere!

Takin' art all arr National Grid, settin' off all arr car-alarms, messin' wiv all arr DWP IT systems...Why, oh why, oh why! :rofl:

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