Moving Closer to Understanding of Universe’s Most Powerful Explosions

Good fortune and cutting-edge scientific equipment have allowed scientists to observe a Gamma Ray Burst jet with a radio telescope and detect the polarization of radio waves within it for the first time – moving us closer to an understanding of what causes the universe’s most powerful explosions.

Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) are the most energetic explosions in the universe, beaming out mighty jets which travel through space at over 99.9% the speed of light, as a star much more massive than our Sun collapses at the end of its life to produce a black hole. The study was published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.


Studying the light from Gamma Ray Burst jets as we detect it travelling across space is our best hope of understanding how these powerful jets are formed, but scientists need to be quick to get their telescopes into position and get the best data. The detection of polarized radio waves from a burst’s jet, made possible by a new generation of advanced radio telescopes, offers new clues to this mystery.

The light from this particular event, known as GRB 190114C, which exploded with the force of millions of Suns’ worth of TNT about 4.5 billion years ago, reached NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory on Jan 14, 2019.

A rapid alert from Swift allowed the research team to direct the Atacama Large Millimeter/Sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile to observe the burst just two hours after Swift discovered it. Two hours later the team was able to observe the GRB from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) telescope when it became visible in New Mexico, USA.

Combining the measurements from these observatories allowed the research team to determine the structure of magnetic fields within the jet itself, which affects how the radio light is polarized. Theories predict different arrangements of magnetic fields within the jet depending on the fields’ origin, so capturing radio data enabled the researchers to test these theories with observations from telescopes for the first time.

The research team, from the University of Bath, Northwestern University, the Open University of Israel, Harvard University, California State University in Sacramento, the Max Planck Institute in Garching, and Liverpool John Moores University discovered that only 0.8% of the jet light was polarized, meaning that jet’s magnetic field was only ordered over relatively small patches – each less than about 1% of the diameter of the jet. Larger patches would have produced more polarized light.

These measurements suggest that magnetic fields may play a less significant structural role in GRB jets than previously thought. This helps us narrow down the possible explanations for what causes and powers these extraordinary explosions.

First author Dr. Tanmoy Laskar, from the University of Bath’s Astrophysics group, said: “We want to understand why some stars produce these extraordinary jets when they die, and the mechanism by which these jets are fuelled – the fastest known outflows in the universe, moving at speeds close to that of light and shining with the incredible luminosity of over a billion Suns combined.

“I was in a cab on my way to O’Hare airport in Chicago, following a visit with collaborators when the burst went off. The extreme brightness of this event and the fact that it was visible in Chile right away made it a prime target for our study, and so I immediately contacted ALMA to say we were going to observe this one, in the hope of detecting the first radio polarization signal.

“It was fortuitous that the target was well placed in the sky for observations with both ALMA in Chile and the VLA in New Mexico. Both facilities responded quickly and the weather was excellent. We then spent two months in a painstaking process to make sure our measurement was genuine and free from instrumental effects. Everything checked out, and that was exciting.

Dr. Kate Alexander, who led the VLA observations, said: “The lower frequency data from the VLA helped confirm that we were seeing the light from the jet itself, rather than from the interaction of the jet with its environment.”

Dr. Laskar added: “This measurement opens a new window into GRB science and the studies of energetic astrophysical jets. We would like to understand whether the low level of polarization measured in this event is characteristic of all GRBs, and if so, what this could tell us about the magnetic structures in GRB jets and the role of magnetic fields in powering jets throughout the universe.”

Professor Carole Mundell, Head of Astrophysics at the University of Bath, added: “The exquisite sensitivity of ALMA and rapid response of the telescopes has, for the first time, allowed us to swiftly and accurately measure the degree of polarization of microwaves from a GRB afterglow just two hours after the blast and probe the magnetic fields that are thought to drive these powerful, ultra-fast outflows.”

The research team plans to hunt for more GRBs to continue to unravel the mysteries of the biggest explosions in the universe.

Part VII – Coming Back Around to Earth’s Magnetic Reversal

New findings suggest a series of current events are weakening the Earth’s magnetic field. Above the liquid outer core is the mantle – made up of viscous rock composition which can be molded or shaped due to intense heat and high pressure, this is called convection. At the boundary between Earth’s core and mantle there is an intense heat exchange – this is called convection.

What creates Earth’s magnetic field is the process through which a rotating, convecting, and electrically conducting fluid which makes up the geodynamo mechanism. Recent studies indicate a slow flowing solid mantle and its reciprocal connection with a hot fast flowing outer core – is the central focus of Earth’s magnetic field weakening. The outcome of this convection between Earth’s outer core and mantle is the production of mantle plumes and the formation of fluid ‘crystallization’. Mantle plumes are a reaction to the Earth’s dipole magnetic core acting as a thermostat.

