Free Republic 4th Quarter Fundraising Target: $85,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $29,469
34%  
Woo hoo!! And the first 34% is in!! Thank you all very much!!

Keyword: sunspots

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sunspots and Solar Eclipse

    10/26/2014 7:25:56 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | October 25, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A New Moon joined giant sunspot group AR 2192 to dim the bright solar disk during Thursday's much anticipated partial solar eclipse. Visible from much of North America, the Moon's broad silhouette is captured in this extreme telephoto snapshot near eclipse maximum from Santa Cruz, California. About the size of Jupiter, the remarkable AR 2192 itself darkens a noticeable fraction of the Sun, near center and below the curved lunar limb. As the sunspot group slowly rotates across the Sun and out of view in the coming days its activity is difficult to forecast. But the timing of solar...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- AR 2192: Giant on the Sun

    10/26/2014 7:22:29 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | October 24, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As you (safely!) watched the progress of yesterday's partial solar eclipse, you probably also spotted a giant sunspot group. Captured in this sharp telescopic image from October 22nd the complex AR 2192 is beautiful to see, a sprawling solar active region comparable in size to the diameter of Jupiter. Like other smaller sunspot groups, AR 2192 is now crossing the Earth-facing side of the Sun and appears dark in visible light because it is cooler than the surrounding surface. Still, the energy stored in the region's twisted magnetic fields is enormous and has already generated powerful explosions, including two...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sunspot Group AR 2192 Crackles

    10/26/2014 7:15:37 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | October 22, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: One of the largest sunspot groups in recent years is now crossing the Sun. Labelled Active Region 2192, it has already thrown a powerful solar flare and has the potential to produce more. The featured video shows a time lapse sequence of the Sun in visible and ultraviolet light taken yesterday and incorporating the previous 48 hours. AR 2192, rotating in from the left, rivals Jupiter in size and is literally crackling with magnetic energy. The active Sun has caused some spectacular auroras in recent days, and energetic particles originating from AR 2192 may help continue them over the...
  • Beastly Sunspot Amazes, Heightens Eclipse Excitement

    10/22/2014 1:31:44 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on October 22, 2014 | Bob King
    Properly shielded, it was very easy to see with the naked eye. Unlike some other naked eye sunspots, this one showed structure. The eastern end was darker, the western half grayer and more extended. Through a small telescope, the mix of dark umbras scattered amid weirdly sculpted penumbral “islands” was incredible to see. Photographs like the one above are wonderful documents, but witnessing this beautiful complex magnetic mess with your own eyes is another experience altogether. Region 2192 continues to grow and size and complexity and is now the largest sunspot group of solar cycle 24 which began in 2009...
  • LOTS OF SOLAR FLARES (Today)

    10/22/2014 7:23:25 AM PDT · by tired&retired · 11 replies
    Spaceweather.com ^ | 10/22/2014 | Spaceweather
    During the past 48 hours, monster sunspot AR2192 has unleashed seven M-class solar flares. The most powerful of the bunch (Oct 22nd at 0159 UT) was an M9-class eruption that almost crossed the threshold into X-territory. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash. UV radiation from the flare ionized Earth's upper atmosphere, causing a brief blackout of HF radio communications on the dayside of Earth (e.g., parts of Asia and Australia). In addition, the explosion might have hurled a CME into space. Confirmation awaits the arrival of coronagraph data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Stay tuned...
  • Awesome Photo Shows Monster Sunspot Aiming Our Way

    10/20/2014 1:23:32 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 34 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | October 20, 2014 | Jason Major off
    According to Spaceweather.com AR2192 has grown considerably over the past few days and has the potential to unleash M- and X-class flares in our direction now that it’s moving into Earth-facing position. It’s currently many times larger than Earth and will likely get even bigger… in fact, during this week’s partial solar eclipse AR2192 should be visible with the naked (but not unprotected!) eye for viewers across much of North America.
  • NASA Solar Forecasting Takes A Hit As Sun-Gazing Spacecraft Stops Phoning Home

