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Keyword: sunspots

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  • 'Dead sunspot' launches ball of plasma toward Earth

    04/12/2022 7:31:09 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 51 replies
    Live Science ^ | 04/12/2022 | Stephanie Pappas
    The explosion comes courtesy of a dead sunspot called AR2987.... The sunspot explosion released loads of energy in the form of radiation, which also led to a coronal mass ejection (CME) — explosive balls of solar material — both of which could spur more intense northern lights in Earth's upper atmosphere. The material in that CME is likely to impact Earth on April 14... The idea of a "dead" sunspot is more poetic than scientific, said Philip Judge, a solar physicist at the High Altitude Observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), but the convection of the sun...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - The Sun in X-rays from NuSTAR

    11/23/2021 3:55:17 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 11 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 23 Nov, 2021 | Image Credit: NASA, NuSTAR, SDO
    Explanation: Why are the regions above sunspots so hot? Sunspots themselves are a bit cooler than the surrounding solar surface because the magnetic fields that create them reduce convective heating. It is therefore unusual that regions overhead -- even much higher up in the Sun's corona -- can be hundreds of times hotter. To help find the cause, NASA directed the Earth-orbiting Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) satellite to point its very sensitive X-ray telescope at the Sun. Featured here is the Sun in ultraviolet light, shown in a red hue as taken by the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)....
  • Sun continues firing significant solar flares, Earth’s GPS signals disruption and power grid...

    11/04/2021 7:35:32 PM PDT · by markomalley · 15 replies
    Insider Paper ^ | 11/4/2021 | Brendan Byrne
    The Sun has fired several rounds of solar flares since last week, all of which have the potential to cause power grid fluctuations and irregularities in satellite orientation on Earth, according to media reports. Since November 1, the Sun has produced three of the outbursts known to scientists as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), according to Space.com. A CME is a massive eruption of solar particles caused by intense flares from the Sun aimed directly at Earth. CMEs are globs of gas and magnetic fields that are ejected into space by sunspots, which are knots in the Sun’s magnetic field. Two...
  • SOLAR MAX MIGHT COME A YEAR EARLY

    08/04/2021 3:37:05 PM PDT · by 11th_VA · 48 replies
    Solar Cycle 25 is heating up faster than expected. The latest sign may be found in sunspot counts from July 2021. Continuing a trend that started last year, they overperform the official forecast. Issued by the NOAA/NASA Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel in 2019, the official forecast calls for Solar Cycle 25 to peak in July 2025. However, a better fit to current data shows Solar Cycle 25 peaking in October 2024. This is just outside the 8-month error bars of the Panel's forecast. July 2021 was a remarkable month. Solar Cycle 25 crossed multiple thresholds, including its first X-flare...
  • The sun may offer key to predicting El Niño, groundbreaking study finds

    05/08/2021 10:22:12 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 33 replies
    Washington Post ^ | May 8, 2021 at 7:22 a.m. PDT | Matthew Cappucci
    The key to this proposed solar-weather connection lies in “terminator” events, which spell the end of a solar cycle. Over the course of 22 years, bands of magnetism wrapping around the sun slowly migrate toward the equator, interacting with one another to produce sunspots. Those sunspots, or cool, dark discolorations on the sun’s surface, pulsate with magnetic energy, occasionally hurling it into space in solar storms that can spark displays of the northern lights. There are two bands of magnetism per hemisphere on the sun. At solar minimum, both sets of bands are of equal and opposite strength, so the...
  • Solar astronomers can now predict future sunspots. There should be a big one in a couple of days

    11/26/2020 8:31:30 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 40 replies
    universe today ^ | November 25, 2020 by | Brian Koberlein
    The surface of the Sun is a turbulent dance of gravity, plasma, and magnetic fields. Much like the weather on Earth, its behavior can seem unpredictable, but there are patterns to be found when you look closely. The first pattern to be observed on the solar surface was that of sunspots. Sunspots were noticed by a few ancient astronomers, but they have been regularly studied since the 1600s. As astronomers counted the number of spots seen each year, they found the Sun goes through active years and quiet years. There is an 11-year cycle of high and low sunspot counts....
  • Massive sunspot is turning towards Earth this can result in major solar flares that can effect electrical systems

