Saturday, February 14, 2009

electric sahara acid dust

From ScienceDaily: Unexpected Discovery Could Impact On Future Climate Models

Astronomers at the University of Hertfordshire looking for new extrasolar planets accidentally discovered that dust is affected by electric fields. Their polarimeter got dusty, and the dust affected light in such a way that showed the dust particles were aligning vertically. Not only could this explain how Saharan dust can make it to Northern Europe and the Caribbean, but "if it’s proven the dust is affected by electric fields, elements of current climate models may have to be re-worked with this new information, to remain accurate," says Joseph Ulanowski with the university's Centre for Atmospheric and Instrumentation Research.

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