The Electric Currents around Mars are Fundamental to Atmospheric Loss – A Spiritual Insight


In a recent publication, [1] researchers used five years of magnetic field measurements from the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) orbiter to empirically map the electric currents surrounding the Martian world. The researchers are looking at how solar wind powers the atmospheric loss. What was discovered was the coupling of the ionosphere and the bow shock asymmetries between the north-south electric hemispheres with the solar winds effect on the near-mars electric current system. The research paper states “The current flow pattern in the induced magnetosphere of Mars indicates a system driven by a magnetospheric convective electric field, powered by the solar wind interaction.” [1]


  1. Robin Ramstad et al. The global current systems of the Martian induced magnetosphere, Nature Astronomy (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41550-020-1099-y

The planet Earth has an electric current system as well, which can be visualized by the “aurora borealis” also known as the “northern lights,” the colorful display of light in the night sky near the polar regions. The colorful lights are the interaction of the electric currents which are generated by the interaction of the Earth’s magnetic field with the solar wind. These currents are vertical as they follow the magnetic field lines up out of the earth into the upper atmosphere. The researchers say studying the Earth’s electric currents in the upper atmosphere only tells part of the story about what is going on at Mars. The reason is, the Earth’s magnetic field is driven by the movement of conducting iron flows beneath the crust, meaning the magnetic field comes from within the Earth. Mars’ magnetic field is not created like this, what is happening at Mars is the following. The sun sends out electrically charged electrons and protons which stream through the galaxy and hit the planet Mars. The solar wind is charged, and it is also magnetized relative to another object, thus its magnetic field cannot easily penetrate the upper atmosphere of non-magnetized planets like Mars. These solar winds then induce in the planet’s ionosphere a pile-up and strengthening of the magnetic field creating an induced magnetosphere. The reason researchers sent the MAVEN satellite to Mars was to help better understand this phenomenon.

With the strengthening of the planet’s induced magnetic field, the solar wind ions smash into this field and are forced apart due to their opposite electric charge. Ions then flow in opposite directions forming electric currents that flow from the day side to the night side of the planet. At the same time, x-rays and ultraviolet radiation from the sun are also ionizing the upper atmosphere on Mars, turning a layer of the atmosphere to electrically charged ions that can conduct electricity. The researchers state, “The currents flow in the upper atmosphere, with the strongest current layers persisting at 120-200 kilometers (about 75-125 miles) above the planet’s surface.” The MAVEN satellite was equipped with a sensitive magnetometer, and since the electric currents distort the magnetic fields in the solar winds, the satellite was able to measure these distortions and map out the magnetosphere. The movement of the satellite orbiting the planet, coupled to the measurements made by the magnetometer, the researchers were able to develop a 3D map of the currents surrounding the planet Mars.

The mechanism for atmospheric loss then is related to the solar wind induced global magnetic field surrounding Mars. The solar wind causes a direct electrical connection to the Martial upper atmosphere. The charging of the particles via x-ray and ultraviolet radiation, coupled to the induced currents by the solar windows, the electric fields that are produced then accelerate these charged atmospheric particles into space driving the atmospheric escape mechanism. The energy that drives the atmospheric loss is much greater than was assumed in the past. The solar wind driven atmospheric loss has contributed to Mars having a very thin atmosphere and the absence of an internally driven magnetic field has led to a serious radiation danger for astronauts planning on visiting the planet. This research was funded by the MAVEN mission and was led by the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric Space Physics center, Boulder Colorado and NASA Goddard manages the MAVEN project.