    08/07/2020 7:10:31 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 73 replies
    First Post ^ | 08/07/2020
    A massive sunspot on the Sun is turning towards our planet and this could result in strong solar flares. The sunspot AR2770 was detected earlier this week and is expected to grow in size in the upcoming days. A report by SpaceWeather.com - a space weather forecasting website - said that multiple minor flares have been emitted by the sunspot already as it faced towards the earth. These flares have caused "minor waves of ionization to ripple through Earth's upper atmosphere" but nothing major yet. A clear picture of the AR2770 has also surfaced that gives a better idea into...
  • Mars-sized 'Light-bridge' on Surface of Sun Appears to Signal Break-up of Vast Sunspot

    08/10/2020 8:57:01 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    Newsweek ^ | 8/10/20 | Aristos Georgiou
    Amateur astronomer and Florida resident Howard Eskildsen snapped an image of the "light bridge"—which has a length that's roughly equal to the diameter of Mars—in a recently formed sunspot dubbed AR2770, spaceweather.com reported. These phenomena are caused by strong magnetic field concentrations, which inhibit convection—the transfer of heat from one place to another within gases and liquids. This process heats the solar surface. Hot "bubbles" of plasma—charged particles that are one of the four fundamental states of matter—are transported from deeper, hotter layers to the surface, whereas cooler plasma is transported back to the interior... According to Felipe, light bridges...
  • First New Sunspots in 40 Days Herald Coming Solar Cycle

    01/08/2020 10:16:33 AM PST · by Red Badger · 26 replies
    www.livescience.com ^ | 01/08/2020 | By Tom Metcalfe
    The cycle may result in dramatic space weather that could disrupt communications and power grids here on Earth. Two new sunspots have ended a long period of relative quiet on the surface of our blazing host star, heralding the start of a new 11-year cycle of sunspot activity — resulting in sometimes dramatic space weather that could disrupt communications and power grids here on Earth. The two new sunspots, designated as NOAA 2753 and 2754, were seen on Dec. 24 by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory — a satellite that monitors the exterior and interior of the sun from a geosynchronous...
  • Quiet sun sets new record for spotless days (Maunder like Min on the way)

    11/01/2019 9:36:16 PM PDT · by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget · 28 replies
    wattsupwiththat.com ^ | November 1, 2019 | Anthony Watts
    As of November 1st, the current stretch of days without any observable sunspots in solar cycle 24 has reached a total of 228 spotless days in 2019 so far That’s 75% of the year so far. During the 2008 solar minimum, there were 268 days without sunspots, or 73% of the year. The sun as seen by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on Oct 31 2019 Here’s a tally of spotless days for the last solar cycle: 2019 total: 228 days (75%) 2018 total: 221 days (61%) 2017 total: 104 days (28%) 2016 total: 32 days (9%) 2015 total: 0 days...
  • Solving the sun's super-heating mystery with Parker Solar Probe

    06/06/2019 12:08:09 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | June 2019 | James Lynch, University of Michigan
    ...why is its outer atmosphere hotter than its fiery surface? University of Michigan researchers believe they have the answer, and hope to prove it with help from NASA's Parker Solar Probe. In roughly two years, the probe will be the first manmade craft to enter the zone surrounding the sun where heating looks fundamentally different than what has previously been seen in space. This will allow them to test their theory that the heating is due to small magnetic waves travelling back and forth within the zone... Such high temperatures cause the solar atmosphere to swell to many times the...
  • The sun follows the rhythm of the planets

    06/05/2019 4:54:27 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 95 replies
    SpaceDaily.com ^ | May 30, 2019 | "Staff writers"
    One of the big questions in solar physics is why the Sun's activity follows a regular cycle of 11 years. Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), an independent German research institute, now present new findings, indicating that the tidal forces of Venus, Earth and Jupiter influence the solar magnetic field, thus governing the solar cycle.
  • The sun has ‘reached solar minimum’ and its surface is ominously calm

    06/05/2019 7:25:50 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 93 replies
    MetroUK ^ | 06/04/2019
    Eruptions from the face of our star are called ‘prominences’ and cause vast amounts of superhot gas to shoot into space, often forming beautiful loops on the solar surface. During the solar minimum, the number of flares and sunspots is dramatically reduced. When the sun leaps back from its minimum after roughly 11 years, we’re likely to see more and more ferocious explosions on the sun. Nasa warned: ‘After our Sun passes the current Solar Minimum, solar activity like eruptive prominences are expected to become more common over the next few years.’ The space agency has just released dramatic pictures...
  • Grand Solar Minimum Intensifies

