ESD: SOLAR CYCLE, SOLAR FLARES & CORONAL LOOPS
__Interestingly these discharges blow pieces of the positive double-layer out into the interplanetary medium.
__This thins out the positive double-layer reducing the ohmic heating directly above the cathode.
__And the expulsion of positive ions into the interplanetary medium perpetuates the solar-heliospheric current.
__Thus you get a self-stabilizing power output from the Sun.
__If the positive double-layer gets too thick chunks of it get blown out into space.
__So you're only going to get so much ohmic heating out of the Sun.
__If it increases it removes the reason for the increase and it goes back to the way it was before.
__I think I remember reading somewhere that the thickness of the convective zone varies with the solar cycle.
__(I think they were actually talking about the depth of the tachocline
__If the present line of reasoning is correct the convective zone should thicken up during the quiet phase and the active phase should thin it back out again.
==SOLAR FLARES AND CORONAL LOOPS
__All the while the electrons are flowing out of the Sun and headed toward the heliosphere and there aren't any surface-to-surface discharges between the coupled solenoids unless there is a flare.
__CC: A perfect vacuum if it were possible would be a perfect conductor.
__But that doesn't mean that there would be any flashes.
__In the presence of conductivity it's hard to build up the potentials for discharges as the charges can freely recombine.
__In order to get a flash you need an insulator that can preserve the charge separation and then you need to exceed the breakdown voltage of that insulator.
__Flares do not follow the magnetic lines of force between the spots.
__Rather one or the other of the spots will discharge into the positively charged photosphere.
__After the flare there is a charge disparity between the spots and then you get a surface-to-surface discharge through the coronal loops.
__But this is just charge equalization after the flare not because of a powerful internal magnetic field.
__Hence Birkeland's loops only speak to post-flare activities which are not characteristic of the quiet Sun nor of stable spots.
__The primary discharge is between the Sun and the heliosphere and this defines the behaviors of granules, spicules and sunspots.
__Occasionally a secondary type of discharge occurs (i.e. a flare) and this sets up post-flare arcades.
__But that's the exception rather than the rule.
__I'm starting to think of flares and CMEs as the mechanism that regulates the solar output.
__You've got this cathode that is discharging into the interplanetary medium (which is positively charged).
__But directly on top of the cathode you get this positive double-layer that builds up.
__Ohmic heating from the electrons flowing through this double-layer generates the light and the heat that we get from the Sun.
__During the quiet phase the positive double-layer thickens up trying to equal the charge in the cathode.
__But the thicker double-layer is subject to instabilities and cathode spots form.
__Once these get organized the electron density is far greater and then you can get discharges from these concentrated charge streams directly into the top of the positive double-layer.
==MORE ON FLARES AND LOOPS
__If a sunspot is a solar-heliospheric current on steroids like a cathode spot and given that currents in plasmas insulate themselves with their magnetic fields such that like charges are pinched and opposite charges are expelled the negative charge density within the cathode spot should attract a strong positive double-layer as a sheath around it though there won't be any discharges because of the magnetic pressure.
__This means that the E-field can build up to extreme limits before there is a [sunspot] core-to-sheath discharge.
__Hence solar flares aren't just short-circuits of the solar-heliospheric current into the normal positive double-layer sitting on top of the solar cathode.
__Rather solar flares are discharges from a self-insulating cathode spot into a highly charged sheath that built up around the current.
__If the E-field gets more powerful than the B-field the "insulation" breaks down and you get a core-to-sheath discharge.
__Now consider the properties of that sheath [and] let's assume that the elemental composition is … mostly hydrogen but 1 part per 30000 of iron.
__Interestingly the iron is capable of much higher degrees of ionization than hydrogen.
__This means that in a powerful E-field the iron will be ionized and will be far more attracted to the negative charges in the cathode spot.
__So the iron will push the hydrogen out of the way and you'll wind up with a positive sheath that is mostly iron.
__Then there is a flare that ejects huge masses of iron (as Michael pointed out that in the 304 Å imagery hydrogen can't absorb that wavelength so that ain't hydrogen).
__Then there is a discrepancy in charges from that sunspot to its neighbor and there is a current following the B-field lines.
__And we find a [large amount] of iron at the footpoints and in the coronal loops.
__Well if the solar-heliospheric currents in each sunspot had been developing powerful positive sheaths which have high iron contents and if you get a powerful current between the sunspots along B-field lines then yes you've got an arc from one iron slag heap to another.
__… prominences [same as filaments but also same as coronal loops?] I think … are interconnections between two sunspots of opposite magnetic polarity.
__[In Juergen's model] the current would need to 'flow into" the solar atmosphere making it very unlikely we'd observe whole loops rising up and through the photosphere.
__A cathode model however works just that way and in fact Birkeland even filmed these kinds of discharge processes.
__MM: [See:] Coronal loop come[s] up through the photosphere: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/img/dailymov/2012/07/19/20120719_1024_1600.mpg.
__In short, the movement of the loops,
__the lack of a powerful external EM field,
__and the number of neutrinos, do favor an energy release process that is *inside* the sun not mostly in the solar atmosphere.
__a particular weakness of Juergen's solar model [is] a missing MASSIVE magnetic field that would need to accompany the flow of electrons into the sun were it actually powered externally.
__The biggest problem … with any solar model that attempts to use an external power source is … explaining the neutrino counts from the sun.
__Those counts match up quite nicely with a fusion process and a neutrino oscillation process.
__In theory at least I would expect that the neutrino counts would be lower if Jeurgen's solar model was correct.
__we'd also expect to see little or no neutrino output from the sun.
__MM: A magnetogram image shows the currents must rise up and through the photosphere inside coronal loops.
__They leave a distinct positive/negative pattern arrangement on the surface of the photosphere.
__While Birkeland's terella was a cathode it did redirect currents back toward the magnetized sphere in pretty much the same patterns we observe with coronal loops.
__Alfven's basic +/- orientation to loop behavior looks to be "spot on" in terms of the behaviors observed in the satellite images.
__LMSAL has a problem in this area because they keep trying to claim that the corona and/or the transition region provide heat to the loops.
__That is just nonsense because the loops are "current carrying" instruments.
__They already contain their own heat source (current) and the loops are millions of degrees hot before exiting the photosphere.
__One of the main advances in SDO is the inclusion of 1600A and 1700A wavelengths that allow the surface of the photosphere to be clearly observed.
__These images of the surface of the photosphere show a clear pattern of "hot spots" in the same places we observe black/white orientations in magnetogram images where the loops traverse the surface of the photosphere.
__That's another clear indicator that the loops are a heat source to the corona; they are not heated IN the corona.
__Birkeland's model generated actual discharge "loops" above his terella but his charge separation was between the sphere and the edges of the experiment
__The discharge process is between the surface of the sphere and the container walls.
__The discharges tended to congregate near "surface bumps" on the terella and the currents tended to "loop" along the electromagnetic lines created by the EM field inside the shell.
__They often resulted in "jets" near the poles of his terella (and in the solar atmosphere) and they tended to result in large discharge loops particularly near certain latitudes partly influenced by the internal field.