Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Every so often (on about an 11 year cycle, as near as we can figure it) the sun goes through a period of producing massive flares, arising from magnetic anomalies in the corona.
Sometimes - as often as several times a day, when it's really hectic - these flares hurl a mass of coronal matter off the face of the sun and into space.
If the earth is in the path of one of these coronal mass ejections, we experience a geomagnetic storm down here - a results of the coronal particles interacting with the earth's magnetic field.
You can track these events at places like SpaceWeather.com
One of the effects of such a geomagnetic storm (and I've been trying to correlate other, less material effects in my own soul for the last few years) is that it tends to deflect the normal cosmic radiation which sleets in from deeper regions of the cosmos onto the earth at other times.
Now, some enterprising scientists at the University of Tokyo and the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute have correlated an absence of solar-prompted magnetic storms with an increase in volcanic activity.
That is, they have found a definite propensity for volcanoes to erupt at times when the solar flare activity is low.
The reason seems to be that the muons in the cosmic radiation, blocked when the sun is having a little moment, create nucleation of magma particles inside the volcano.
Go have a read of the abstract, it explains it better than I can.
But I'm also wondering - alongside my weird conviction that both solar wind and cosmic radiation could, in fact probably does interact with our physical and non-physical beings - if we could find a similar correspondence between other phenomena and solar activity. Like, for instance, earthquakes?