    10/14/2014 7:17:03 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 2 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | October 14, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell (not on)
    One of the STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) spacecraft stopped phoning home to Earth on Oct. 1 “immediately after a planned reset of the spacecraft”, NASA said in an update last week. .... NASA didn’t say how badly solar weather forecasts are affected, but in other materials they have said both STEREO spacecraft are a crucial part of this work. STEREO’s pair of satellites ... aim to better map Sun eruptions ( “coronal mass ejections”) whose charged particles can disrupt satellite communications during solar storms. The mission has been ongoing since 2006 and they’ve viewed the far side of the...
  • Sunspots 2014: March is another record-breaking month

    04/26/2014 5:29:46 PM PDT · by Sawdring · 12 replies
    Communities Digital News ^ | April 3, 2014 | Steve Davidson
    SALEM, Ore., April 3, 2014 – Another new solar sunspot record peak of 73.2 was set for Cycle 24 last month. It smashed the old 68.9 record peak set the previous month. In a big surprise, the number is now over six spots higher than the first sunspot peak set in early 2012 and will probably go higher. A secondary peak above the first this much is almost unheard of. The new sunspot peak is unusual for two conflicting reasons: The secondary peak is higher than the first Current physics suggests the solar cycle should be weakening Conflicting signals coming...
  • X-FLARE! AR1967 returned to the Earthside of the sun on Feb. 25th and promptly erupted

    02/26/2014 12:34:51 AM PST · by tired&retired · 8 replies
    SpaceWeather.Com ^ | 2/25/2014 | Space Weather
    X-FLARE! Long-lived sunspot AR1967 returned to the Earthside of the sun on Feb. 25th and promptly erupted, producing an X4.9-class solar flare. This is the strongest flare of the year so far and one of the strongest of the current solar cycle. A movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the explosion hurling a loop of hot plasma away from the blast site: http://spaceweather.com/images2014/25feb14/redflare3_strip4.gif The source of the eruption is long-lived sunspot AR1967, now beginning its third trip across the Earthside of the sun. This region was an active producer of flares during its previous transits, and it looks like...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sun and Prominence

    03/04/2014 3:23:13 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | March 04, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Dramatic prominences can sometimes be seen looming just beyond the edge of the sun. Such was the case last week as a large prominence, visible above, highlighted a highly active recent Sun. A waving sea of hot gas is visible in the foreground chromosphere in great detail as it was imaged in one specific color of light emitted by hydrogen. A solar prominence is a cloud of solar gas held just above the surface by the Sun's magnetic field. The Earth, illustrated in the inset, is smaller than the prominence. Although very hot, prominences typically appear dark when viewed...
  • Yesterday’s Mammoth Solar Flare Is The Biggest Of 2014 So Far

    02/25/2014 1:48:46 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 6 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | February 25, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell on
    The so-called X-class flare erupted a few hours ago (at 7:25 p.m. EST Feb. 24, or 12:25 a.m. UTC Feb. 25) and was captured by several spacecraft. If you have a pictures of the sun yourself to share, feel free to post them in the Universe Today Flickr pool. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory saw the flare growing in at least six different wavelengths of light, which are visible in the image above. This is classified this as an X4.9-class flare, which shows that it is pretty strong. X-flares are the most powerful kind that the sun emits, and each X...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sunspot Loops in Ultraviolet

    01/26/2014 9:00:23 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | January 26, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It was a quiet day on the Sun. The above image shows, however, that even during off days the Sun's surface is a busy place. Shown in ultraviolet light, the relatively cool dark regions have temperatures of thousands of degrees Celsius. Large sunspot group AR 9169 from the last solar cycle is visible as the bright area near the horizon. The bright glowing gas flowing around the sunspots has a temperature of over one million degrees Celsius. The reason for the high temperatures is unknown but thought to be related to the rapidly changing magnetic field loops that channel...
  • STORM WARNING: NOAA forecasters estimate a 90% chance of geomagnetic storms on Jan. 9th

