'Lightning' on Venus may not be lightning at all, Parker Solar Probe finds

billslugg

"Or, more specifically, the idea is that magnetic field lines surrounding Venus may break apart then snap back together, in turn producing bursts of energy exhibited as none other than whistler waves. " - M. Ravisetti, SDC

Magnetic field lines cannot "break apart" or "snap back together". Magnetic field lines do not exist as discrete objects, they are simply mathematical constructs to allow us to easily determine the forces associated with charges that are moving and thus subject to corrections in the static electric field vector due to Relativity.
A magnetic field line is no more complicated than an arrow painted on the Earth's surface to indicate which direction magnetic North is. You cannot have a "broken" field line on Earth. It would represent a spot on Earth where there was no "direction to the north pole". It cannot happen, by definition.

I do not know what is actually going on, but it is definitely not "breaking apart" of field lines..

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"Or, more specifically, the idea is that magnetic field lines surrounding Venus may break apart then snap back together, in turn producing bursts of energy exhibited as none other than whistler waves. " - M. Ravisetti, SDC

Magnetic field lines cannot "break apart" or "snap back together". Magnetic field lines do not exist as discrete objects, they are simply mathematical constructs to allow us to easily determine the forces associated with charges that are moving and thus subject to corrections in the static electric field vector due to Relativity.
A magnetic field line is no more complicated than an arrow painted on the Earth's surface to indicate which direction magnetic North is. You cannot have a "broken" field line on Earth. It would represent a spot on Earth where there was no "direction to the north pole". It cannot happen, by definition.

I do not know what is actually going on, but it is definitely not "breaking apart" of field lines..
Hiya Bill,

I bothered reading through the paper the article sites before responding. It seems like the paper proposes magnetic reconnection as the source of whistler waves on Venus.
From a harvard doc (https://lweb.cfa.harvard.edu/~namurphy/Lectures/Ay253_2016_11_MagneticReconnection.pdf):
"Magnetic reconnection is the breaking and rejoining of magnetic field lines in a highly conducting plasma."

So, sure, what you said might be true enough, but you are arguing semantics with a defining body. Please bother gathering context before offering a contrary opinion to subject area experts.

billslugg

I did read through the article. I also stated "I don't know". The resolution of the conundrum appears to be that reconnection can occur in a conductive plasma, but not in a non conducting medium.

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TheKow

Darn alien teenagers using laser pointers i know it.

KCF

All you people are just guessing and making assumptions about what is possible on another planet......we have no idea what Physics are possible in another atmosphere and these scientists that are analyzing data from miles and miles away know very little......guesses!!!

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