Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Solar-Powered Interplanetary Shock Tracked To Saturn

In a dramatic proof that solar coronal mass ejection (CME) events affect even the outermost portions of the Solar System, scientists have traced an interplanetary shock from the Sun to Earth to Jupiter to Saturn.


(coronal mass ejection)

They report the discovery of a strong transient polar emission on Saturn, tentatively attributed to the passage of an interplanetary shock. The shock-triggered events were first seen here on Earth, where auroral storms were recorded. Next, auroral activity on Jupiter was seen to be strongly enhanced. Finally, the unusual polar emission on Saturn was noted. This sequence of events establishes that shocks retain their ability to trigger planetary auroral activity throughout the Solar System.

In their 1992 science fiction book Flare, Roger Zelazny and Thomas T. Thomas chronicle the effects of a huge solar flare as it wreaks havoc across the inhabited worlds and space stations of the solar system. The effects of this event on the orbiting EverRest Cryotorium were described as follows:

The EverRest Cryotorium orbited low over the Earth ... forgotten by a handful of individuals ... some who worked daily in the NASA Department of Decaying Orbital Artifacts - the "Trash Squad."

However, with the unaccustomed surge of electromagnetic noise that was echoing throughout the inner solar system, and with the ensuing panic as normmaly talkative human beings discovered that their multiplex communications system was effectively blanked out, no one happened to be looking at the sky.

Unappreciated by these people, for the past twenty minutes the ionosphere 500 kilometers uner the EverRest's keel had been absorbing huge blasts of intense radiation from the solar flare.

The air density at such a height above the Earth's surface is quite thin: ranging from two millionths down to five billionths of a gram per cubic meter... the molecular fragments remain at their current altitude because the collective collisions of their gas pressure, energized by the sun's radiation, propel them upwards against the pull of gravity... heat the gas and you increase its pressure. Without confining walls or a steel tank to contain it, the volume of gas expands.

...the continuous influx of high-energy radiation had trippled the ambient temperature of the lower ionosphere. The resulting swell in the volume of gas pushed upward, increasing the density of material in EverRest's immediate vicinity by about fifty times.

The effect was immediate.

The orbiting hull reacted as if it had hit a wall.
(Read more from Flare)

Solar flares occur when magnetic energy built up in the solar photosphere is suddenly released. Radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum is released; the energy released can equal that of a million 100 megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time. The first flare recorded occurred in 1859. A solar flare in 1989 blacked out all of Quebec, Canada. Solar flares in 1998 knocked out the Galaxy 4 satellite, causing eighty percent of the pagers in North America to fall silent.


(From Solar Flare)

The sun's corona is highest region of the solar atmosphere; it can be seen during a total eclipse as a large halo of white, glowing gas extending several solar radii from the solar disk. A special telescope called a coronagraph that artificially eclipses the sun's disk is used to study the solar corona on a regular basis. A coronal mass ejection (CME) can occur without a flare, although they are often associated. A CME can carry up to 10 billion tons of electrified gas traveling at speeds of up to 2,000 kilometers per second. Fortunately, our planet's magnetic field serves as shield against these storms.

The results were published in a letter to the journal nature by Renee Prange, Laurent Pallier and Regis Courtin (LESIA, Observatoire de Paris); Kenneth C. Hansen (Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan); Russ Howard and Angelos Vourlidas (Naval Research Laboratory); and Chris Parkinson (California Institute of Technology, JPL and the NASA Astrobiology Institute). Read An interplanetary shock traced by planetary auroral storms from the Sun to Saturn.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/3/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

NASA 'Holoports' Doctor Onto Space Station
Star Trek Voyager Emergency Medical Hologram

Six Ships Are Now Docked At The International Space Station!
It's getting crowded up there!

Vast Cosmic Structures And Spooky Alignments
'This postulates a force-field of partly electromagnetic character, generated by gyromagnetic action within atomic nuclei near the center of the galaxy.' - Poul Anderson, 1953.

Superfast Energetic Electron 'Precipitation' Pelts Our Earth!
'On the three-dimensional map at weather headquarters on the planet Kaider III, the storm was colored orange.' - AE van Vogt, 1943.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Your Martian Dream Home, Made By Fungi
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'

The Dune Ornithopter, Movie And Book
'The wings were at full spread-rest, their delicate metal interleavings extended.'

100X Improvement In DNA Information Storage
'A record that wouldn't get lost and couldn't be destroyed.'

NASA 'Holoports' Doctor Onto Space Station
Star Trek Voyager Emergency Medical Hologram

Should We Train AIs To Imagine A Future Of Horrific Disasters
'LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE.'

Mouth Haptics Invented By Frederik Pohl In 1965, CMU Now Has Prototype
'What he got was indeed a kiss. It was disconcerting. No kissing lips were visible.'

Two Towns Linked By Sculpture Portal In Real Time
'I am the Guardian of Forever.'

3D Printed Robotic Tentacles
'... articulate ropes of steel dangling'

Update: Musk Doubles Down On Optimus Prime Humanoid Robot
'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'

Elon Musk: Production Of Robotaxis In 2024
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'

True Crime Live Podcasting In Fiction
'And loving it too, those millions. Bloodthirsty to the last one of them.'

AI Employment Decision Software Reconsidered By California Lawmakers
'They had screwed up and been blacklisted by Manna. They were back living with their parents or sleeping on the sofa with a friend.'

Six Ships Are Now Docked At The International Space Station!
It's getting crowded up there!

SUCHO Saving Ukraine's Libraries Digitally
'No human mind could ever hope to master even a small portion of what was being received every second, Sam thought, but it would all be there...'

Optimus Prime Tesla Robot Overall Humanoid Software Architecture
'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'

Vast Cosmic Structures And Spooky Alignments
'This postulates a force-field of partly electromagnetic character, generated by gyromagnetic action within atomic nuclei near the center of the galaxy.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.