    01/09/2014 7:45:34 AM PST · by tired&retired · 87 replies
    spaceweather.com/ ^ | January 9, 2014 | Spaceweather.com
    STORM WARNING: NOAA forecasters estimate a 90% chance of geomagnetic storms on Jan. 9th when a CME is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. The speed of the solar wind around Earth could spike to 700 km/s (1.6 million mph) shortly after the impact, sharply compressing Earth's magnetosphere. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. http://spaceweather.com/ HUGE SUNSPOT, CHANCE OF FLARES: The source of the incoming CME is AR1944, one of the largest sunspots of the current solar cycle. The active region sprawls across more than 200,000 km of solar terrain and contains dozens of dark cores. The largest...
  • Solar activity causes particle storm, delays rocket launch

    01/08/2014 7:38:45 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    latimes.com ^ | January 8, 2014, 6:54 p.m. | Deborah Netburn
    Massive sunspot AR 1944 is getting feisty, and doing some damage. Several Earth-lengths across, it is one of the largest sunspots seen in a decade. It is also complex, with dozens of dark cores. "Sometimes you see a nice, big simple brown sunspot, and even though it's big, it's boring," said Alex Young of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "But as soon as they start getting twisted and breaking apart and merging with each other, you know something exciting is going to happen." And something exciting has happened. Tuesday afternoon, AR 1944 was the source of a powerful X-class solar...
  • The sun's magnetic field is about to flip

    12/30/2013 9:48:19 AM PST · by Farnsworth · 44 replies
    Sun Herald ^ | December 30 2013 | NASA
    The sun is flipping its poles! Actually, NASA reports that this phenomenon happens about 11 years, when the sun's vast magnetic field flips. "It looks like we're no more than three to four months away from a complete field reversal," said solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University. "This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system." A video shows how the sun will complete the reversal, which appens at the peak of each solar cycle as the sun's inner magnetic dynamo re-organizes. The current "flip" is the midway point of Solar Cycle 24, NASA said. Hoeksema is the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- SDO's Multiwavelength Sun

    12/21/2013 6:55:56 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | December 21, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Today, the solstice is at 17:11 Universal Time, the Sun reaching the southernmost declination in its yearly journey through planet Earth's sky. The December solstice marks the astronomical beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the south. To celebrate, explore this creative visualization of the Sun from visible to extreme ultraviolet wavelengths, using image data from the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Against a base image made at a visible wavelengths, the wedge-shaped segments show the solar disk at increasingly shorter ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet wavelengths. Shown in false-color and rotating in a clockwise direction, the...
  • Calm solar cycle prompts questions about impact on Earth

    11/25/2013 7:27:34 AM PST · by Star Traveler · 20 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | November 24, 2013 | Jean-Louis Santini
    Washington (AFP) - The surface of the sun has been surprisingly calm of late -- with fewer sunspots than anytime in in the last century -- prompting curious scientists to wonder just what it might mean here on Earth. Sunspots have been observed for millennia -- first by Chinese astronomers and then, for the first time with a telescope, by Galileo in 1610. The sunspots appear in roughly 11-year cycles -- increasing to a daily flurry and then subsiding drastically, before amping up again. But this cycle -- dubbed cycle 24 -- has surprised scientists with its sluggishness. The number...
  • Strange Doings on the Sun

    11/11/2013 7:10:30 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 100 replies
    WSJ ^ | Nov. 10, 2013 7:25 p.m. ET | Robert Lee Hotz
    To complicate the riddle, the sun also is undergoing one of its oddest magnetic reversals on record. Normally, the sun's magnetic north and south poles change polarity every 11 years or so. During a magnetic-field reversal, the sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, drop to zero, and then emerge again with the opposite polarity. As far as scientists know, the magnetic shift is notable only because it signals the peak of the solar maximum, said Douglas Biesecker at NASA's Space Environment Center. But in this cycle, the sun's magnetic poles are out of sync, solar scientists said. The sun's north magnetic...
  • Solar Activity Ramps Up as Giant Sunspot Group Turns to Face Earth

