Superhero September – Magneto!

So Magneto is cool right?  Like super cool.  He’s always been one of my favorite villains and it’s not hard to understand why.  He’s an Omega class mutant which essentially means he could destroy the entire Earth if he so desired.  But how powerful is he from a scientific perspective?  Just go with me on this…

Let’s discuss a couple things first.  Magneto derives his name from the “magnetosphere” which is the blanket of magnetism that protects Earth from the barrage of charged particles the son emits, which would otherwise kill every last living thing on the planet.

These charged particles are channeled to the poles colliding with molecules in Earth’s atmosphere causing the atmosphere to glow, the result of which we know as the aurora borealis and australis (south pole).

This is why it’s assumed he could destroy the Earth with his powers.  He could manipulate the magnetic field of the planet in such a way that the atmosphere would dissipate entirely.

Let’s talk about the sun.  Our sun is made of plasma.  Plasma is so hot that the electrons within the outer layer of the atoms have escaped, creating a gas.  This gas responds to magnetic fields; in fact the sun itself has an enormously powerful magnetic field (see solar maximum/solar minimum).  So if magneto indeed, controls magnetic fields, he can do more than simply manipulate metals and alloys.  He could not only destroy Earth but also the sun by causing its magnetic field to collapse on itself.

Mind. Blown.  Thank you Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

 

18

 

References

 

http://www.startalkradio.net/show/extended-classic-cosmic-queries-superheroes/

 

http://comicvine.gamespot.com/magneto/4005-1441/

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