Question about an idea I had...

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CometPhoenix

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Been a while since I've posted anything here, but this is something I've been wondering for a little while now since there seems to be a lot of talk nowadays about alternate sources of energy. Because I believe we aren't using the Sun's energy to the fullest, does anyone think it would be possible to harness or use the energy in auroras? I understand that it's dangerous radiation and plasma from the Sun, but it's energy nonetheless. Would it be possible to build something to gather that energy? :D
 
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Captain_Salty

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along the same lines - does some of this radiation get channeled to the magnetic poles on the earths surface?
- would you be exposing yourself to a dangerous level if you were standing there?
 
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CalliArcale

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Captain_Salty":3170pvn2 said:
along the same lines - does some of this radiation get channeled to the magnetic poles on the earths surface?
- would you be exposing yourself to a dangerous level if you were standing there?
Yes, some of it does, but I'm not sure how much more dangerous it is. It might increase your lifetime cancer risk somewhat, but then, so does living at high altitude (e.g. Denver, Colorado), and I bet that effect is swamped by how much the lack of ozone will increase your cancer risk. Note that the very presence of aurora is a sign that the atmosphere is absorbing this particle radiation -- its interacting with tenuous gasses in the upper atmosphere. Ionizing radiation can be emitted during this process, but I don't know how much or if it's anything to worry about.

I'm sure you could harness the energy in auroras, but they're very unpredictable. You'd be fluctuating between something too weak to produce enough usable power to something that actually melts super-heavy-duty power transformers. I don't think it would be practical.
 
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CometPhoenix

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What if you were to channel that energy to a single point using something of a lightning rod and make that energy more predictable?
 
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kg

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I think there might be alot less energy in the solar wind then is simply in sunlight. I got 1,368 W/m2 at one AU for sunlight off wikipedia. I can't seem to find a number for solar wind to compair it too. Anyone?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun#Sunlight
"Sunlight is Earth's primary source of energy. The solar constant is the amount of power that the Sun deposits per unit area that is directly exposed to sunlight. The solar constant is equal to approximately 1,368 W/m2 (watts per square meter) at a distance of one astronomical unit (AU) from the Sun (that is, on or near Earth).[94] Sunlight on the surface of Earth is attenuated by the Earth's atmosphere so that less power arrives at the surface—closer to 1,000 W/m2 in clear conditions when the Sun is near the zenith."
 
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CometPhoenix

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I think it could be used to even cause electrolysis in water if we decide to use Hydrogen powered cars in the future as a way to save electricity and provide it to areas in the North that don't always get Sunlight. This idea sounds really farfetched, but it's wild ideas like this that could be concidered at a later time ;)
 
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djbladerunner

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That my freind is a really great question.....wow, you know, the possabilities that arose when I read your post were astounding. I think you are going somewhere real great with this one. I might have to do some research and post some findings for you. Auroras! Awesome thinking..........Possible uses that I can think of for the Suns Auroras would be fuel for heavey space travel like we could all have our own shiip lol. Only problem i see with harvesting the energy , however, is that the more we harvest the less the sun has and we all know what happens when the sun loses energy, it dies and explodes and the force would wipe out all planets around lol. I think that would sort of put a damper on things. =)
 
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