    11/08/2013 6:06:31 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | November 8, 2013 | Nancy Atkinson on
    While old Sol had been fairly quiet for the time where it was supposed to be active in its normal 11-year cycle, only recently has activity ramped up with increased flares and sunspots. During 2013, there has been intermittent strong activity (like this and this in May), but the activity since mid-October is really the first extended period of activity. Speaking of sunspots, a huge group called designated as AR 1890 has turned to face Earth. Thanks to astrophotographer Ron Cottrell for capturing the group today, above. Spaceweather.com reports that this sunspot has a trend of producing very brief flares....
  • Sun set for 11-year magnetic pole flip

    10/07/2013 9:31:58 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 36 replies
    Times of India ^ | Oct 7, 2013, 05.18 AM IST | Amit Bhattacharya, TNN
    NEW DELHI: A special event is about to occur in our sun, and it could impact our lives. The magnetic poles of the sun — which are like the ends of a giant bar magnet — are about to flip, that is, the polar north will become the polar south and vice versa. According to scientists at the Wilcox Solar Observatory at Stanford University , the sun could be barely two to three months away from this magnetic field reversal. The change is periodic, taking place once every 11 years or so. The flip also corresponds with peak activity during...
  • Newsbytes: Sunspot Enigma – Will Inactive Sun Cause Global Cooling?

    07/25/2013 5:24:36 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 15 replies
    Watts Up With That? ^ | July 24, 2013 | by Anthony Watts
     From Dr. Benny Peiser and the GWPFWe Really Don’t Understand Our Climate Something is happening to our sun. If history is anything to go by, the sun’s change of mood could affect us all by cooling the earth and throwing our climate change calculations into disarray. It might even be the case that the earth’s response to low solar activity will overturn many of our assumptions about man’s influence on climate change. Cold not warmth might be our future. We do not know. We must keep watching the sun. –David Whitehouse, Public Service Europe, 24 July 2013Global warming has been...
  • Sunspots and the Great Cooling Ahead

    07/23/2013 8:15:44 PM PDT · by neverdem · 61 replies
    American Thinker ^ | July 18, 2013 | Jeffrey Folks
    Presumably, even among the ill-informed ideologues at the White House, there are a few who have heard of sunspots. There may even be one who knows, as most informed persons do, of the correlation between sunspot activity and the earth's climate. But apparently no one has bothered to inform the president. When sunspot activity is high, as it was during the 1990s and early 2000s, temperatures tend to be high as well. When it is low, as it is now, temperatures fall. And because sunspot activity occurs in decades-long cycles, the unusually cold winter and spring of 2012 may be...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Large Sunspots Now Crossing the Sun

    07/10/2013 3:18:29 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | July 10, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: One of the largest sunspot regions in recent years is now crossing the Sun. This region of convoluted magnetic fields may well produce a solar flare that releases a cloud of energetic particles into the Solar System. Were a very powerful cloud to impact the Earth's magnetosphere, it could be dangerous to Earth-orbiting astronauts and satellites. Conversely, the impact of even a less energetic cloud might create picturesque aurora. Pictured above is the sunspot region as it appeared two days ago. The rightmost part of this region has been cataloged as AR 11785, while the left part as AR...
  • Solar Cycle Warnings

    04/01/2013 2:37:45 PM PDT · by blam · 44 replies
    TMO ^ | 4-1-2013 | Andrew McKillop
    Solar Cycle Warnings Politics / Environmental IssuesApril 01, 2013 - 01:31 PM GMT By: Andrew McKillop RECORD LOW SUNSPOT NUMBERS For reasons including "pure politically correct", NASA has fought a losing battle - against reality - on the subject of Global Warming, which it feels obliged to believe in as a "scientifically correct" theory. Linked to this, quite directly, NASA has also battled against reality on the subject of sunspot frequency, size, location on the Sun's surface and other variables linked to sunspot cycles in this present Cycle 24 of approximately 11-year-long cycles. These have been accurately recorded since Cycle...
  • The calm before the solar storm? NASA warns ‘something unexpected is happening to the Sun’

