Articles Tagged "Solar News"

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New Insights on How Solar Minimums Affect Earth by Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Tuesday, June 14th 2011, 11:56 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Since 1611, humans have recorded the comings and goings of black spots on the sun. The number of these sunspots waxes and wanes over approximately an 11-year cycle -- more sunspots generally mean more activity and eruptions on the sun and vice versa. The number of sunspots can change from cycle to cycle, and 2008 saw the longest and weakest solar minimum since scientists have been monitoring the sun with space-based instruments.

Observations have shown, however, that magnetic effects on Earth due to the sun, effects that cause the aurora to appear, did not go down in synch with the cycle of low magnetism on the sun. Now, a paper in Annales Geophysicae that appeared on May 16, 2011 reports that these effects on Earth did in fact reach a minimum -- indeed they attained their lowest levels of the century -- but some eight months later. The scientists believe that factors in the speed of the solar wind, and the strength and direction of the magnetic fields embedded within it, helped produce this anomalous low.

"Historically, the solar minimum is defined by sunspot number," says space weather scientist Bruce Tsurutani at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., who is first author on the paper. "Based on that, 2008 was identified as the period of solar minimum. But the geomagnetic effects on Earth reached their minimum quite some time later, in 2009. So we decided to look at what caused the geomagnetic minimum."
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'Old Faithful' Sunspot Keeps Spouting Off Big Solar Flares by Mike Wall,
Thursday, September 8th 2011, 5:09 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft captured this shot of the X1.8 solar flare on Sept. 7, 2011. CREDIT: NASA/SDO

The sun has continued its string of outbursts this week, unleashing two new, powerful solar flares in two days from a region on its surface that space weather experts have now dubbed "Old Faithful."

An X-class solar flare — the most powerful type of sun storm — erupted Wednesday (Sept. 7) at 6:37 p.m. EDT (2237 GMT). Another flare blazed up today at 11:44 a.m. EDT (1544 GMT). The latter flare appears to be somewhat less intense, but scientists are still taking its measure.

These solar storms follow closely on the heels of two other big flares this week, one Monday (Sept. 5) and one Tuesday. All four storms erupted from the same area, known as sunspot 1283. Sunspots are temporary dark patches on the solar surface caused by intense magnetic activity. [Photos: Sunspots on Earth's Closest Star]
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MUST SEE YOUTUBE: Solar Climate Change: Armageddon Ready: Russian solar probe to predict Earthly cataclysms
Monday, August 1st 2011, 6:26 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)

Some scientists believe bursts of solar activity cause natural disasters on our planet, but until now the star has been too difficult to reach or explore in any detail. Some Russian researchers think they have the solution. ­Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis -- apocalyptic pictures are becoming an ordinary part of news bulletins across the globe. And scientists are not giving out reassuring forecasts. "Unfortunately, we're expecting more severe cataclysms which may lead to large-scale human losses and destruction," says Baku-based Professor Elchin Kakhalilov of the Global Network for the Forecasting of Earthquakes.

"I'm talking about even a possible shift of the centers of our entire civilization." The change in the Earth's seismic activity coincides with the rise of activity on the sun. Scientists have been witnessing gigantic bursts of plasma on its surface and say they are affecting our planet, even though it is over 90 million miles away.
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Is the Sunspot Cycle About to Stop? by Jay M. Pasachoff
Wednesday, June 15th 2011, 2:36 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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Click source to read FULL article from Jay M. Pasachoff

See also How a Sun Weather Lull Affects Earth -
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Earth to face intense solar activity in 2012
Saturday, May 28th 2011, 6:26 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Intense solar activity expected next year can result in a wave of anthropogenic disasters. However, experts say Russia won’t be among the worst affected countries.