The Spiritual insight that we receive from this type of research is related to the solar wind inducing the magnetic field surrounding Mars, and then driving the ionized atmospheric particles into space leading to atmospheric losses. The Torah describes something very similar in the descriptions of the people as they travel from the Mountain of Sinai. We find this in the narrative in Bamidbar / Numbers 10:33-36, וַיִּסְעוּ֙ מֵהַ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה דֶּ֖רֶךְ שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֑ים וַאֲר֨וֹן בְּרִית־יְהוָ֜ה נֹסֵ֣עַוַיִּסְעוּ֙ מֵהַ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה דֶּ֖רֶךְ שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֑ים וַאֲר֨וֹן בְּרִית־יְהוָ֜ה נֹסֵ֣עַ לִפְנֵיהֶ֗ם דֶּ֚רֶךְ שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֔ים לָת֥וּר לָהֶ֖ם מְנוּחָֽה׃ 10:33 They marched from the mountain of the LORD a distance of three days. The Ark of the Covenant of the LORD traveled in front of them on that three days’ journey to seek out a resting place for them; וַעֲנַ֧ן יְהוָ֛ה עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם יוֹמָ֑ם בְּנָסְעָ֖ם מִן־הַֽמַּחֲנֶֽה׃ (׆) (ס) 10:34 and the LORD’s cloud kept above them by day, as they moved on from camp. וַיְהִ֛י בִּנְסֹ֥עַ הָאָרֹ֖ן וַיֹּ֣אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֑ה קוּמָ֣ה ׀ יְהוָ֗ה וְיָפֻ֙צוּ֙ אֹֽיְבֶ֔יךָ וְיָנֻ֥סוּ מְשַׂנְאֶ֖יךָ מִפָּנֶֽיךָ׃ 10:35 When the Ark was to set out, Moses would say: Advance, O LORD! May Your enemies be scattered, And may Your foes flee before You! וּבְנֻחֹ֖ה יֹאמַ֑ר שׁוּבָ֣ה יְהוָ֔ה רִֽבְב֖וֹת אַלְפֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ (׆) (ס) 10:36 And when it halted, he would say: Return, O LORD, You who are Israel’s myriads of thousands! (Sefaria) We are told that the Lord God of Israel went ahead of the people to search out a place for Israel to camp. This demonstrates for us the need for the guidance of God in our lives. Moshe said a prayer when the Ark was taken up and moved and when it was set back down saying, וַיְהִ֛י בִּנְסֹ֥עַ הָאָרֹ֖ן וַיֹּ֣אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֑ה קוּמָ֣ה ׀ יְהוָ֗ה וְיָפֻ֙צוּ֙ אֹֽיְבֶ֔יךָ וְיָנֻ֥סוּ מְשַׂנְאֶ֖יךָ מִפָּנֶֽיךָ׃ 10:35 “Advance, O LORD! May Your enemies be scattered, And may Your foes flee before You!” וּבְנֻחֹ֖ה יֹאמַ֑ר שׁוּבָ֣ה יְהוָ֔ה רִֽבְב֖וֹת אַלְפֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ (׆) (ס) 10:36 “Return, O LORD, You who are Israel’s myriads of thousands!” Directly following this, we read about the people in Bamidbar / Numbers 11 bitterly complaining before the Lord because of their hardship (they said we have no bread and no meat to eat). The idea being put forward here is that there were two different types of peoples in the congregation of Israel. One type of person was he who sought his own pleasures, and became a seducer who complained and sought others to do the same, leading people into discontented, immoral, and unethical behavior against man and against God. What we are learning here is how the Lord God is working in our lives to root out the sources of sin (the spiritually negative forces in this world), and teach us his way of consecrating our lives (living in righteousness, holiness, and truth) according to His Word. The point of the Scientific research studying the magnetic field on Mars, and learning how the solar winds induce a magnetic field and then function to remove charged particles into space leading to atmospheric loss, is paralleled here to those who surround God’s people, inducing sin, discontentment, murmuring, immorality, hatred, murderous thoughts, etc leading to losses in our spiritual lives. Take for example, today our culture, through television, the masses are being shown and taught immoral and unethical behaviors where these things harm us both physically and spiritually. Moshe would say a prayer before the Ark of God would move saying, writes וְיָנֻ֥סוּ מְשַׂנְאֶ֖יךָ מִפָּנֶֽיךָ, “let them that hate You flee before You” referring to those who display their hatred of God indirectly by seducing God’s servants into sinning before Him. This is how the Torah describes the “enemies” of God that remained in the midst of His people. These are those who seduce God’s people to sin and complain, the analogy is to having had these things placed in one’s heart, one then entertains the thought of these things in his / her heart, which leads to the discontentment becoming a reality in one’s life. This is what it means to live out a fantasy in our lives, sin begins in the imagination of the heart. (James 1:15) When we begin to live a fantasy, when we fantasize what we want, how others should behave, what others should think about us, or what we think God should be doing in our lives, this leads to all sorts of problems, the first of which is discontentment because we fantasize and then expect how we think others are supposed to behave, and then become disappointed and discontented when reality sets in. One of the best examples of these things is found in the porn industry, where men and women get online and fantasize about sex and relationships, the human brain is not able to differentiate between the fantasy and reality and as a result one is unable to function properly in life, relationships, etc with people of the opposite sex. Or in a marriage relationship when sex has been warped through pornography, the husband / wife does not have a healthy sex life. The rabbis commentary on the Torah states these enemies are referred to as the evil urges, such as one having the desire to serve idols, another having the desire to engage in illicit sexual relations, etc. Note in the rabbinic literature, avodah zarah (idolatry), is connected to sexual sin. The reason being, sexual sin can be an idol in one’s life, which again draws us back to the example of pornography. To further illustrate this example from pornography, this type of idolatry leads to one having a burning desire for more with all consuming thoughts on the images and immoral behavior. In ancient days, the fertility religions led to both the participation in idolatry and sexual sin! This is why the Lord God of Israel needed to address the issue of both idolatry and sexual sin throughout the bible. These things lead to our understanding of the meaning of intrinsic impurity, which is the uncleanness that comes from within, which was the point Yeshua was making in Mark chapter 7. Note the take away points from the studies we looked at in the book of Vayikra / Leviticus. This is why it was absolutely necessary to bring Yeshua into this world to die for our sins. This is why the Lord God of Israel sent His Son Yeshua the Messiah to teach His people the Torah in order to lead and guide us into God’s Ways. Think about this for a moment, this is also why these things are drawn in context to Chag Shavuot (Pentacost), and the importance of the giving of the Spirit of God into the hearts of men for those who would believe in Yeshua. The power of God in our lives is His presence in our hearts which leads to the changing of the heart, the transformation from the inside to something new so that we have the desire to do what is right as opposed to serving sin.