    03/08/2013 10:13:37 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 12:34 EST, 8 March 2013 | Mark Prigg
    “Something unexpected” is happening on the Sun, NASA has warned. This year was supposed to be the year of “solar maximum,” the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle. But … solar activity is relatively low. “Sunspot numbers are well below their values from 2011, and strong solar flares have been infrequent,” the space agency says. … Experts have been baffled by the apparent lack of activity—with many wondering if NASA simply got it wrong. However, Solar physicist Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center believes he has a different explanation. “This is solar maximum,” he says. “But it looks...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Coronal Rain on the Sun

    02/26/2013 4:02:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | February 26, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Does it rain on the Sun? Yes, although what falls is not water but extremely hot plasma. An example occurred in mid-July 2012 after an eruption on the Sun that produced both a Coronal Mass Ejection and a moderate solar flare. What was more unusual, however, was what happened next. Plasma in the nearby solar corona was imaged cooling and falling back, a phenomenon known as coronal rain. Because they are electrically charged, electrons, protons, and ions in the rain were gracefully channeled along existing magnetic loops near the Sun's surface, making the scene appear as a surreal three-dimensional...
  • Climate Change

    01/23/2013 8:31:41 PM PST · by Paul Pierett · 21 replies
    http://sunspotshurricanesandglaciers.com/ ^ | January 2013 | Paul Pierett
    Having tired of writing in blogs and having lost the support of a blog that carried my work, I now have my own web page. I opened my own web site on climate change. I wrote it for the average person. sunspotshurricanesandglaciers.com It is not a blog. It is information in nature. If you wish to comment, my email is on my work or you can use the message traffic here. I open my free republic about once a week to see what is happening. I open my web site about the same to proof-read each page. I always find...
  • Signal, Interrupted: Sun Spots Interfere with Satellites this Week

    10/04/2012 6:19:03 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    www.counselheal.com ^ | Oct 04, 2012 09:54 AM EDT | S.C. Stringfellow
    Is your cable television signal fuzzy, internet reception spotty or cell phone service dropping in and out? Don't blame your service provider over the next few days, blame the sun. Expected solar flare activity now through next Thursday is expected to interrupt satellite signals to earth and cause signal interference. Sun outages happen during the spring and fall when solar radiation interferes with satellite signals, said Matthew Templeton of the American Association of Variable Star Observers. The sun is currently in a period of maximum activity and solar flares will be at their highest point in years. The last time...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Filament Across the Sun

    08/20/2012 3:56:37 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | August 20, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is that a cloud hovering over the Sun? Yes, but it is quite different than a cloud hovering over the Earth. The long light feature on the left of the above color-inverted image is actually a solar filament and is composed of mostly charged hydrogen gas held aloft by the Sun's looping magnetic field. By contrast, clouds over the Earth are usually much cooler, composed mostly of tiny water droplets, and are held aloft by upward air motions because they are weigh so little. The above filament was captured on the Sun about two weeks ago near the active...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Filament Across the Sun

    08/20/2012 3:56:22 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | August 20, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is that a cloud hovering over the Sun? Yes, but it is quite different than a cloud hovering over the Earth. The long light feature on the left of the above color-inverted image is actually a solar filament and is composed of mostly charged hydrogen gas held aloft by the Sun's looping magnetic field. By contrast, clouds over the Earth are usually much cooler, composed mostly of tiny water droplets, and are held aloft by upward air motions because they are weigh so little. The above filament was captured on the Sun about two weeks ago near the active...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- AR1520: Islands in the Photosphere

    07/14/2012 6:04:54 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | July 14, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Awash in a sea of plasma and anchored in magnetic fields, sunspots are planet-sized, dark islands in the solar photosphere, the bright surface of the Sun. Dark because they are slightly cooler than the surrounding surface, this group of sunspots is captured in a close-up telescopic snapshot from July 11. The field of view spans nearly 100,000 miles. They lie in the center of active region AR1520, now crossing the Sun's visible face. In fact, an X-class solar flare and coronal mass ejection erupted from AR1520 on July 12, releasing some of the energy stored in the region's twisted...
  • Sun storms: solar activity at fiery high

