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Posts Tagged ‘solar wind’

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…
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Fiercest Solar Flare of 2012 Yet: X Class – January 28/29

January 30, 2012 1 comment

onlykent.com

In the last week or so we’ve been reporting on solar flares that have been released and solar storms impacting earth, with more intense northern lights displays and concerns that radio communications and satellites could be disrupted. We can now tell you that yesterday the largest solar flare yet of 2012 occurred, this time an Read more…

Solar flaring warning issued

May 31, 2011 Comments off

news24

article image

A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on or about June 4th. . Credit: SDO/AIA.

Cape Town – The Space Weather Centre has warned that the sun is undergoing some instability, which has implications for electronic communications.

“There is a very active area on the sun as rotated onto the invisible solar disc. This active area has got the potential for more flaring for the next five to six days,” space weather forecaster Kobus Olckers of the Space Weather Warning Centre at the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory told News24.

He said that communications and electronic systems might be affected.

“The internet could be a little slower for the next week or so and especially long distance communications.”

Polar routes

Scientists recognize three major Read more…

2012: Leaks In Earth’s Magnetic Field Found

February 14, 2011 Comments off

Scientists have found two large leaks in Earth’s magnetosphere, the region around our planet that shields us from severe solar storms.

The leaks are defying many of scientists’ previous ideas on how the interaction between Earth’s magnetosphere and solar wind occurs: The leaks are in an unexpected location, let in solar particles in faster than expected and the whole interaction works in a manner that is completely the opposite of what scientists had thought.

Huge coronal hole on Sun turning towards Earth

February 3, 2011 1 comment

CORONAL HOLE: A dark croissant-shaped hole has opened up in the sun’s atmosphere, and it is spewing a stream of solar wind into space. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture of the vast opening during the early hours of Jan. 30th. Researchers call this a “coronal hole.” Solar rotation is turning the coronal hole toward Earth. The stream of solar wind pouring from it will swing around and hit our planet in early February, possibly sparking polar magnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras between Feb. 2nd and 4th. The coronal blast from the Sun storm’s arrival on Earth will coincide with a massive snow storm that will sweep across North America.  –Space Weather

The Deadly Sun

January 14, 2011 Comments off

Often we think of the deadly nature with the sun as one of fire and heat but the opposite can be true as well. If the sun doesn’t produce enough heat we on earth can can freeze – there is massive evidence of this in our geological record. Also think of how cold the planets in our own solar system get the further away from the sun they are.

Whilst scientists in some fields in recent decades want to play down the effects of the sun on the earth’s climate our climate history shows it plays a huge role. The sun typically has an 11 year cycle of sunspot activity which can extend and become quieter or contract and become more busy. History tells us when it is low in sunspots (typically a long cycle) then the world cools. At the moment Solar Cycle 24 is extending and losing it’s sunspots.

According to the Laymans Sunspot Count the sun today is again balnk of any sunspots. As we extend into solar cycle 24 we can get more of an idea of the anticipated peak of the cycle as it typically follows a curve when the sunspot number is smoothed (averaged). Looking at the graph of the sun from Layman’s Sunspot count website we see;

What we are witnessing in Solar Cycle 24 is a sunspot cycle that could peak as low as 30 – 35. It is currently tracking below Solar Cycle 5 which was part of a cold period on earth that correlated with the Dalton Minimum. We also find the sunspots are reducing in Read more…

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