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Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Angry Sun Erupting
NASA ^ | March 14, 2012 | (see photo credit)

Posted on 03/14/2012 3:31:13 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

Explanation: It's one of the baddest sunspot regions in years. Active Region 1429 may not only look, to some, like an angry bird -- it has thrown off some of the most powerful flares and coronal mass ejections of the current solar cycle. The extended plumes from these explosions have even rained particles on the Earth's magnetosphere that have resulted in colorful auroras. Pictured above, AR 1429 was captured in great detail in the Sun's chromosphere three days ago by isolating a color of light emitted primarily by hydrogen. The resulting image is shown in inverted false color with dark regions being the brightest and hottest. Giant magnetically-channeled tubes of hot gas, some longer than the Earth, are known as spicules and can be seen carpeting the chromosphere. The light tendril just above AR 1429 is a cool filament hovering just over the active sunspot region. As solar maximum nears in the next few years, the increasingly wound and twisted magnetic field of the Sun may create even more furious active regions that chirp even more energetic puffs of solar plasma into our Solar System.

March 14, 2012

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Astronomy; Astronomy Picture of the Day; Science
KEYWORDS: apod; astronomy; science; sunspots
[Credit & Copyright: Alan Friedman (Averted Imagination)]

1 posted on 03/14/2012 3:31:18 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; steelyourfaith; Mmogamer; ...

Cotton candy Sun! BTW, nice job, 80° today!
Gallery: See images of the latest planetary conjunction

2 posted on 03/14/2012 3:32:51 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Oh my, that one looks like a heart!

3 posted on 03/14/2012 3:33:18 PM PDT by brytlea (An ounce of chocolate is worth a pound of cure)
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To: SunkenCiv

This is the real cause of any so called global warming we have going on. The sun is releasing more thermal energy.

4 posted on 03/14/2012 3:38:58 PM PDT by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: DarthVader

Not quite.

A high level of sunspots indicates a high level of magnetic activity by the sun.

A high level of magnetic activity by the sun shields the Earth from cosmic rays.

Cosmic rays cause water molecules in the atmosphere to clump together, causing more clouds and cooler temperatures; lack of cosmic rays leads to less cloudiness. This has been experimentally demonstrated in laboratories - not computer simulations.

This is the history of temperature - lots of sunspots mean warm and dry, no sunspots mean cloudy/wet. The records over nearly a thousand years show this correlation.

6 posted on 03/14/2012 5:09:13 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: DuncanWaring

The are also indicative of solar flare actvity which leads to the release of heat energy as well. First of all a solar flare is a sudden brightening observed over the Sun surface or the solar limb, which is interpreted as a large energy release of up to 6 × 1025 joules of energy (about a sixth of the total energy output of the Sun each second) or 160,000,000,000 megatons of TNT equivalent. The flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona into space. These clouds typically reach Earth a day or two after it occurs.

Solar flares affect all layers of the solar atmosphere (photosphere, chromosphere, and corona), when the medium plasma is heated to tens of millions of kelvins and electrons, protons, and heavier ions are accelerated to near the speed of light. They produce radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum at all wavelengths, from radio waves to gamma rays, although most of the energy goes to frequencies outside the visual range and for this reason the majority of the flares are not visible to the naked eye and must be observed with special instruments. Flares occur in active regions around sunspots, where intense magnetic fields penetrate the photosphere to link the corona to the solar interior. Flares are powered by the sudden (timescales of minutes to tens of minutes) release of magnetic energy as you correctly pointed out stored in the corona. The same energy releases may produce coronal mass ejections (CME), although the relation between CMEs and flares is still not well established.

X-rays and UV radiation emitted by solar flares can affect Earth’s ionosphere and disrupt long-range radio communications. Direct radio emission at decimetric wavelengths may disturb operation of radars and other devices operating at these frequencies. However since the sun is believed to operate on the process of thermonuclear hot fusion where temperatures are the 100’s of millions or even greater there is going to be enormous thermal heat generated with this other electromagnetic activity.(The numbers that the heat associated with this energy release are huge 1/6 of its total output in heat and light). I believe alot of the heat generated is dissipated in the cold vacuum of space plus the magnetic damping but due to its immense magnitude what heat eventually reaches earth from these flares is enough to cause global increases in temperature, particularly if the sun has been active as it has been.

7 posted on 03/14/2012 6:07:28 PM PDT by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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