    07/09/2012 7:30:40 PM PDT · by markomalley · 31 replies
    CBS News ^ | 7/9/2012
    This has already been a summer of record heat in the continental United States. But our sun is not content with just breaking records in the first week of July. It has also been an intense period of solar flares - massive, violent outbursts from the sun that can wreck havoc here on Earth. And it shows no signs of stopping. Even on the surface of the sun, things are heating up. Last week saw several huge solar flares, the biggest of which occurred on Friday, July 6. Labeled an X1.1 class solar flare - the strongest classification used by...
  • Sunspot AR1476 takes aim on Earth ( Video of the action from the comments)

    05/13/2012 10:28:30 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 19 replies
    watts up with that? ^ | May 11, 2012 | Anthony Watts
    From Spaceweather.com NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of M-class solar flares and a 20% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Any eruptions are likely to be geoeffective because the source, sunspot AR1476, is directly facing our planet.Yesterday, May 10th, amateur astronomer David Maidment of Sohar, Oman caught the active region in mid-flare during a strong M5-class eruption:The blast, which almost crossed the threshold into X-territory, did not produce a significant coronal mass ejection (CME). “There seemed to be no CME due to the fact that the plasma was captured and dragged back down to the sun,” notes...
  • NASA/Hathaway’s updated solar cycle prediction – smallest in 100 years

    05/03/2012 7:42:20 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 46 replies
    watts up with that? ^ | May 2, 2012 | Anthony Watts
    …the predicted size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years *********************************snip**************************From: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtmlThe current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 60 in the Spring of 2013. We are currently over three years into Cycle 24. The current predicted size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years.The prediction method has been slightly revised. The previous method found a fit for both the amplitude and the starting time of the cycle along with a weighted estimate of the amplitude from precursor predictions (polar fields and geomagnetic activity near cycle minimum)....
  • Geomagnetic data reveal unusual nature of recent solar minimum

    03/19/2012 1:00:56 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 17 replies
    watts up with that? ^ | March 19, 2012 | Anthony Watts
    From the American Geophysical Union weekly highlights:Key Points Minimum 23-24 showed recurrence intervals of 9.0 and 6.7-dHistorical geomagnetic activity data show that minimum 23-24 was unusualThe heliosphere during minimum 23-24 had unusual sectorial structure Since the mid-1800s, scientists have been systematically measuring changes in the Earth’s magnetic field and the occurrence of geomagnetic activity. Such long- term investigation has uncovered a number of cyclical changes, including a signal associated with 27-day solar rotation. This is most clearly seen during the declining phase and minimum of each 11-year solar cycle, when the Sun’s magnetic dipole is sometimes tilted with respect to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sunspot Group 1429 and the Distant Sun

    03/18/2012 9:46:14 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies · 1+ views
    NASA ^ | March 19, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that on the Sun? Over the past two weeks, one of the most energetic sunspot regions of recent years crossed the face of the Sun. Active Region 1429, visible above as the group of dark spots on the Sun's upper right, blasted out several solar flares and coronal mass ejections since coming around the edge of the Sun almost a month ago. Fast moving particles from these solar explosions have impacted the Earth and been responsible for many colorful auroras seen over the past two weeks. The picturesque foreground features trees and birds near Merida, Spain, where the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Angry Sun Erupting

    03/14/2012 3:31:13 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | March 14, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It's one of the baddest sunspot regions in years. Active Region 1429 may not only look, to some, like an angry bird -- it has thrown off some of the most powerful flares and coronal mass ejections of the current solar cycle. The extended plumes from these explosions have even rained particles on the Earth's magnetosphere that have resulted in colorful auroras. Pictured above, AR 1429 was captured in great detail in the Sun's chromosphere three days ago by isolating a color of light emitted primarily by hydrogen. The resulting image is shown in inverted false color with dark...
  • Forget global warming - it's Cycle 25 we need to worry about

