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Solar activity may be on the rise again, the Sun is waking up by Anna Sanclement
Wednesday, August 4th 2010, 6:22 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Solar activity may be on the rise again, the Sun is waking up

It seems as if the Sun may be going through a new cycle as a powerful plasma eruption took place on Sunday morning.

"It's the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time." Said astronomer Leon Golub of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. This coronal mass ejection (CME) is directed straight at Earth and could be reaching us as early as August 4th, said Golub.

The CME was caught by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which is a spacecraft that was launched in February. SDO produces better than HD quality images and provides views at a variety of wavelengths.

It is believed that the CME will produce big and colorful aurorae here on Earth when it reaches us, which will make for some outstanding views for those living in areas near the north pole. Even those living in higher latitudes such as the northern part of the country may see the aurorae. If the geomagnetic storm produced when the CME reaches our atmosphere is strong enough anyone living in the north may see the beautiful neon colors in the sky.

The last solar maximum occurred in 2001 and the subsequent solar minimum was particularly weak and long. This latest CME is one of the signs that the Sun is changing cycles once more as it wakes up to another maximum.
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