As a result of a weakened magnetic field coupled with a deep solar minimum, is allowing an alarming amount of galactic cosmic rays to enter our planets environment. In a paper published in the journal American Geophysical Union (AGU) Space Weather, associate professor Nathan Schwadron of the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) and the department of physics; says that due to this solar cycles vast drop in solar activity, a stream of cosmic ray particles are flooding Earth’s atmosphere – and further driving in and through Earth’s core.

Additionally, a major consequence of a weakened magnetic field, in conjunction with an inundation of space radiation, allows for the redistribution of gas and fluids which could contribute to Earth’s tilt and wobble. It is this action/reaction which could affect the convection process allowing for the north/south magnetic field lines to bounce around northern latitudes. This is known as geomagnetic excursion.

My research suggests radiation produced by GCRs has a significant influence on Earth’s core by increasing temperatures. In viewing Earth as a living entity, a natural reaction to overheating would be to find a way to cool down. And that’s exactly what Earth does. When our planet becomes overheated…it sweats. Yes, just like us humans when we get overheated, we sweat through our pores. When Earth becomes overheated it sweats through its pores called ‘mantle plumes’. Earth, just like humans is always seeking to maintain its ambient temperature.

In relation to this current moderate-term cycle i.e. 20,000-40,000 years – in conjunction with this long-term cycle i.e. 22myr -60myr (million years) my study’s identify a pattern of a weakening magnetic field, and influx of highly charged particles sets up the perfect conditions to produce a magnetic excursion followed by a magnetic reversal.

**Thank you for your much needed contributions. Every little bit helps, and those of you who have the means to sponsor this research, please step forward. Go to the click here button to support this work.  CLICK HERE

Part – VIII How Far Along Are We In This Cycle?


Part VI – Galactic Cosmic Rays Effect on Animal and Human Behavior

So what happens when Earth’s magnetic field weakens, an extended solar minimum occurs, and a profusion of cosmic rays rain down on our planet?

Several study’s have come out in the last few years providing new insights into what ensues to animals and humans by way of varying forms of magnetism and radiation. During times of a highly active solar maximum, an acceleration in certain forms of charged particles – such as solar flares, CMEs (coronal mass ejections), coronal holes, and filament can have a direct causal effect to Earth in many forms of extreme weather. This same scenario with these very same particles can have an effect on animals and humans. I will give specific examples of how in just a minute.

During times of low solar activity, and especially in the time of an extended solar minimum cycle of which we are currently experiencing, it is the far more hazardous form of charged particle known as galactic cosmic rays GCRs, which can cause the most damage to animals and humans. Large amounts of radiation from cosmic rays race near the speed of light hitting Earth’s magnetic field. Usually, the magnetic field deflects the vast majority of particles keeping the Earth and its inhabitants safe. But what happens when the magnetic field weakens?

Recent studies have confirmed the adverse effects of cosmic radiation exposure on humans central nervous system have been identified. Cognitive tasks used in the study corroborate past findings and identify significant longer-term deficits in episodic, spatial, recognition memory. Areas of the brain affected are the frontal and temporal lobes containing the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex, and perirhinal cortex.

The hippocampus is a small organ located within the brain’s medial temporal lobe forming an important part of the limbic system – the region that regulates emotions. It also enables our ability to maintain long and short-term memory, most significantly with long-term memory. This organ plays an important role in a person’s physical coordination, also elicits the feeling of being engaged, connected, or part-of. The medial prefrontal cortex region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behavior. Perirhinal cortex is importantly involved in a number of different memory functions.

Now, going back to solar charged particles and geomagnetism; I found it quite interesting that both forms of charged particles…i.e. cosmic rays and solar rays have different but similar effects on humans. Dr. Kelly Posner, a psychiatrist at Columbia University says; “The most plausible explanation for the association between geomagnetic activity and depression and other mood disorders is that geomagnetic storms can desynchronize melatonin production and circadian rhythms.

In a related study from the Department of Neurobiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School suggests humans may be genetically pre-disposed to the influence of geomagnetic flux as it relates to the Earth’s magnetic field and charged particles. The study published in the scientific journal ‘Geophysical Research’, indicates a dormant gene is residing within all of us just ready to be tapped. It is known as ‘Cryptochromes’ (CRY). They are involved in the ‘circadian’ (24-hour cyclical rhythms) of daily life. Strong scientific evidence indicates geomagnetic fields have an influence on the light sensitivity of the human visual system.

Oleg Shumilov, of the Institute of North Industrial Ecology in Russia said: “Many animals can sense the Earth’s magnetic field, so why not people”. Shumilov looked at activity in the Earth’s geomagnetic field noting during periods of high solar storm activity, the geomagnetism peaks matched up with peaks in the number of mood disorders i.e. depression, anxiety, bi-polar and even suicides over the same period.

