The NICT Magnetosphere Simulator (MagSim), which provided real time, two-dimensional visualizations of Earth’s magnetosphere for nearly 10 years, was terminated last month after a dramatic increase in depicted anomalies indicating severe compression of Earth’s magnetosphere as a result of the approaching Planet X.
Since May 2010, incidents of severe compression have been documented in Magnetosphere Deformations and Earth Wobble Effects and for the first 12 months, between May 2010 and May 2011, severe compressions occurred infrequently – approximately once every four months. Within six months, this rate increased to 3 times per month and by February 2012, the rate of increase was exponential with 12 severe compressions.
On March 12 2012, MagSim was disabled and remained offline for a period of eight days, presumably in response to the dramatic magnetosphere “reversal”. MagSim was again offline again between March 22 and March 25 and then permanently deactivated on April 2, 2012. Although the actual number of severe compressions during March 2012 is unknown since MagSim was unavailable for 11 days, another means of determining when Earth’s magnetosphere undergoes severe compression was discovered.
Since MagSim images are produced from Real Time Solar Wind data measured by instrumentation on the ACE satellite, an empirical analysis of ACE data likewise yields definitive indications when severe compression occurs. Before such an analysis can be presented with clarity, however, an explanation of magnetic field nomenclature used to define the ACE data is necessary.
MAGNETIC FIELD MEASUREMENT
A magnetic field can be defined as a vector quantity B that has three directional components in a Cartesian coordinate system: Bx, By and Bz.
The direction of the vector B is the direction of the magnetic flow and the field strength is defined by the vector length, often expressed in units of nanoTesla (nT). If magnetic field measurements are taken along the directional components of B: namely, Bx, By and Bz, then the total strength and direction of magnetic field B can be derived from the following equation:
This relationship also applies in the interpretation of Real Time ACE satellite data, but before we proceed, it’s important to distinguish between Earth’s magnetic field and Earth’s magnetosphere. Earth’s magnetosphere is actually a cavity within the Sun’s particle flow (aka solar wind). The magnetosphere is the result of the interaction of Earth's magnetic field with the Sun’s particle flow, much like a stone in a stream.
Normally, Earth’s magnetosphere extends out a distance of approximately 10 Earth radii toward the Sun and several hundred Earth radii away from the Sun. This is because the Sun’s particle flow compresses the side of Earth’s magnetic field that is facing the Sun and elongates Earth’s magnetic field that faces away. Earth’s magnetic field is actually contained within an inner layer of the magnetosphere called the magnetopause.
The Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) or Bt, is integral to Real Time ACE data since ordinarily the IMF is the primary influence on Earth’s magnetosphere. The IMF also bears some explanation. The Sun’s magnetic field has a diploe (N. Pole – S. Pole) component that dissipates as the distance away from the Sun increases. However, the Sun’s magnetic field also has a much stronger component that is transmitted along the Sun’s particle flow: the IMF, which is 100 times stronger than the Sun’s dipole magnetic field when measured at the Earth’s location in space.
Thus, the IMF can be defined as a vector quantity Bt, having three directional components: Bx, By and Bz.
Values of Bx, By and Bz are derived from measurements taken by instrumentation aboard the ACE satellite and the value of Bt is calculated, as indicated in the ACE magnetometer data, as well as the Real Time Solar Wind data.
Various coordinate systems are used to define solar-terrestrial relationships and transforms are available to transpose data between the different systems. For the purposes of this discussion, Geocentric Solar Magnetospheric (GSM) coordinates will be used since it is common to Real Time ACE data used in this analysis.
The GSM coordinate system is centered along Earth’s magnetic dipole (N. Pole – S. Pole) axis, thus the positive Bz axis (upwards) is located at Earth’s magnetic N. Pole. The Bx axis, which is perpendicular to the By - Bz plane, runs between the centers of the Earth and the Sun. By is perpendicular to Earth's magnetic dipole such that the plane formed by Bx and Bz contains the dipole axis. The difference between the GSM system and other coordinate systems such as GSE and GSEQ is simply different orientations along the Bx axis.
The GSM system is particularly useful for identifying variations in Earth’s magnetosphere since changes along Earth’s magnetic dipole axis (Bz) are representative of changes in the normally cylindrical symmetry of the Sun’s particle flow along the Bx axis. It also simplifies the three-dimensional movement of Earth’s magnetic field into a two-dimensional depiction in the Bx – Bz plane, as shown in MagSim images.
The Zetas have explained in great detail how Earth’s magnetosphere undergoes severe compression when it is unable to evade the dominant magnetic influence of Planet X. By definition, a compression of Earth’s magnetosphere will result in a reduction in magnitude of the non-dipole magnetic field components that constitute Bt: namely, Bx, and By.
As the below examples illustrate, values of Bx clearly decrease when Earth’s magnetosphere is severely compressed. The same is true of Earth’s magnetic field along the By axis, although this is not apparent in the 2-D MagSim images since the By axis is perpendicular to the Bx – Bz plane.
ACE magnetometer data shows that when Earth’s magnetosphere undergoes severe compression, the values of Bx and By are diminished, usually less than positive or negative 1.0 nT and Bz approaches the value of Bt, the Interplanetary Magnetic Field.
This correlation was first observed while MagSim was still operational. Whenever a severe compression was depicted on MagSim, values of Bz and Bt would merge on the ACE MAG - Bz/Bt plot on SolarSoft.
Values of Bt are indicated by the blue line and Bz values are the green line.
This correlation is also supported by other online sources of Real Time ACE data.
DETERMINING SEVERE COMPRESSION - EXAMPLE
Using a severe compression that occurred on May 3, 2012 as an example, let us begin by identifying the merging of Bz and Bt values on SolarSoft (see the white arrow at upper right in the image below):
We can also see on the Real Time Mag Field plots that values of Bt and Bz nearly merge at approximately 16:20 UTC.
Checking the ACE magnetometer readings, we can verify that a severe compression did indeed occur between 16:19 and 16:24 UTC. Note that the values of Bz and Bt differ by only 0.2 nT and values of Bx and By are close to positive or negative 1.0 nT.
So where does this leave us? Such severe compressions were documented during April 2012 in Magnetosphere Deformations and Earth Wobble Effects and the number of recorded incidences corresponds to the exponential increase that was observed during February 2012. Between February and May, the number of monthly severe compressions increased from 12 to 20.
JUNE 2012 UPDATE
During May 2012, the number of monthly severe compressions increased from 20 to 36.
Supporting data: SevCompMay2012.pdf