The Scientific research this week is drawing out these concepts of the induced magnetic field that leads to atmospheric losses, paralleled in our culture which seeks to teach us to sin and draw us away from God, and to the people whom we surround ourselves with who would do the same. (Note those whom we know, who are our friends, who do not know the Lord, are not necessarily intentionally trying to lead us away from God!) The Torah speaks of these two types of people in this world, along with the spiritual forces that work to seduce God’s people into being disobedient to His Word. (Or HaChaim on Numbers 10:35 Part 1) The people in the congregation of Israel may simply have been expressing their grievences and not neccessarily trying to intentionally cause people to die. The world seeks to influence us in a smilar way, to be in rebellion to God and His Word. The world seeks to insight sedition against the Word of the Lord, to rebel, to complain, to mummer, to live sexually immoral lives, and this is what happened when the people departed from the Mountain of Sinai. They departed from keeping God in their sight, which led to their bitterly complaining. When the people left the mountain, there were those who were not seeking the Lord God of Israel, and were causing the congregation to be discontented as we read in Bamidbar / Numbers 11:4-10. The text states ד וְהָאסַפְסֻף אֲשֶׁר בְּקִרְבּוֹ הִתְאַוּוּ תַּאֲוָה וַיָּשֻׁבוּ וַיִּבְכּוּ גַּם בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וַיֹּאמְרוּ מִי יַאֲכִלֵנוּ בָּשָֹר: 11:4 The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, ‘Who will give us meat to eat? (NASB) The interesting part of this verse is the translation of וְהָאסַפְסֻף as “rabble” referring to those who were among the people. The different Bible translations have chosen to render this as the following:

