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"I can't tell whether or not there's going to be a Singularity. I don't really believe the rapture of the nerds stereotype..."
- Charles Stross

Heat Generating Magnetic Disks  
  Devices used to artificially raise the temperature of the surface of moons to a reasonable level.  

When an ether spout appears and takes your ship down, you can be sure that the star giants were up to their usual terraforming tricks.

A shudder convulsed Ruth Kenrok's slim form. "The ether spout was caused by the star giant's heat-generating magnetic disks," she said. "They've set up disk-surmounted poles all over the surface of the satellite..."

"The disks raise the temperature to just above freezing," she resumed. "But they also release tremendous fields of force, set up vertical convections high in the atmosphere. For twenty or thirty thousand miles above us the ether is agitated by electro-magnetic pressure drifts. A few of them are of vortex complexity."

From Spawn of the Red Giants, by Frank Belknap Long, Jr..
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1937
Additional resources -

You'll need an etherometer in good working order to detect an ether spout.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Spawn of the Red Giants
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