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Thread: amps in the magnetosphere

  1. #1 amps in the magnetosphere 
    Forum Sophomore kingjacob's Avatar
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    I read that 40k-200k volts have been measured in the magnetosphere but how many amps does it put out?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman Frozenoak's Avatar
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    I think you are missing a part of this equation. You must have current to have amps. That is movement of volts. In order to know the amps you have to know how many volts are moving how fast. You would have to assume the resistance of a material to be able to find the amps.

    Air has an average resistance of (I assume this is dry air but I don't know that) 3 gigaohms/m for a 1-cm cross section near the earths surface (the magnetosphere in no where near the earths surface but for the sake of argument I am going to ignore how close to the surface you need to be). The magnetosphere is approximately 70,000 km from earth.

    I(amps) = V(volts)/r(resistance)

    I=40,000/(3,000,000,000/70,000,000) = 933.33...amps
    I=200,000/(3,000,000,000/70,000,000) = 4666.66...amps

    So if there was a pocket of air between us and the magnetosphere and a bolt of lightning were to reach out to touch us it would have between 933 and 4666 amps. You could probably round that (seeing as how all of these numbers were pulled quickly from searches on-line and may be inaccurate) to between 1k amps and 5k amps. Rest assured that could kill you.

    Regards,
    dale


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  4. #3  
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    According to this web site it is about a million amps.

    http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM8YGUZJND_Protecting_0.html
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