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Sunspots Can Trigger Frigid Winters in Europe

August 31, 2012 Comments off

climatecentral.org

A major part of the climate change that scientists have documented over the past few decades comes from human emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Not all of it, however. Natural climate cycles haven’t magically disappeared — the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, for example, is entering a phase that will likely boost global temperatures temporarily — and scientists are still discovering new ones.

Credit: flickr/mrbeany

The latest comes in a new report published in Geophysical Research Letters. It’s well known that the Sun varies slightly in brightness every 11 years, and while those changes pale beside the effect of human-generated greenhouse gases, according to the report, they’re enough to trigger unusually cold winters in Central Europe.

 

The smoking gun is the freezing of the Rhine river, something that doesn’t happen often because it’s difficult to freeze such a large, free-flowing volume of water. Those unusually cold winters might come along at random, but by looking back at records dating to all the way back to 1780, a Read more…

Huge SUNSPOT 1476 poses a threat(Video)

May 8, 2012 Comments off

spaceweather.com

BIG SUNSPOT: One of the largest sunspot groups in years rotated over the sun’s northeastern limb this weekend. With a least four dark cores larger than Earth, AR1476 sprawls more than 100,000 km from end to end, and makes an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. Amateur astronomer Alan Friedman sends this picture of the behemoth from his backyard in Buffalo, NY: “AR1476 is firecrackler,” says Friedman. Indeed, the active region is crackling with impulsive M-class solar flares. Based on the sunspot’s complex ‘beta-gamma’ magnetic field, NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of Read more…

Scientists Stumped By Sun’s Asymmetrically Reversing Magnetic Field

April 27, 2012 2 comments

idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com

The Sun’s magnetic field is reversing, South becoming North, as it does approximately every 11 years on a cycle, but this time, something even stranger is going on: The North is moving much faster than the South, and space scientists aren’t sure why.

“Right now, there’s an imbalance between the north and the south poles,” Jonathan Cirtain, NASA’s project scientist for a Japanese solar mission called Hinode, in a recent article on NASA’s website. “The north is already in transition, well ahead of the south pole, and we don’t understand why.”

Further, the asymmetrically reversing solar magnetic field could have an effect on Earth, resulting in increased solar flares and the accompanying bursts of radioactive particles called “coronal mass ejections,” or CMEs, that can hit Earth and cause brilliant Northern Lights displays and problematic geomagnetic solar storms, according to NASA scientists.

“This usually leads to a double peak in the sunspot number and CME rate as a function of time,” Nat Gopalswamy, a solar scientist NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in an email to TPM.

Gopalswamy and his team studied the Sun’s shifting magnetic field from Read more…

Categories: Sun Tags: ,

Who’s ready for a solar super storm? Not us, emergency officials warn

April 18, 2012 Comments off

floridatoday.com

Satellite captures giant eruption from sun
Satellite captures giant eruption from sun: NASA’s solar orbiter captured an enormous eruption from the sun today, Space.com reports.
Jim Waymer | FLORIDA TODAY
This visually spectacular explosion occurred Monday on the sun’s Northeastern limb, seen at left, and was not directed at Earth. Emergency management officials want to prepare should one ever threaten Earth. / NASA

INDIALANTIC — Atomic particles explode off the sun’s surface, with the force of millions of hydrogen bombs, clobber Earth’s magnetic field in less than a day and black out the electric grid for days or longer.

Such a solar “super storm” happened in 1859. Called the Carrington Event, solar wind smacked the Earth within 18 hours, though the trip usually takes four days. Auroras lit the night sky as far south as Cuba, and in Boston and London, people read the newspaper under the nighttime glow.

A similar event now could cause $2 trillion in damage to Read more…

Categories: Solar Storm, Sun Tags: , ,

NASA Scientists Capture Stunning Images of Solar Flares From Sun (Video)

April 17, 2012 1 comment

ibtimes.co.uk

An eruption on April 16, 2012 was captured here by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in the 304 Angstrom wavelength, which is typically colored in red Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

An eruption on April 16, 2012 was captured here by NASA‘s Solar Dynamics Observatory in the 304 Angstrom wavelength, which is typically colored in red Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has captured the stunning images of solar flares from the Sun on 16 April.

