Monday, October 08, 2012

100812.14.5--Message for Today: Sun's fate

We may have to keep an eye on the sun's activities...


Anonymous said...

Solar Eruption May Boost Northern Lights Displays Tonight

By Tariq Malik | – 11 hrs ago

A huge explosion on the sun has flung a wave of solar particles toward Earth, an eruption that may amp up northern lights displays on our planet Monday night (Oct. 8).

The solar eruption occurred late Thursday (Oct. 4) when the sun unleashed what scientists call a coronal mass ejection, or CME, NASA officials explained in a statement.

"Not to be confused with a solar flare, which is a burst of light and radiation, CMEs are a phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and can reach Earth one to three days later," NASA officials wrote. "Experimental NASA research models show the CME to be traveling at about 400 miles per second."

For comparison, at 400 miles per second, the coronal mass ejection is traveling about 1.4 million miles per hour (2.3 million kilometers per hour).

The website, which chronicles solar weather and other celestial events, reported today that the CME should reach Earth Monday and deliver a "glancing blow" to our planet's magnetic field.

The interaction of the charged particles and Earth's upper atmosphere could create dazzling northern lights displays overnight on Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 8 and 9) over the planet's polar regions.

"High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras, especially during the hours around local midnight," officials wrote.

Coronal mass ejections are the most powerful explosions on the sun. When aimed directly at Earth, strong CME events "can affect electronic systems in satellites and on Earth," NASA officials said.

But CME events traveling at similar speeds to the one observed Thursday have not typically triggered major problems on Earth, or in satellites orbiting the planet, in the past, they added.

The sun is currently in the middle of an active phase of its 11-year solar weather cycle. The current cycle, called Solar Cycle 24, is expected to peak in 2013.

Anonymous said...

Sun Unleashes Huge Solar Plasma Wave
By Staff | – 5 hrs ago
10/19/12 08:34 PM
A giant wave of super-hot solar plasma larger than the Earth erupted from the sun on Friday (Oct. 19) in a spectacular display captured by a NASA spacecraft.
The huge solar prominence occurred at 4:15 a.m. EDT (0815 GMT) and was recorded in amazing detail by the high-definition cameras aboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory before escaping the sun.
"Once it started breaking away, the process only took 10 hours before it was out of sight," NASA media specialist Steele Hill explained in a photo description. "The prominence stretched out many times the size of Earth."
The Solar Dynamics Observatory showed the solar prominence as a wispy red-orange wave stretching out from the lower right section of the sun. The image was recorded in the 304 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light, according to Hill.
Prominences are eruptions of charged solar plasma that appear to arc out away from the sun's edge, or limb, in spacecraft and telescope views. The structures are shaped by extreme magnetic field. Some loop-like prominences are short-lived, lasting only a few minutes. Others can be more stable, lasting hours or days, NASA scientists have said in the past.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory is one of several spacecraft keeping a constant watch on the sun to track major solar flares, eruptions other space weather events. The sun is currently in an active phase of its 11-year solar weather cycle and is expected to reach its peak activity in 2013.
The current solar weather cycle is known as Solar Cycle 24. The Solar Dynamics Observatory has been tracing the sun's weather activity since the probe's launch in 2010.