Better late than never!
NASA discovers giant magnetic ‘ropes’
Dec. 11, 2007: NASA's fleet of THEMIS spacecraft, launched less than eight months ago, has made three important discoveries about spectacular eruptions of Northern Lights called "substorms" and the source of their power. The discoveries include giant magnetic ropes that connect Earth's upper atmosphere to the Sun and explosions in the outskirts of Earth's magnetic field.
"The mission is only beginning but THEMIS is already surprising us," says Vassilis Angelopoulos the mission's principal investigator at the University of California, Los Angeles....
... "The satellites have found evidence for magnetic ropes connecting Earth's upper atmosphere directly to the Sun," says Dave Sibeck, project scientist for the mission at the Goddard Space Flight Center. "We believe that solar wind particles flow in along these ropes, providing energy for geomagnetic storms and auroras."
A "magnetic rope" is a twisted bundle of magnetic fields organized much like the twisted hemp of a mariner's rope.
[do they mean this? - Ish]
[The article goes on ...]
Spacecraft have detected hints of these ropes before, but a single spacecraft is insufficient to map their 3D structure. THEMIS's five satellites were able to perform the feat.
"THEMIS encountered its first magnetic rope on May 20, 2007," says Sibeck. "It was very large, about as wide as Earth, and located approximately 40,000 miles above Earth's surface in a region called the magnetopause." The magnetopause is where the solar wind and Earth's magnetic field meet and push against one another like sumo wrestlers locked in combat. There, the rope formed and unraveled in just a few minutes, providing a brief but significant conduit for solar wind energy. Other ropes quickly followed: "They seem to occur all the time," says Sibeck.
[end of article]
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007 ... themis.htm
Wherever we end up with our understanding about gravity (and I think it’s a theory that will change radically over the next century) it must be the case that magnetism is far more powerful in relation to the Earth. If we put a steel ball bearing on a table, yes, it will stay there – due to the power of gravity. But if we then put a magnet above it ... ‘snap!’, and gravity is rendered useless.
So it must be with our Earth, which just happens to have a humungous iron ball bearing slap bang in the middle of it.
Here's an artist's impression, based on scientific observations of how electromagnetic fields that are projected from the Sun support the Earth:
I believe that the ancients understood the relationship of iron to magnetisim, which is why - long before the discovery of smeltable telluric iron that led to the Iron Age - they revered hematite and ‘celestial iron’, that is iron that fell in the form of meteorites from the heavens, 'the realm of the gods'.
The earliest word (Sumerian) for iron is AN.BAR, which is made up of the pictograms ‘sky’ and ‘fire’.
These meteorites were naturally etched with geometrical patterns — interwoven bands of kamacite and taenite that form over millions of years of cooling. You can see these etchings on this iron meteorite from Chihuahua, Mexico which, significantly, was found in an ancient tomb:
Possibly this is why Neolithic man copied these geometric patterns, as we shown in this 77,000 year-old man-etched piece of hematite found in a cave in southern Africa. These identical patterns are also seen at Stage One of the shamanic trance.
This is an extract from The Forge and the Crucible
by Mircea Eliade:
We shall do well to bear in mind the early religious significance attached to aeroliths. They fall to earth charged with celestial sanctity; in a way, they represent heaven. This would suggest why meteorites were worshipped or identified with a deity. The faithful saw in them the ‘first form’, the immediate manifestation of the godhead. The Palladium of Troy was supposed to have dropped from heaven, and ancient writers saw it as the statue of the goddess Athena.
A celestial origin was also accorded to the statue of Artemis at Ephesus and to the cone of Heliogabalus at Emesus (Herodian v, 3, 5). The meteorite at Pessinus in Phyrgia was venerated as the image of Cybele and, following an injunction by the Delphic Oracle, it was transported to Rome shortly after the Second Punic War....
Aphrodite meterorite of Paphos, Cyprus
But the heavenly, and hence masculine, essence of meteorites is none the less beyond dispute, for certain silex and Neolithic tools were subsequently given names like ‘thunderstones’, ‘thunderbolt teeth’ or ‘God’s axes’. The sites where they were found were thought to have been struck by a thunderbolt, which is the weapon of the god of heaven. When this god was ousted by the god of the storms, the thunderbolt became the sign of the sacred union between the god of the hurricane and the goddess earth.
This may account for the large number of double axes discovered in the period in the clefts and caves of Crete.
These axes, like the thunderbolt and the meteorites, ‘cleaved’ the earth – in other words, they symbolised the union between heaven and earth. Delphi, most famous of the clefts of ancient Greece, owed its name to this mythical image: ‘delphi’ in fact, signifies the female generative organ ... Plato reminds us that, in the matter of conception, it is the woman who imitates the earth and not the earth the woman.
Eliade goes on:
Primitive peoples worked with meteoric iron for a long time before learning how to use ferrous ores. It is known, moreover, that prehistoric peoples, before the discovery of smelting, treated certain ores as if they were stones, that is, they looked upon them as raw materials for the making of stone tools. A similar technique was applied until recently by certain peoples having no knowledge of metallurgy; they worked the meteorite with silex hammers and fashioned objects whose shape resembled, in all respects, their stone models.
This is how the Greenland Eskimos made their knives out of meteoric iron. When Cortez enquired of the Aztec chiefs how they obtained their knives, they simply pointed to the sky.
Like the Mayas of the Yucatan and the Incas of Peru, the Aztecs only used meteoric iron, which they rated higher than gold. They knew nothing about the smelting of ores....
Eliade's book, The Forge and the Crucible
traces the history of iron through to the alchemists of the Middle Ages.
But I would go further than Eliade, who was writing at the beginning of the 20th century, in his view that iron was worshipped just because it fell from the sky gods. My own view is that it was much more than that – and that it is bound up with Neolithic’s man understanding about the universe and our Earth (as well as the other planets') dependence on iron interacting with electromagnetism, which was later personified by the MAGna Mater (c. 200 BC in Rome) and Mary MAGdELene:
History suggests that the celebration of the Magna Mater is the oldest known religious cult in the world.
From six thousand years we find Magna Mater known by various images and by various names, but in each situation, she is known for one common attribute: "The Mother of the Gods". She was known as Cybele in the region of the Aegean Sea, Damkina, Goddess of Fecundity to the Babylonians... fecundity referring to her 'marriage with the earth and sky'. Among the Euphrates she was called Koubaba, in Greece, Gaia or Gheea "Mother Earth". She was known as Terra, from the Latin 'Terra Mater', the goddess of miners in the Eastern area of Europe. Egyptians called her Isis; in Akkadia her name was Ishtar.
Magna Mater transcends world history: her mysteries and many presentations have inspired poets and artists, simple mortals or kings, with many kings dedicating her temples in great number. For many religions she is eternal, existing from the beginning of time, the bearer of the world and all life populating this planet (plants, animals and humans). The Romans identified this Goddess with the Greek Rhea, and gave her the name Magna Mater, the Great Mother.
Interesting little nugget - no pun intended. The Romans always took hematite into battle with them. They believed it brought them luck as it was associated with Mars the god of war. Silly superstition? Well, possibly ... but then, when the first probes got up to Mars in 2001, what did they find? That the whole planet was covered in hematite.