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Author Topic: SPACE WEATHER REPORTS  (Read 2954 times)

Offline zorgon

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SPACE WEATHER REPORTS
« on: August 09, 2011, 06:58:39 PM »
Sun's Power Hits New Low, May Endanger Earth?
Anne Minard
National Geographic News
September 24, 2008



The Ulysses space probe (depicted in June 1995, above the North Pole) shows that the sun is experiencing fewer sunspots, decreased solar winds, and a weakening magnetic field, according to NASA.

Image courtesy Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech


Quote
The Ulysses space probe has detected fewer sunspots, decreased solar winds, and a weakening magnetic field—the lowest solar activity observed in 50 years, NASA scientists said yesterday.

 That translates into a shrinking of the heliosphere, the invisible "bubble" of solar wind that extends beyond Pluto and guards the planets—ours included—from bombardment by cosmic rays.

Speaking yesterday at a NASA teleconference, scientists refused to draw conclusions from their observations, especially with respect to whether the changes are influencing Earth's climate.

"That area of science is in the realm of speculation at this point," said Nancy Crooker, a researcher at Boston University.

But David J. McComas of the Southwest Research Institute, who leads one of the experiments onboard Ulysses, called the changes "significant."

"This is a whole-sun phenomenon. The entire sun is blowing significantly less hard than it was 10 to 15 years ago," he said.

"Over the entire record of sun observations, this is the longest prolonged low pressure that we've observed."

Variable Star

Some variance in solar activity is normal for the sun, which has a 22-year magnetic cycle and an 11-year sunspot cycle.

But McComas said in a statement that researchers have been "surprised to find that the solar wind is much less powerful than it had been in the previous solar minimum."

Despite its name, solar wind is actually a stream of charged particles that expands out from the sun.

Sun's Power Hits New Low, May Endanger Earth?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 01:42:20 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: SPACE WEATHER REPORTS
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 01:38:31 AM »
Magnetic-Shield Cracks Found; Big Solar Storms Expected
Victoria Jaggard in San Francisco
National Geographic News
December 17, 2008



Solar winds (depicted in red) are infiltrating Earth's protective magnetosphere (blue), experts said in December 2008, which could lead to a perilous period of solar storms starting in 2012.

Solar storms—when explosions from the sun send blasts of charged particles toward Earth—can cause satellites to malfunction, threaten spacewalkers, and wipe out power grids.

Image by Steele Hill/NASA


Quote
An unexpected, thick layer of solar particles inside Earth's magnetic field suggests there are huge breaches in our planet's solar defenses, scientists said.

These breaches indicate that during the next period of high solar activity, due to start in 2012, Earth will experience some of the worst solar storms seen in decades.

Quote
Solar winds—charged particles from the sun—help create auroras, the brightly colored lights that sometimes appear above the Earth's poles.

But the winds also trigger storms that can interfere with satellites' power sources, endanger spacewalkers, and even knock out power grids on Earth.

"The sequence we're expecting … is just right to put particles in and energize them to create the biggest geomagnetic storms, the brightest auroras, the biggest disturbances in Earth's radiation belts," said David Sibeck, a space-weather expert at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

"So if all of this is true, it should be that we're in for a tough time in the next 11 years."

Magnetic-Shield Cracks Found; Big Solar Storms Expected
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 01:40:54 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: SPACE WEATHER REPORTS
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 01:39:10 AM »
Major Solar Flare on August 9th

Space Weather News for August 9, 2011



X-FLARE: This morning at 0805 UT, sunspot 1263 produced an X7-class solar flare--so far the most powerful flare of new Solar Cycle 24.  The brunt of the explosion was not Earth directed.  Even so, a minor solar proton storm is in progress around our planet, and the flare also created waves of ionization in Earth's upper atmosphere.  Visit http://spaceweather.com for images and more information.


CREDIT: Michael Ericsson on the shores of Tibbitt Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada



Offline zorgon

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Re: SPACE WEATHER REPORTS
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 01:46:48 PM »
The Majestic Beauty of the Cosmos (Hubble) HD Relaxing space music NASA

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