Bamidbar / Numbers 11:4
HEB: וְהָֽאסַפְסֻף֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּקִרְבּ֔וֹ
NAS: The rabble who were among them
KJV: And the mixed multitude that [was] among them
CSB: The riffraff among them

The text literally says וְהָאסַפְסֻף אֲשֶׁר בְּקִרְבּוֹ “the rabble who were in their midst.” This describes our existence in this world, as a mixed multitude, those who would seek the Lord and His ways in the midst of those who are godless and immoral and seek us to do the same. The Scriptures describe them as being dispersed in the midst of the congregation. The etymology of this word, where it is derived from, asks whether it is connected to word אסף (to gather, collect) and אסם (literally a barn or storehouse meaning to heap up)? In Shemot / Exodus 23:16 (טז וְחַג הַקָּצִיר בִּכּוּרֵי מַעֲשֶֹיךָ אֲשֶׁר תִּזְרַע בַּשָּׂדֶה וְחַג הָאָסִף בְּצֵאת הַשָּׁנָה בְּאָסְפְּךָ אֶת-מַעֲשֶֹיךָ מִן-הַשָּׂדֶה: 23:16 Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field.), we find the festival called Chag Ha’asif (וְחַג הָאָסִף) the Festival of Ingatherings, Sukkot is a harvest festival and is sometimes referred to as Chag Ha-Asif. The way the text is written could be a description of the people becoming a gathering standing against the Lord and Moshe. The way this word is constructed, we may infer this as a reference to an external gathering or pile of peoples. This is why we find the translation of the word to “rabble” which refers to “a disorderly crowd; a mob.” Something to note here in the word וְהָאסַפְסֻף in the Chumash (the Torah), in the Masoretic Text, this word has no vowelization under the aleph. This lack of vowelization under the aleph is similar but somewhat different from אסף as explained by Rabbi Hirsch on the verse in Bamidbar / Numbers 11:4. This is similar to the way Ibn Ezra explains the word in his commentary (והאספסוף – שנאספו על ישראל ואינם מהן, והן ערב רב. והמלה כפולה כמו: סחרחר (תהלים ל״ח:י״א), חמרמרו (איכה א׳:כ׳).) The א (aleph) being quiescent gives the nuance of meaning that this was the “absorption of people” which resembles more of an excluded / external group of people who was simply absorbed into the congrebation, as opposed to those who were “gathered in / called to be God’s people.” These were people who joined with Israel but were uninterested in seeking the God of Israel. Their influence led to the entire congregation being discontented due to their fleshly fantasies (of bread and meat). This again is what is being drawn out by the scientific research with the induced magnetic field, the solar winds being the driving force for atmospheric losses. Notice how the research describes the magnetic field of the Earth, something that comes from within, as opposed to that which is without (Mars), creating the atmospheric losses. These things parallel the people who did not really enter into the nation of Israel through the power of God, they were simply assimilated, absorbed, become a part of, without the spiritual influence from the Lord. Basically they came along for the ride, to receive the benefits of what God had promised without having to actually have faith believing. Note the parallel that we have in our culture today, that which surrounds us and seeks to transform us into its likeness in sin. Israel became a סף (threshold or container) as opposed to an אסף, an ingathering. To these people, Israel functioned as a סף, a container, a vessel, and a “threshold” to them, they were “contained” in Israel but never really became an integral part of her by accepting the God of Israel into their lives. We must not become a סף (threshold or container) absorbing sin from ungodly people around us or from television, or from our culture, etc. In the biblical narrative, these people considered themselves as separate but yet insisting they receive all of the benefits, while not being subject to the responsibilities listed in the Torah. (Does this sound familiar? Do you know anyone like that?) The idea here is as the people complained they literally said מִי יַאֲכִלֵנוּ בָּשָֹר “who will feed us flesh?” Isn’t this an interesting parallel to their wanting the desires of the flesh? These people were hungry for physical food as opposed to spiritual food. They were interested more in satisfying their own desires as opposed to wanting to live their lives for the Lord in contentment.