The flares kicked up a massive amount of intense super-heated solar plasma in an explosion known as coronal mass ejection, or CME. The eruptions blasted off the east limb (left side) of the Sun.

The powerful solar flare occurred at 1:45 p.m. EDT (17:45 GMT) and registered a M1.7 class (medium-sized) on the scale scientists used to measure flare strength, said Nasa.

“A large coronal mass ejection blasts off over the eastern limb of the Sun. Great eruption happening on the Sun now,” Nasa scientists posted a message on twitter.

Coronal mass ejections are associated with solar flares and can also occur independently. Both the solar flares and coronal mass ejections occur as a result of Read more…

Categories: Sun Tags: , , ,

Eruptions of Magnetic Field Cause Sunquakes: Experts [VIDEO]

April 13, 2012 Comments off

ibtimes

Scientists have discovered that sunquakes are caused by huge eruptions of magnetic field and charged particles in the solar system.

A study led by UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory has shown for the first time that sunquakes, which are powerful earthquakes caused on the sun’s atmosphere can be produced during eruptions of magnetic field and charged particles, as the immense magnetic structure blasts off into the solar system.

(Photo: Reuters)<br>Sunquakes caused by eruptions of magnetic field and charged particles

(Photo: Reuters)
Sunquakes caused by eruptions of magnetic field and charged particles

According to royal astronomical society, the first observation of a sunquake was reported in the late 1990s. Researchers then believed that solar flares alone caused sunquakes. But now the new study has shown that eruptions of charged particles known as coronal mass ejections are also able to produce sunquakes.

The authors studied an eruption that took place on 15 February 2011 and found that sunquakes that were triggered by magnetic field were 1,000 times more powerful than the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck in March 2011.

It was found that the sunquakes were triggered at the two ends of the erupting rope of Read more…

Categories: Sun Tags: , ,

A Wonderful Sun Halo with double Sun Dogs today..and a pic w/something else in it?

April 9, 2012 1 comment

abovetopsecret.com

Today I got to see a beautiful full sun halo with double sun dogs! I have seen this once before, earlier this year but didn’t have my camera with me. I did today! So I managed to get some pictures and was thrilled…and then I noticed something a bit interesting in the first one. Now, I am not trying to claim anything here, I just think it odd and know there is a wealth of knowledge here on ATS that can probably explain it away.

I will show you the picture first!

Here it is, untouched:

Here is the same picture with the contrast and shadows tweaked: Read more…

Categories: Strange Events, Sun Tags: ,

SOLAR WATCH: Sunspot 1429 Returns With Massive CME – 45% Chance Of Geomagnetic Storms!

March 28, 2012 1 comment

ANOTHER CME FROM SUNSPOT AR1429: Transiting the farside of the sun, never-say-die sunspot AR1429 erupted during the late Read more…

Categories: Solar Cycle 24, Sun Tags: , , ,

Solar Flares to Continue Pounding Earth Until 2014

March 12, 2012 1 comment

usnews.com

The wave of solar storms that has pounded Earth over the past several weeks is only likely to get worse over the next year, according to a NASA scientist.

Sunspot 1429, the active region of the sun responsible for the flares, has been getting larger over the past several weeks, making it less stable and more likely for additional flares to erupt, which can cause damage to GPS satellites and electronic systems on our planet. NASA reported that the sunspot is now more than seven times the width of earth.

“The larger [the active region] is, the more likely it’s going to produce another big flare,” Phillip Chamberlin, deputy project scientist for the Solar Dynamics Observatory says. “It’s growing, and it’s becoming more dynamic, building energy.”

Over the weekend, two large flares erupted from the region. NASA says the wind and energy particles associated with the flare, began to affect Earth Monday. The region is dangerous for Read more…

Solar storm headed toward Earth may disrupt power

March 7, 2012 Comments off

yahoo

WASHINGTON (AP) — The largest solar flare in five years is racing toward Earth, threatening to unleash a torrent of charged particles that could disrupt power grids, GPS and airplane flights.

The sun erupted Tuesday evening, and the effects should start smacking Earth around 7 a.m. EST Thursday, according to forecasters at the federal government’s Space Weather Prediction Center. They say the flare is growing as it speeds outward from the sun.

“It’s hitting us right in the nose,” said Joe Kunches, a scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He called it the sun’s version of “Super Read more…