    01/29/2012 6:13:06 AM PST · by Former Proud Canadian · 74 replies
    The Mail Online ^ | January 29, 2012 | David Rose
    The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years. The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century. Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sunspot Castle

    11/12/2011 4:48:13 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | November 12, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Each day can have a beautiful ending as the Sun sets below the western horizon. This week, the setting Sun added naked-eye sunspots to its finale, as enormous active regions rotated across the dimmed, reddened solar disc. Near the Sun's center in this closing telephoto view from November 7th are sunspots in Active Region 1339. Responsible for a powerful X-class flare on November 3rd, Active Region 1339 is larger than Jupiter. In the foreground, the ruined tower of a medieval castle stands in dramatic silhouette. Located in Igersheim, Germany and traditionally known as castle Neuhaus, it might be named...
  • Clear link between solar activity and winter weather revealed (Why 'minimums' are cold)

    10/10/2011 11:00:08 AM PDT · by ConservativeMind · 32 replies
    PhysOrg.com ^ | Tamera Jones | Oct 10, 2011
    Scientists have demonstrated a clear link between the 11-year sun cycle and winter weather over the northern hemisphere for the first time. They found that low solar activity can contribute to cold winters in the UK, northern Europe and parts of America. But high activity from the sun has the opposite effect. The study helps explain why the UK has been gripped by such cold winters over the last few years: the sun is just emerging from a so-called solar minimum, when solar activity is at its lowest. 'Our research establishes the link between the solar cycle and winter climate...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Violent Sunspot Group AR 1302 Unleashes a Flare

    09/27/2011 10:09:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | September 28, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: One of the most active sunspot groups in years is currently crossing the Sun. AR 1302 first came around the Sun's edge last week and is so large it can be seen without a telescope. Coronal Mass Ejections from AR 1302 have already caused strong geomagnetic storms including notable aurora activity around both of Earth's poles. Pictured above, plasma was left magnetically hanging above the Sun's surface after AR 1302 emitted an X-class solar flare last Thursday. Earth is illustrated in the inset for a size comparison. Although another X-class flare was emitted on Saturday, no flares from AR...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Large Tsunami Shock Wave on the Sun

    09/25/2011 5:36:54 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | September 25, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Tsunamis this large don't happen on Earth. During 2006, a large solar flare from an Earth-sized sunspot produced a tsunami-type shock wave that was spectacular even for the Sun. Pictured above, the tsunami wave was captured moving out from active region AR 10930 by the Optical Solar Patrol Network (OSPAN) telescope in New Mexico, USA. The resulting shock wave, known technically as a Moreton wave, compressed and heated up gasses including hydrogen in the photosphere of the Sun, causing a momentarily brighter glow. The above image was taken in a very specific red color emitted exclusively by hydrogen gas....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Sharp View of the Sun

    09/18/2011 9:24:57 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    NASA ^ | September 18, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Here is one of the sharper views of the Sun ever taken. This stunning image shows remarkable details of a dark sunspot across the image bottom and numerous boiling granules which appear like kernels of corn across the top. Taken in 2002, the picture was made using the Swedish Solar Telescope operating on the Canary Island of La Palma. The high resolution image was achieved using sophisticated adaptive optics, digital image stacking, and other processing techniques to counter the blurring effect of Earth's atmosphere. Currently a sunspot group is crossing the Sun that is so large it can be...
  • Easterbrook on the potential demise of sunspots ( Global Cooling ahead?)

    06/17/2011 2:32:34 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 13 replies
    watts up with that? ^ | June 17, 2011 | Anthony Watts
    Posted on June 17, 2011 by Anthony Watts THE DEMISE OF SUNSPOTS—DEEP COOLING AHEAD?Don J. Easterbrook, Professor of Geology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WAThe three studies released by NSO’s Solar Synoptic Network this week, predicting the virtual vanishing of sunspots for the next several decades and the possibility of a solar minimum similar to the Maunder Minimum, came as stunning news. According to Frank Hill, “the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.” The last time sunspots vanished from the...
  • “All three of these lines of research to point to the familiar sunspot cycle shutting down...”