Moshe spoke to the Lord about “how can food be brought to these people?” It is interesting what Moshe says to the Lord regarding this situation, 11:13 ‘Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat that we may eat!’ 11:14 ‘I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me. 11:15 ‘So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness.’ (NASB) The mistake Moshe seems to make is to blame the Lord for the burden of the people. Does it seem even Moshe was being influenced by the blame game? He knows that the Lord God is able to move in the hearts of men to do what is right. We have many examples of the Lord working powerfully in the hearts of men in the Torah. He asks to be put to death rather than to see his end at the hand of the people. The text gives us God’s response, 11:23 The Lord said to Moses, ‘Is the Lord’s power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.’ (NASB) The text literally states, “is the arm of the Lord short?” The lengthening or shortening of the arm is related to the power of God that is present to work. The way one can cause the power of God to be limited in their lives is through unbelief, the lack of faith, and then complaining about the situations one is in. This is what this text is explaining to us, the importance of being a child of God, to having the Lord God of Israel in our lives, in our hearts, empowering us, and to have faith, to seek Him and His Messiah Yeshua. If we are not actively seeking the Lord and Yeshua, we will not see the power of God in our lives! Here the text states that because of the complaints, the fire of the Lord burned on the outskirts of the camp. This gives us another parallel to the scientific research providing a location of the peoples who were simply absorbed into the congregation without being spiritually influenced by God, they lacked faith. Note the burning from the Lord was at the outskirts of the camp, this seems to be a direct parallel to the influence of the solar windows on Mars induced magnetic field, and the mechanism of atmospheric losses. The people at the outer edges of the congregation suggest the level of faith they had, as not drawing near to God at the center. In the Torah statement God makes He says, “is there then a limit to the Lord’s power?” the Lord God implied that just as it was within His power to provide what He had said He would provide, so it was within His power to see to it that they could be fed as well. We are told that the people gathered and gathered the meat and ate until it came out of their noses, meaning they loathed the meat because there was so much. The Torah states in Bamidbar / Numbers 11:31, ויטש על המחנה בדרך יום כה ובדרך יום כה סביבות המחנה וכאמתים על פני כל הארץ , “and He strewed them over the camp, a distance of a day’s walk in each direction and to the height of two cubits above the face of the earth.” This is quite the distance demonstrating the power of God to bless the people. The record that the depth was 2 cubits high meant the people did not have to even bend over to pick up the birds, the level was high enough such that they had to push their way through the birds. Consider when someone needed to get some water, they literally had to wade through the birds pushing them with their legs to get through. This would have been quite the reality check!

