Some speculations regarding the magnetic influence of Birkeland currents

Richard K. Moore – 19 May 2017


Abstract: In his EU2015 talk, Cosmic Power Lines Part 2, Don Scott shows that planetary spacing in the Solar System is determined by the magnetic influence of the Birkeland currents coming into the Sun at its poles – the planets occur at “the preferred radii at which matter may tend to accumulate”. This indicates that these Birkeland currents have more influence within the heliosphere than previously thought – more than just supplying energy to the Sun. In this paper I will explore other unexpected effects Birkeland currents might have on the heliosphere.


Planet spacing

These diagrams from Don’s talk illustrate the principles involved in planet spacing.

descending cone        Birkeland cross-section
Figure 1

In the first diagram, the orange cone and spiral illustrate how the incoming current is squeezed as it nears the Sun’s pole. The green disk represents the equatorial current sheet, and the various green circles are suggestive of the ‘preferred radii’. The diagram on the right illustrates the magnetic forces that lead to the preferred radii.

Thus the equatorial plane behaves magnetically as if it were a cross-section of the wide Birkeland current, before it gets squeezed down by the Sun’s magnetic field. This indicates that the magnetic influence of the wide current extends through the heliosphere, and is able to have effect on the equatorial plane, where the Sun’s own field is neutral with respect to planetary spacing. The key point here is that more is going on magnetically in the heliosphere than one would assume if only the Sun’s magnetic field is considered.

The Sun’s magnetic field

This diagram illustrates, very roughly, the electrical and magnetic forces in the immediate vicinity of the Sun.

solar currents
Figure 2

The diagram shows the primary current coming in at both poles, and leaving along the equatorial plane. This is only a very rough illustration, as the main current does not flow through the body of the Sun as the diagram suggests.

Note that the magnetic fields of the two incoming currents have opposite magnetic orientations. If the north pole of the Sun is at the top of the diagram, then the Sun’s magnetic field is aligned with the magnetic field of the upper current. If the Sun’s field reverses, as it does every 11 years, then the Sun’s field is aligned with the field of the lower current.

Why does the Sun’s field reverse?

I don’t know if there is an EU explanation for the reversal, but the mainstream explanation, not surprisingly, makes no sense. As my first speculative hypothesis, I suggest that the reversal is a function of which of the two incoming currents is strongest, at any given time. Under this hypothesis, we are looking at a 22-year cycle. For 11 years one of the currents is dominant, and then for 11 years the other current is dominant. The polarity of the Sun's field aligns with the field of the dominant current. This line of reasoning leads to my second hypothesis: the Sun functions as an electromagnet, it’s field being induced by the magnetic field of the dominant incoming current .

What is it that maintains the integrity of the heliosphere?

According to what I have seen from the mainstream and from the EU, the heliosphere is maintained by the Sun’s magnetic field. If this is true, then why doesn’t the heliosphere totally collapse every 11 years, when the Sun’s magnetic field is temporarily neutralized? In order to explore this question, consider these two diagrams.

solar currents        solar currents
Figure 3

The diagram on the right is from NASA, showing the heliosphere and it’s tail, which is the exiting side of the Birkeland current powering the heliosphere. The diagram on the left, from Don’s talk, illustrates the z-pinch in that current, which surrounds the heliosphere. My third hypothesis: the heliosphere is simply the volume enclosed by the intersection of the two cones of the z-pinch. Thus the integrity of the heliosphere is not dependent on the Sun’s varying magnetic field.