**Thank you for your much needed contributions. Every little bit helps, and those of you who have the means to sponsor this research, please step forward. Go to the click here button to support this work.  CLICK HERE

Coming Next: Part VII – Coming Back Around to Earth’s Magnetic Reversal

Part IV – Cycles Within Cycles, Within Cycles and ‘Science Of Cycles’

Here I am writing, then re-writing and then re-writing again. Partly because I find this exploratory research exhilarating, partly because it affirms the direction I chose to follow beginning mostly in 2012. And of course new information which was not available just a few years ago, and then formulating these strings of thought which has brought on a few spattering of “You’re kidding, no way, I thought so, and just plain wow”. Once again, as in my research of the Sun-Earth connection, but to a less noticeable degree, the right hand was not quite sure what the left hand was doing or aware of.

Those of you familiar with my first book “Solar Rain” will remember how I conveyed my unexpected surprise, when I realized how two of our greatest scientific bodies – NASA and NOAA, simply did not communicate with each other leaving me with no choice but to run back and forth as I pieced together NASA’s knowledge of space, and NOAA’s knowledge weather. When you put the two together you have “space-weather”.

A recent study published in the science journal ‘Nature’, indicates a direct connection between the acceleration of charged particles such as galactic cosmic rays and its effect on humans and animals. Charged particles come in many forms. From the Sun, they come in the form of solar flares, CMEs (coronal mass ejections), coronal holes, filament, and gamma ray burst. The more powerful and damaging particles are the galactic cosmic rays which comes from outside our solar system. These subatomic particles, made up of around ninety percent protons move through space at close to the speed of light. Magnetic fields deflect and distort the path of the particles, making it near impossible to determine their point of origin. Collision of stars, supernovae, even dark matter have all been named as a possible source.

Note: If you find this information of interest and useful, please consider supporting us with your donations. I am also looking for a sponsors that would help carrying this important research forward. Go to the click here button to support this work.                              CLICK HERE

As mentioned previously, during times of high solar activity (expansion), cosmic rays are better reflected from entering Earth’s atmosphere. However, during times of low solar activity (contraction), cosmic rays are far more abundant therefore have the potential to cause significant damage to our planet and all those living on it. Moreover, when you factor in the two current events happening concurrently, the scenario adds anecdotal averment of how far along this cycle we reside. First) A weakening magnetic field diminishing 10x faster than original estimates. Second) Evidence of an extended solar minimum which is going beyond one, two, three, or possibly more cycles allowing a profusion of galactic cosmic rays entering our atmosphere, with the higher energy particles penetrating deep into the Lithosphere, Mantle, and some research says right through the other side.

When scenario’s such as this occur, one must go beyond the better known short-term cycles comprised of averaging 11 yr. and 22 yr-cyl; while looking deeper into the less known medium ‘extended cycles’ such as the Milankovitch Cycle, the Laschamp Event, and the Maunder Minimum indicating that some cycles commingle while others supplant with periodicities ranging from Maunder’s 60-70 yr-cyl, to Laschamp’s 40,000 and 60,000 yr-cyl, to Milankovitch’s 23,000, 41,000, and 100,000 yr-cyl.

Then we have long-term cycles which can be traced back 550 million years.

*My eyes hurt, I have to stop here. I will pick it up tomorrow with “long-term cycles”


Part III – First Will Come Reversal Excursions Then the Flip

A geomagnetic excursion, like a geomagnetic reversal, is a significant change in the Earth’s magnetic field. However, excursions are not strong enough to permanently change the large-scale orientation of the field, but rather hopscotch back and forth northern latitudes. They are usually short-lived decreasing in field intensity, with a variation in pole orientation of up to 45 degrees from the previous position. These events often involve declines in field strength to between 5% and 20% of normal.

Excursions, unlike reversals, are generally not recorded across the entire globe. This is partially due to them not being recorded well within the sedimentary record, but also because they likely do not extend through the entire geomagnetic field. One of the first excursions to be studied was the Laschamp event, dated at around 40,000 years ago. Since this event has also been seen in sites across the globe, it is suggested as one of the few examples of a truly global excursion.

Excursions are less likely to leave evidence that is identifiable in geological records – they can easily be too small to be noticed. Consequently scientists are unsure how frequently they occur. So far 12 have been documented as occurring in the last 780,000 years, which means they happen (on average) at least every 65,000 years.

The Laschamp event was a short reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field. It occurred 41,400 (±2,000) years ago during the last ice age and was first recognized in the late 1960s as a geomagnetic reversal recorded in the Laschamp lava flows in the Clermont-Ferrand district of France. The magnetic excursion has since been demonstrated in geological archives from many parts of the world.

