Articles Tagged "Solar News"

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The 56 Year Benner Cycle by Barry Ritholtz
Friday, August 20th 2010, 4:49 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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Image Via Google Books

The 56 year cycle mentioned yesterday (“Periods When to Make Money” (© 1883) was picked up by FT Alphaville; we hear it caused some “consternation” in certain circles where the marinating of ice cubes takes place.

I find these approaches quite fascinating, if for no other reason than I consider myself a student of market history. (Whether it is an actionable thesis is an entirely different question). For those of you who are also interested in such things, let’s explore this periodicity, better known as the Benner Cycle.
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Predicting space weather in real time by Don Reisinger
Thursday, August 19th 2010, 12:40 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Getting more accurate forecasts about space weather may not help you decide whether to water your garden, but it could soon clue you in better to when events in the solar system may be putting a damper on your electronic activities.

Johns Hopkins University, Boeing, and Iridium Communications announced on Wednesday that they have launched a new space-based service that they say will help scientists monitor magnetic storms around Earth.

Dubbed the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE), the system utilizes commercial satellites orbiting Earth to take magnetic-field measurements in real time. The result is output that gets scientists one step closer to accurate, year-round tracking of space weather and the effects it can have on the planet, including disruptions to telecommunications service and the electrical power grid.

"Solar storms can disrupt satellite service and damage telecommunications networks, cause power grid blackouts and even endanger high-altitude aircraft," Brian J. Anderson, principal investigator at Johns Hopkins, said in a statement. "The next wave of solar storms will occur over the next three to five years and recent solar activity is just the beginning of a long, stormy space weather season."
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Solving the mystery of the long solar minimum by Jim Allen
Tuesday, August 17th 2010, 4:07 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
A team of researchers led by Mausumi Dikpati from the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Roger Ulrich from the University of California, Los Angeles have suggested a cause for the unusually long lull in solar activity in the last decade.

Our Sun is constantly changing, differing in the number of sunspots and solar flares over an 11 year cycle. The changes in the level of the activity of the Sun can have wide ranging effects here on Earth, such as communication satellite blackouts and power grid failures.

Image AttachmentThe conveyor belt plasma flow in the Sun. Image: NASA.

The last solar cycle (cycle 23) ending in 2008 was very different to its predecessors, with a minimum in solar activity which was both less active and longer in duration than previous cycles. Ulrich and his colleagues suggest, in a paper featuring in the journal Geophysical Research Letters on 30 July, that the extended minimum in solar activity may be caused by a change in the flow of the Sun’s plasma. The surface of the Sun is constantly changing as layers of hot plasma move along the surface towards the poles and then back down towards the equator, in what scientists call the “conveyor belt”. Ulrich found that the currents carrying this plasma were flowing much closer to the poles than has been observed in previous solar cycles. The increase in the size of the current, and the slower return of the matter to the equator could cause the observed longer period of minimum activity.

To explain this Dikpati and her colleagues modelled how the conveyor belt may affect the length of the solar cycle. Modelling magnetic fields in the Sun’s interior, the authors have found that the extended plasma flow towards the poles could cause the lengthening of the solar cycle. Dikpati says “the key for explaining the long duration of [the previous cycle] with our dynamo model is the observation of an unusually long conveyor belt”. The team were able to use their model to predict that the last solar cycle would be longer than expected back in 2004.

With changes in the Sun's activity affecting navigation and communication technology on Earth, it is important that we are able to make predictions about the solar cycles. According to Ulrich “This study highlights the importance of monitoring and improving measurement of the Sun’s circulation,” adding “in order to improve predictions of the solar cycle, we need a strong effort to understand large-scale patterns of solar plasma motion.”
Source Link: - The Charity Donations Site
Evidence From NZ Suggests Start of New Solar Cycle by Surjit Singh
Monday, August 16th 2010, 1:53 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Scientists from Boston University’s Center for Space Physics (CSP) have claimed to possess evidence that suggests the initiation of a new cycle of solar-terrestrial activity. The evidence has been fetched in New Zealand.

The research team revealed to have observed a recent aurora displays at high latitudes, that can be seen with a naked eye—along with glows of significantly less luminous intensity in the atmosphere at lower latitudes.

During Sun’s 11 year activity cycle it dissipates some electrically charged particles that introduce changes in the Earth’s magnetic field. These changes results in luminous emissions in the earth’s atmosphere.

However, such emissions vanquish during so-called solar minimum years, but become highly prominent during solar maximum years.

“The emissions we study come from regions ranging from 200-400 km (125-250 miles) above the surface. These gases are caused to glow by energy input from above, energy that flows downward along the Earth’s magnetic field lines”, said New Zealander Dr. Steve Smith, Senior Research Scientist.