Medieval astronomers registered that the number of spots on the Sun`s surface varied from time to time and sometimes vanished completely. In 1843 German astronomer Heinrich Schwabe discovered that sunspots changed in quantity according to strict cycles, from 9 up to 13,7 years- every 11 years on average. We now know that the Sun needs this period of time to change its magnetic pole into the opposite. This leads to geomagnetic storms which have an impact on radio communication, climate and the ozone layer. Undoubtedly, these cycles also affect our health, though this mechanism has not yet been well studied. Over the past 2,5 years we have been experiencing a period of low solar activity when there is not a single spot on the sun`s surface. It`s quite a long time as usually this cycle lasts not more than a year. Director at the Institute of Space Studies for the Russian Academy of Sciences, Lev Zeleny, shared official statistics on the problem…

"In Canada and Alaska transformers used to run out of order in times of intense solar activity, but now we know how to cope with it. There is a special space weather bureau at NASA to monitor the situation and release forecasts before there are any changes in solar activity."
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Sunspot Cycle Is Double-Peaked, Say Astronomers
Sunday, March 27th 2011, 3:51 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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The famous 11-year solar cycle often has two peaks rather than one and now one astronomer says she knows why

Sunspots are cool, dark patches on the surface of the Sun. They are thought to be the result of a temporary suppression of convection by the internal writhings of the Sun's magnetic field. That's why the spots are cooler than their surroundings.

The size and number of sunspots famously follows an 11-year cycle, a phenomenon first pointed out by Heinrich Schwabe, a German amateur astronomer in 1843. But in 1967, Mstislav Gnevyshev at the Russian Academy of Sciences, pointed out that many of these cycles appear to have two peaks.
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Earth may once have had two moons by Matt McGrath, BBC News
Thursday, August 4th 2011, 9:39 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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Click source to read FULL report from Matt McGrath
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Solar Activity to Have Lowest High in 90 Years? Inc. Comments from Leif Svalgaard
Saturday, June 13th 2009, 2:29 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Image AttachmentThe article, by National Geographic, contains quotes from Leif Svalgaard concerning the current Solar Cycle (24).

After a perplexing quiet spell, the sun appears to be stirring—but astrophysicists remain divided about what our star is going to do next.

The sun was expected to hit a low in 2008 as part of its normal 11-year cycle of activity.

But it stayed quiet until very recently, confounding scientists and sparking speculation of a sun-triggered "little ice age."

Solar physicists have denied that potential, saying that today's greenhouse gases have much more influence on global temperatures than the sun
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Next solar cycle may be weakest for centuries by Kate Taylor, TG Daily
Wednesday, June 15th 2011, 5:44 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Sunspots could be set to disappear altogether after the next solar maximum, new studies indicate

Right now, the sun is in the middle of Cycle 24, and is due to reach a maximum in 2013. The next cycle would be expected to start in around 2020.

But separate examinations of the sun's interior, surface and upper atmosphere all indicate that the next cycle will be significantly weakened.

Indeed, we may be heading into what's known as a 'grand minimum' - a period of unusually low solar activity. The last such, known as the Maunder Minimum, took place between 1645 and 1755. Almost no sunspots were observed during this time.

The studies drew their conclusions from a missing jet stream in the interior of the sun, vanishing sunspots on its surface and changes in the corona and near the poles.

The National Solar Observatory (NSO) says that, based on 13 years of observations, sunspots are weakening. There have been fewer during the present cycle - and, if the trend continues, there may be none at all in the next.
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Scientists Claim To Have Cracked Spotless Sun Mystery by Lester Haines
Thursday, March 3rd 2011, 8:53 AM EST
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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Sunspot cycles over the last century. The blue curve shows the cyclic variation in the number of sunspots. Red bars show the cumulative number of sunspot-less days. The minimum of sunspot cycle 23 was the longest in the space age with the largest number of spotless days. Credit: Dibyendu Nandi et al.

Scientists reckon they've cracked the mystery as to why during 2008-2009, the Sun was completely devoid of sunspots for almost two years.

This deepest solar minimum in a century, marking the end of sunspot cycle 23, saw the Sun's global magnetic field and solar wind weaken, allowing dangerous cosmic rays to sweep the inner solar system.

It also prompted a cooling and collapse of Earth's upper atmosphere in the absence of the UV ray heating normally provided by sunspot activity.

"Space junk stopped decaying as rapidly as usual and started accumulating in Earth orbit," NASA explains.

See Also: Researchers Crack the Mystery of the Missing Sunspots -

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