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Posts Tagged ‘CME’

Sun Delivered Curveball Of Powerful Radiation At Earth Say UNH Scientists

February 2, 2012 Comments off
nanopatentsandinnovations
A potent follow-up solar flare, which occurred Friday (Jan. 17, 2012), just days after the Sun launched the biggest coronal mass ejection (CME) seen in nearly a decade, delivered a powerful radiation punch to Earth’s magnetic field despite the fact that it was aimed away from our planet.According to University of New Hampshire scientists currently studying and modeling various aspects of solar radiation, this was due to both the existing population of energetic particles launched by the first CME and a powerful magnetic connection that reeled particles in towards Earth from the Sun’s blast region, which had spun to an oblique angle.”Energetic particles can sneak around the ‘corner,’ as was the case in Friday’s event when it was launched at the Sun’s limb, or edge,” says astrophysicist Harlan Spence, director of the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) and principal investigator for the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) instrument onboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission. CRaTER is designed to measure and characterize aspects of the deep space radiation environment.

Caption: Particle radiation from the Jan. 23, 2012 solar flare speeds away from the Sun along curved magnetic field lines (blue lines) and arrives before the coronal mass ejection (orange mass from the Sun) and its driven shock.

Image courtesy of Nathan Schwadron, UNH-EOS.
Space weather events can disrupt Earth-based power grids, satellites that Read more…

Could The Sun Set Off The Next Big Natural Disaster?

September 15, 2011 Comments off

smithsonianmag

A medium-size solar flare with a coronal mass ejection, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on June 7, 2011. (credit: NASA/SDO)

It can take a long time to clean up from natural disasters. New Orleans still had remnants of Katrina damage years after the storm barreled through. Hundreds of thousands of people are still homeless in Haiti, more than a year and a half after its earthquake. Areas of Japan may be off limits for years due to the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster at Fukushima.

But as bad as these events might be, they are at least limited geographically. But that probably won’t be true when it comes to a severe solar storm, say scientists in a new study in Space Weather. Before I go into that, though, let’s first review what I mean by Read more…

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) Sept 4 to Sept 8

September 10, 2011 Comments off

Major NASA Solar Flare News Conference: New Observations On Solar Storm Impact On Earth

September 2, 2011 Comments off

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NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 7, to discuss new observations about solar flares that can impact communication and navigation systems.
A three and a half hour (0000 - 0330 UT) time lapse movie of the C4-class flare and filament event
Credit: SOHO/NASA
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is providing new data and images for scientists to better understand the sun’s dynamic processes, which can affect Earth. The spacecraft launched in February 2010.NASA recently made a breakthrough in sunspot and solar storm predictions.Based on data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), this movie shows a sunspot emerging from depth in February 2011.

Visualization credit: Thomas Hartlep and Scott Winegarden, Stanford University
› Download videoImagine forecasting a hurricane in Miami weeks before the storm was Read more…

Solar Storms Building Toward Peak in 2013, NASA Predicts

August 10, 2011 Comments off

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Major Solar Flare of August 9, 2011
This image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the X6.9 solar flare of Aug. 9, 2011 near the western limb (right edge) of the sun.
CREDIT: NASA/SDO/Weather.com

Solar flares like the huge one that erupted on the sun early today (Aug. 9) will only become more common as our sun nears its maximum level of activity in 2013, scientists say.

Tuesday’s flare was the most powerful sun storm since 2006, and was rated an X6.9 on the three-class scale for solar storms (X-Class is strongest, with M-Class in the middle and C-Class being the weakest).

Flares such as this one could become the norm soon, though, as our sun’s 11-year cycle of magnetic Read more…

A Strong M-class solar flare headed for Earth

August 4, 2011 Comments off

spaceweather

A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Aug. 7th or 8th. Credit: SDO/AIA.

STRONG SOLAR ACTIVITY: For the third day in a row, active sunspot 1261 has unleashed a strong M-class solar flare. The latest blast at 0357 UT on August 4th registered M9.3 on the Richter Scale of Flares, almost crossing the threshold into X-territory (X-flares are the most powerful kind). The number of energetic protons around Earth has jumped nearly 100-fold as a result of this event. Stay tuned for updates.

INCOMING CLOUDS: At least two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are now en route to Earth, propelled toward us by eruptions in the magnetic canopy of sunspot 1261 on August 2nd and 3rd. Analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab have just produced a new 3-D model of the advancing CMEs. Click on the image to set the clouds in motion below:

Read more…

Behemoth sunspots evolve

July 11, 2011 Comments off

thewatchers

 The CME was not squarely Earth-directed and is not traveling at great speed, only minor geomagnetic storming is expected when the cloud arrives. A coronal mass ejection (CME) that billowed away from sunspot 1247 on July 9th could hit Earth’s magnetic field on July 12th.

The SDO team has just prepared a beautiful movie of the explosion that produced the CME.

Sunspot group 1247 is expanding rapidly and in an interesting way. The active region is organizing itself as a linear Read more…