NASA Has Final-Final Explanation For Northern Lights

 Northern Lights

Researchers on the Themis (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) mission say they’ve used a quintet of satellites around the Earth to monitor the Northern Lights phenomenon from start to completion and can definitively explain it. 

“The Earth is bathed in the solar wind which carries with it the magnetic field of the Sun,” explained Nicola Fox, a Johns Hopkins University scientist.

“The field can be in many directions but when it opposes Earth’s magnetic field, just like two opposite poles of a magnet will attract, the two field lines will break and join together. This reconnection allows vast amounts of solar energy to enter into our own magnetosphere, generating a substorm which culminates in the formation of aurora.”

Observations from Themis show that a substorm starts to occur in a area of space one third of the way to the Moon and exhibits a particular pattern. The pattern consists of a period of “reconnection”, followed by rapid auroral brightening and rapid expansion of the aurora towards the Earth’s poles. This culminates in a redistribution of the electrical currents flowing in space around Earth.

Interesting tidbit: the magnetic flux lines around the earth’s pole is roughly equivalent to a 30,000 volt battery in space and can generate 650,000 Amps of current into the arctic.

You can read more about this at Daily Tech, LA Times or BBC.

Science

Nina Kimberly The Merciless

 Nina Kimberly

Tonight I found myself searching for a Fantasy podibook to entertain me during the tortuously long periods between PG Holyfield’s podcasts/chapters for Murder at Avedon Hill (I’d take waterboarding over this).

During the search, I tripped over an interesting little nugget at podiobooks.com this evening. It’s a story called “Nina Kimberly The Merciless” written by Christiana Ellis; it sounds like a cross between Princess Bride and Dungeons and Dragons. And that Nina is smoking hot, right up there with Blondie Bumstead, click the pic for a better view.

Here’s the tagline for the story:

She’s on a mission… To kill the man who loves her…

Why?

Because he’s an idiot.

Nina Kimberly The Merciless is the story of a teenage barbarian princess who must rid herself of an obnoxious royal suitor, replace him with a hero, and then grow into her destiny as a…

Well, that she hasn’t decided yet.

Well, from the tagline it sounds like it might be fun or funny, so that was good enough to pique my interest to at least look at the descriptions for a few episodes.

Episode 1(mp3): Nina has been spending a lot of time at the tavern, all for nothing. She’s been waiting for some questing heroes to show, but they seem to be taking their sweet time, so she decides to get a little more proactive. But before she can set off to find a quest of her very own, her plans are derailed by the lovesick king’s decision to follow her.

Episode 2(mp3): Nina and Francis have been on the road for a couple of weeks now, and though the traveling has been uneventful, the increasingly revolting proximity to Francis has been forcing her to reconsider her plans. That is, until they stumble across a dragon.

OK, that’s more than good enough for me! I’m downloading the series and will report back after a few episodes.

Just geeky

Apple Macbook Refresh Q3 2008

This is pretty late news but just an update.

Apple is expected to update their Macbooks as well as their Macbook Pros with the new Intel Penryn chips. There is also an increase of ram as well as hard drive space. It has been rumored that Apple is working on new aluminum MacBook Pro designs that will adopt features of the current iMac and MacBook Air

AnAndTech
Engadget

 

Announcement, Computers

Astronaut Claims Knowledge Of Alien Visitations, NASA Cover-up

 Dr Edgar Mitchell was the sixth man to walk on the Moon during his Apollo 14 mission. He’s 77 years old and he’s making some incredible claims about alien visitations to Earth. Is it true or dementia of age?

Listen and decide for yourself.

Mysteries

Welcome Contributing Writer Eric Tse

Reader Eric Tse has expressed interest in participating on Geeknews, since I value a diverse background and he’s a geek of many interests, how could I resist? Here’s a little about Eric-

He’s a student in Vancouver, BC Canada and plans to study Criminology, he’s been a geek his entire life and says he always will be. Some if his interests are:

Video Games
Watching anime/movies/dramas
Listening to music
Coding (HTML/PHP/MySQL/C/C++/Java/Javascript)
Making layouts for websites
Linux
Macs
Getting things for free :P
Making music/songs
Learning/Doing Magic Tricks

Welcome Eric, lets have fun posting geeky news.

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