    06/15/2011 9:27:51 PM PDT · by neverdem · 71 replies
    Watts Up With That? ^ | June 14, 2011 | Anthony Watts
    “All three of these lines of research to point to the familiar sunspot cycle shutting down for a while.” I’ve managed to get a copy of the official press release provided by the Southwest Research Institute Planetary Science Directorate to MSM journalists, for today’s stunning AAS announcement and it is reprinted in full here: WHAT’S DOWN WITH THE SUN? MAJOR DROP IN SOLAR ACTIVITY PREDICTED Latitude-time plots of jet streams under the Sun's surface show the surprising shutdown of the solar cycle mechanism. New jet streams typically form at about 50 degrees latitude (as in 1999 on this plot) and...
  • Scientists predict rare 'hibernation' of sunspots

    06/14/2011 8:12:17 PM PDT · by goodnesswins · 58 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 6/14/11 | Kerry Sheridan
    WASHINGTON (AFP) – For years, scientists have been predicting the Sun would by around 2012 move into solar maximum, a period of intense flares and sunspot activity, but lately a curious calm has suggested quite the opposite. According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century. The signs include a missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles, said experts from the National Solar Observatory and Air Force Research Laboratory. "This is highly...
  • 10 reasons to be cheerful about the coming new Ice Age

    06/15/2011 12:00:11 PM PDT · by Signalman · 47 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 6/15/2011 | James Delingpole
    It’s official: a new Ice Age is on its way. In what has been described as “the science story of the century”, heavyweight US solar physicists have announced that the sun is heading for a prolonged period of low activity. This makes global cooling a much more plausible prospect in the next few decades than global warming. Indeed, it might even usher in a lengthy period of climate grimness such as we saw during the Maunder Minimum (when Ice Fairs were held on the Thames) or the Dalton Minimum (which brought us such delights as the 1816 Year Without A...
  • Sun's Fading Spots Signal Big Drop in Solar Activity [Maunder Minimum->Little Ice Age Returning?]

    06/14/2011 2:33:10 PM PDT · by SES1066 · 28 replies
    Some unusual solar readings, including fading sunspots and weakening magnetic activity near the poles, could be indications that our sun is preparing to be less active in the coming years. The results of three separate studies seem to show that even as the current sunspot cycle swells toward the solar maximum, the sun could be heading into a more-dormant period, with activity during the next 11-year sunspot cycle greatly reduced or even eliminated. ...Currently, the sun is in the midst of the period designated as Cycle 24 and is ramping up toward the cycle's period of maximum activity. However, the...
  • Sun's Fading Spots Signal Big Drop in Solar Activity

    06/14/2011 10:42:07 AM PDT · by Interesting Times · 119 replies
    Space.com ^ | June 14, 2011 | Denise Chow
    Some unusual solar readings, including fading sunspots and weakening magnetic activity near the poles, could be indications that our sun is preparing to be less active in the coming years. The results of three separate studies seem to show that even as the current sunspot cycle swells toward the solar maximum, the sun could be heading into a more-dormant period, with activity during the next 11-year sunspot cycle greatly reduced or even eliminated. The results of the new studies were announced today (June 14) at the annual meeting of the solar physics division of the American Astronomical Society, which is...
  • Did Quiet Sun Cause Little Ice Age After All?

    05/26/2011 1:50:30 PM PDT · by neverdem · 30 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 26 May 2011 | Govert Schilling
    Enlarge Image Brrr ... Cold winters in 17th century Europe, as shown in this painting by Hendrick Avercamp, may have been caused by a lack of solar activity after all. Credit: Hendrick Avercamp/Wikimedia Commons BOSTON—For decades, astronomers and climatologists have debated whether a prolonged 17th century cold spell, best documented in Europe, could have been caused by erratic behavior of the sun. Now, an American solar physicist says he has new evidence to suggest that the sun was indeed the culprit. The sun isn’t as constant as it appears. Instead, its surface is regularly beset by storms of swirling...