According to the Boston University team these signs signify the onset on the cycle. The observation was made by the team using an all-sky camera located at the Mt. John Observatory near Lake Tekapo.
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Sun's 'quiet period' explained By Howard Falcon-Lang, BBC News
Saturday, August 14th 2010, 9:53 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Image AttachmentSolar physicists may have discovered why the Sun recently experienced a prolonged period of weak activity.

The most recent so-called "solar minimum" occurred in December 2008.

Its drawn-out nature extended the total length of the last solar cycle - the repeating cycle of the Sun's activity - to 12.6 years, making it the longest in almost 200 years.

During a solar minimum the Sun is less active, producing fewer sunspots and flares.

The new research suggests that the longer-than-expected period of weak activity may have been linked to changes in the way a hot soup of charged particles called plasma circulated in the Sun.

The study, conducted by Dr Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado and her US colleagues, is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
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CNN climate disinformant gets religion on global warming by Steven Andrew
Saturday, August 14th 2010, 3:10 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Via Climate Progress, CNN's long time climate change skeptic and purveyor of every wingnut talking point on global warming in the book, Chad Myers, finally admits the truth:

Is it caused by man? Yes. Is it 100% caused by man? No. There are other things involved. We are now in the sun spot cycle. We are now in a very hot sun cycle. there are many other things going on. But, yes, a significant portion of this is caused by greenhouse gases keeping heat on the shore, on the land, in the atmosphere that could have escaped without those greenhouse gases, so, yes, it’s warmer. . ..

No doubt we're now supposed to applaud Myers for ending his long reign of misinformation and energy industry apologetic -- assuming that is what this signals -- and just forgive him. Which might have been possible, if not for the stuff I've emphasized above which is all too representative of Myers. That bold statement is not only wrong, it is 100% wrong and he knows it. Below are the sunspot and solar irradiance cycles plotted on the same graph by year courtesy of NASA.

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NASA videos: Solar storm sends large flare to Earth. Aurora Borealis expected over United States by Tony Pann
Wednesday, August 4th 2010, 2:31 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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Oleg Toumilovitch "spotted" it on July 31st rising over Blairgowrie, South Africa

A sunspot directly related to a series of massive solar storms was captured in this photo of sunrise over South Africa on July 31st. The next day, August 1st displayed a solar tsunami, C3 class solar flare. That is as strong as they come. According to Spaceweather, this included multiple filaments of magnetism lifting off the stellar surface, large-scale shaking of the solar corona, radio bursts, a coronal mass ejection and more. Below see video of the actual storm. Another video at the bottom of this post discusses the forecast for a dramatic increase in activity up through 2012.

This was on the earth facing side of the sun, and has been sent directly towards earth. The results could be a beautiful display of the northern lights tonight (August 3rd), and Wednesday night (August 4th). But it can also lead to problems with satellites. Many satellites monitoring Earth and space are followed locally at NASA Goddard in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Click source to read FULL report inc. videos
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1.Sun's prolonged minimum linked to stretched conveyor belt
Wednesday, August 4th 2010, 2:14 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
The Sun goes through cycles lasting approximately 11 years that include phases with increased magnetic activity, more sunspots, and more solar flares, and phases with less activity. The level of activity on the Sun can affect navigation and communications systems on Earth. Puzzlingly, solar cycle 23, which ended recently, lasted longer than previous cycles, with a prolonged phase of low activity that scientists had difficulty explaining.

A new analysis suggests that one reason for the long cycle could be changes in the Sun's conveyor belt. Just as Earth's global ocean circulation transports water and heat around the planet, the Sun has a conveyor belt in which plasma flows along the surface toward the poles, sinks, and returns toward the equator, transporting magnetic flux along the way. Recent measurements show that in solar cycle 23, the poleward flow extended all the way to the poles, while in previous solar cycles the flow turned back toward the equator at about 60 degrees latitude. Furthermore, from mass conservation, the return flow was slower in cycle 23 than in previous cycles.

Dikpati et al. use simulations to model how the solar plasma conveyor belt affects the solar cycle. The authors find that the longer conveyor belt and the slower return flow could have caused the longer duration of cycle 23. The results should help scientists better understand the factors controlling the timing of the solar cycles and could lead to better predictions.

Title: Impact of changes in the Sun's conveyor-belt on recent solar cycles
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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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Piers Corbyn demonstrates the effect of solar particles on the Earth's Thermosphere.
Monday, August 2nd 2010, 10:12 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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Yesterday I posted two YouTubes from Piers Corbyn. There was so much highlighted in the first video I think the second video may have passed a few of you by. At the end of the second video, from about the 4 minute mark, you will come across a treasure trove of information concerning the effect of solar particles on the Earth's Thermosphere. This is worth a mention in it's own right!

Please take time out to see this 2nd video, as it explains why there are changes to our climate from solar activity and NOT CO2, and what Piers thinks happens when the Sun is less active with the effect of a cooler Thermosphere. His theory is far more credible then the current IPCC suggestion of global warming, as it points to global cooling being the result of a less active Sun.

YouTube Link
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