The Torah provides us with the historical account of these things as a testimony to these truths, how the world can influence us, how we are to maintain our faith in the God of Israel who is able to deliver us drawing near to Him who is able to provide us with all that we need! In the NT text, Yeshua said He is the bread which comes from heaven who guides us, who nourishes us, and helps us to live according to God’s Word, just as Moshe did on behalf of the people bearing up the people before God. Even with the presence of God in their midst, the people desired to gratify the desires of the flesh (their bellies) by asking “Who will give us flesh to eat?” Note how this temptation exists even for us today! The people’s complaint led to death; the Scriptures say the fire of the Lord burned at the edges of the camp. (Bamidbar / Numbers 11:1) Notice also how living a fantasy can also lead to death according to James 1:15, the reason being fantasizing does lead to sin (death)! The location of the losses of people in the Torah provides our parallel here today, and also indicates something on the matter of faith. Those who camped further away from the Tabernacle had less faith than those who drew near to the tabernacle of God. This is how sin functions, drawing us away from the Lord. Remember back in Vayikra / Leviticus, we discussed the concept of uncleanness that comes from within (intrinsic uncleanness) and discussed why and how Yeshua  cleanses us from this impurity. The Torah sacrifices dealt with the extrinsic (external) impurities, while the Messiah deals with the intrinsic (internal) impurities! This is not simply an “academic” or speculative approach to be considered, this is a matter of eternal life or death. How we choose to respond to the Word of God, just as the people here in the Torah text, its message determines our destiny. The point is we are to focus our eyes upon God’s Messiah, and remain in His Word, in order for us to be victorious. This is what the scientific research is drawing out for us today, the solar winds inducing the magnetic field leading to atmospheric losses moving the charged atmospheric particles into space and away from the planet. This same thing happens when we entertain sin in our lives, just as the people complained which caused them to move further away from the presence of God, indicated by the burning at the extremities of the camp. Everything revolves around whether we wake up to the reality of the Messiah believing that He laid down his life for our sins. Without Him we are hopeless; and Paul wrote with Him we are more than conquerors (1 Corinthians 15:14, Romans 8:37). The God of Israel loves us with “an everlasting love” (אַהֲבַת עוֹלָם) and draws us to Himself in chesed (חֶסֶד, mercy/grace). This is what the prophet Jeremiah stated in Jeremiah 31:3 אַהֲבַת עוֹלָם אֲהַבְתִּיךְ עַל־כֵּן מְשַׁכְתִּיךְ חָסֶד “I love you with an everlasting love; therefore in chesed (grace/mercy) I draw you to me.” Notice how the word translated “I draw you” comes from the Hebrew word mashakh (מָשַׁךְ), meaning to “seize” or “drag away.” (The Septuagint (Greek translation) used the verb helko (ἕλκω) to express the same idea.) Yeshua said, “No one is able to come to me unless he is ‘dragged away’ (ἑλκύσῃ) by the Father” (see John 6:44, 44οὐδεὶς δύναται ἐλθεῖν πρός με ἐὰν μὴ ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ πέμψας με ἑλκύσῃ αὐτόν, κἀγὼ ἀναστήσω αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ.). God’s mercy, His chesed seizes us, takes us captive, and leads us to the Savior. Paradoxically, there are many people do not want life on God’s terms. Many people are contented to stumble along in their lives and remain in a state of rasha (wicked, criminal, guilty one) believing in the deception of the world. When someone is called by the Lord, it is usually when they are at the point of brokenness and have a need for a miracle. In the Scientific research, there is a mechanism in place that operats on the laws of physics, moving charged particles out of the atmosphere into space. There would literally have to be a miracle in order to stop / change this mechanism for atmospheric loss. (i.e. Mars would need to have something similar to Earth, a change on the inside out, generating a magnetic field from the inside!) This parallels what the people needed, and what each of us needs! We need a miracle to overcome the desires of the flesh! We need the power of God in our lives, this is the only way, His presence dwelling in our midst by faith in His Messiah Yeshua, the very thing the Torah teaches us about, the Gospel Message! As we seek to do the will of God, we seek His Messiah through a personal encounter with God! Again, this parallels the scientific research in the sense that the Earth’s magnetic field comes from within and protects the planet Earth from what is happening on Mars, preserving life here on Earth! We need the Lord God Almighty in our hearts to function in the same way! It is only then that we are able to be lifted up, to experience the power of God in our lives, just as Yeshua said “Kumi” rise up, awaken from the dead, become alive in the Messiah! (Mark 5:41, John 6:40). This is how Moshe interceded on behalf of the people! This is also how Yeshua intercedes on our behalf before God! In Heaven, the Messiah embodies the Presence and the Reality of our Advocate and Mediator before God. This is why we have faith in Him! This is also how the Torah and the Gospel Message go hand-in-hand!