    11/24/2018 11:21:11 PM PST · by Windflier · 134 replies
    XYZ ^ | 22 November 2018 | David Hilton
    A leading pioneer in the study of Grand Solar Minima and their effects on the planet has been solar physicist Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University. She has been attacked savagely for her theory that the weakened solar magnetosphere during a Grand Solar Minimum is the main factor in driving global cooling on Earth, but she is increasingly being vindicated as global cooling progresses. Recently, Professor Zharkova gave a lecture to the Global Warming Policy Foundation. You can view the lecture below, but it’s heavy-going. Here’s a summary of her main points: • The solar magnetosphere is key to understanding...
  • New Solar Research Raises Climate Questions, Triggers Attacks

    08/12/2016 7:17:22 PM PDT · by detective · 20 replies
    Recent research by Professor Valentina Zharkova (Northumbria University) and colleagues has shed new light on the inner workings of the Sun. If correct, this new discovery means that future solar cycles and variations in the Sun’s activity can be predicted more accurately. The research suggests that the next three solar cycles will see solar activity reduce significantly into the middle of the century, producing conditions similar to those last seen in the 1600s – during the Maunder Minimum. This may have implications for temperatures here on Earth. Future solar cycles will serve as a test of the astrophysicists’ work, but...
  • ‘Winter Is Coming’ Warns The Solar Physicist The Alarmists Tried To Silence

    08/12/2016 6:15:27 AM PDT · by Bratch · 110 replies
    Breitbart's Big Government ^ | August 12, 2016 | JAMES DELINGPOLE
    Make the most of this summer because it could be your last decent one: winter is coming as the planet enters the most devastating cooling period since the 65-year Maunder Minimum of the 17th and early 18th centuries. This is the dire forecast of Professor Valentina Zharkova, a solar physicist at Northumbria University, who has based her prediction on sun spot activity – known to be a significant driver of global climate – which is currently very low and likely to get even lower during the next three solar cycles. She has spoken about her research and her battle to get it taken...
  • We aren't ready for a solar storm smackdown

    06/15/2018 7:00:06 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 25 replies
    One hundred fifty-nine years ago, our sun belched out a sea of charged particles aimed at Earth. It sped toward us at millions of miles per hour, walloping the planet hard enough to addle the world's telegraph systems and bring the northern lights as far south as Jamaica. Damage from the solar storm, called the Carrington Event, was pretty limited — chiefly because the world didn't have a lot of very long wires that are susceptible to disruption. But that was then, and a massive solar storm will come our way again. That's because the sun is constantly convulsing with...
  • 'Hole' in the Sun Spawns Powerful Solar Wind; Could Amp Up Auroras

    04/10/2018 4:21:48 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    Space.com ^ | April 10, 2018 11:17am ET | By Samantha Mathewson, Contributor |
    A massive "hole" on the surface of the sun has unleashed a strong solar wind that scientists say may amp up the northern lights in some areas of the U.S. and could disrupt satellite communications over the next few days. Data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory revealed a vast region where the sun's magnetic field has opened up, creating a gap in the sun's outer atmosphere, called the corona. This region, also known as a coronal hole, allows charged particles to escape and flow toward Earth in an increased solar wind. As a result, the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center...
  • Solar Storms Could Cause Mayhem With GPS-Reliant Autonomous Cars

    03/18/2018 11:07:18 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    carscoops ^ | March 18, 2018 | Brad Anderson |
    Such storms only occur occasionally but result in a massive spike in geomagnetic activity and radiation. For driverless vehicles which rely heavily on GPS, this could cause mayhem as the connection between a GPS system and the satellites could be cut off. In theory, disaster could follow on the roads. According to Scott McIntosh, director of the high-altitude observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, using GPS heavily in programming a driverless car from Point A to Point B is an issue. ... Fortunately, there are systems in place to avoid truly disastrous scenarios. In fact,...
  • Cosmic Rays, Solar Activity Have Much Greater Impact On Earth’s Climate Than Models Suggest

    12/25/2017 8:59:19 AM PST · by pa_dweller · 48 replies
    The Australian ^ | 19/12/17 | Graham Lloyd
    Lead author, Henrik Svensmark, from The Technical University of Denmark has long held that climate models had greatly underestimated the impact of solar activity. He says the new research identified the feedback mechanism through which the sun’s impact on climate was varied. Professor Svensmark’s theories on solar impact have caused a great deal of controversy within the climate science community and the latest findings are sure to provoke new outrage. He does not dispute that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have a warming impact on the climate. But his findings present a challenge to estimates of how...