The period of reversed magnetic field was approximately 440 years, with the transition from the normal field lasting approximately 250 years. The reversed field was 75% weaker, whereas the strength dropped to only 5% of the current strength during the transition. This reduction in geomagnetic field strength resulted in more cosmic rays reaching the Earth, causing greater production of the cosmogenic isotopes beryllium 10 and carbon 14. The Laschamp event was the first known geomagnetic excursion and remains the most thoroughly studied among the known geomagnetic excursions.

Coming Next: Part IV – How Geomagnetic Expansion or Contraction Effects Animals and Humans

Part II – New Findings Show a Closer Connection Between Galactic Cosmic Rays, Our Solar System, and Milky Way

Just as the Earth and other planets rotate around our Sun, our solar system has a rotation trajectory around our galaxy Milky Way. And I must say…before I leave this plane of existence, I feel confident future research will show our galaxy, along with neighboring galaxies, will also have a periodicity rotation with cyclical parameters…rotating around what is yet to be discovered.

The Earth is regularly exposed to cosmic rays as it oscillates upward through the galactic disc. Every 60 million years or so, astronomers believe that our Sun and planets cycle northward in the galactic plane. Just as the Earth has her magnetic field, Milky Way has its own. Without the galactic plane’s magnetic field shielding our solar system, we would be at even higher risk of radiation exposure. It is hypnotized that the closer our solar system travels to the galactic center, we note a correlation between this cyclical motion and partial to mass extinctions happening with a fair amount of regularity on Earth over the past 500 million years.

Some scientists have surmised we are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction of plants and animals. An assemblage of researchers have noted the cycle we are currently experiencing may be a high ratio of species die-offs since. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate. However, to keep things in perspective – researchers currently know of about 1.2 million species to be recorded by science. What’s left to be discovered however is very interesting. The number of species that scientists think are left to be discovered is around 8.7 million. Still, new discoveries can change a scenario, and so can the numbers.

I have re-written this article and ones coming 3 or 4 times because of its importance. Some of you might remember an importance decision I made concerning the direction of my research. I had such a strong pull to go beyond the study of our Sun-Earth connection and peeking around the corner to see what’s next. What I hope to show you is that I am finding a very similar pattern of cause and effect, symbiotic relationship between each level of co-existence. I hope you agree and perhaps catch a flavor of my enthusiastic venturous demeanor. If so, pledge your donation to match renewed devotion to this work. If you happen to know Bill Gates, or his neighbor, give him a call.

Coming Next: Part III – First Will Come Reversal Excursions Then the Flip

BREAKING NEWS: PART-I Galactic Cosmic Rays Reaching Levels Never Before Seen

Today’s article will come as no surprise to the Science Of Cycles reader. There have been several articles SOC published regarding this issue going back to 2012. One of the highly contested questions regarding the pole shift is…’where’ on the time line of this cycle do we stand. I had addressed this question in previous articles. A significant and conveying influence to the makings of a magnetic pole reversal is the inundation of galactic cosmic rays, often referred to as ‘cosmic rays’.

NASA’s most recent study on galactic cosmic ray levels reaching Earth’s atmosphere are the highest ever reported. It is of no coincidence today’s GCR levels correspond with one of the lowest solar minimums observed. This is compounded by the Earth’s magnetic field weakening at a rate nobody saw coming. Researchers estimated the field was weakening about 5 percent per ‘century’, but new data revealed the field is actually weakening at 5 percent per ‘decade’, or 10 times faster than thought.

These GCRs are made up of high energy electrons, positrons, and other subatomic particles, which originate in sources outside the solar system and distributed throughout our galaxy Milky Way; hence the name ‘galactic cosmic rays’. Although periods of high solar activity such as solar flares, CMEs (coronal mass ejections) and coronal holes (solar winds) play a significant role in space and earth weather (including various natural phenomenon such as earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and extreme weather) – studies indicate the periods of solar maximum are usually short-lived hovering around the 11 year cycle.

I propose that both solar rays and cosmic rays have an effect on Earth’s atmosphere, mantle, outer and inner core by generating the expansion and contraction of fluids and gas. Additionally, I suggest it is the more powerful highly energetic charged particles racing at nearly the speed of light which has the greater influence to Earth and all living things. It is the radiation from GCRs which can have – a yet to be determined minimal-or-significant measured effect on all forms of life. I would postulate the most sensitive species exposed to increasing radiation would be the most vulnerable – and in fact a significant number has already reached a point of extinction.

Coming Next: Part-II An Understanding of ‘Background’ and ‘Mass’ Extinctions (and why it applies to today’s galactic cosmic rays escalation.)


Science Of Cycles keeps you tuned-in and knowledgeable of what we are discovering, and how some of these changes will affect our communities and ways of living.