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Solar Storm Warning Empty Solar Storm Warning

Post by 23luda23 July 16th 2009, 5:50 pm

March 10, 2006: It's official: Solar minimum has arrived. Sunspots have all but vanished. Solar flares are nonexistent. The sun is utterly quiet.

Like the quiet before a storm.

This week researchers announced that a storm is coming--the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one," she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.

That was a solar maximum. The Space Age was just beginning: Sputnik was launched in Oct. 1957 and Explorer 1 (the first US satellite) in Jan. 1958. In 1958 you couldn't tell that a solar storm was underway by looking at the bars on your cell phone; cell phones didn't exist. Even so, people knew something big was happening when Northern Lights were sighted three times in Mexico. A similar maximum now would be noticed by its effect on cell phones, GPS, weather satellites and many other modern technologies.

Right: Intense auroras over Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1958. [More]

Dikpati's prediction is unprecedented. In nearly-two centuries since the 11-year sunspot cycle was discovered, scientists have struggled to predict the size of future maxima—and failed. Solar maxima can be intense, as in 1958, or barely detectable, as in 1805, obeying no obvious pattern.

The key to the mystery, Dikpati realized years ago, is a conveyor belt on the sun.

We have something similar here on Earth—the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt, popularized in the sci-fi movie The Day After Tomorrow. It is a network of currents that carry water and heat from ocean to ocean--see the diagram below. In the movie, the Conveyor Belt stopped and threw the world's weather into chaos.


Above: Earth's "Great Ocean Conveyor Belt."

The sun's conveyor belt is a current, not of water, but of electrically-conducting gas. It flows in a loop from the sun's equator to the poles and back again. Just as the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt controls weather on Earth, this solar conveyor belt controls weather on the sun. Specifically, it controls the sunspot cycle.

Solar physicist David Hathaway of the National Space Science & Technology Center (NSSTC) explains: "First, remember what sunspots are--tangled knots of magnetism generated by the sun's inner dynamo. A typical sunspot exists for just a few weeks. Then it decays, leaving behind a 'corpse' of weak magnetic fields."

Enter the conveyor belt.

"The top of the conveyor belt skims the surface of the sun, sweeping up the magnetic fields of old, dead sunspots. The 'corpses' are dragged down at the poles to a depth of 200,000 km where the sun's magnetic dynamo can amplify them. Once the corpses (magnetic knots) are reincarnated (amplified), they become buoyant and float back to the surface." Presto—new sunspots!

Right: The sun's "great conveyor belt."

All this happens with massive slowness. "It takes about 40 years for the belt to complete one loop," says Hathaway. The speed varies "anywhere from a 50-year pace (slow) to a 30-year pace (fast)."

When the belt is turning "fast," it means that lots of magnetic fields are being swept up, and that a future sunspot cycle is going to be intense. This is a basis for forecasting: "The belt was turning fast in 1986-1996," says Hathaway. "Old magnetic fields swept up then should re-appear as big sunspots in 2010-2011."

Like most experts in the field, Hathaway has confidence in the conveyor belt model and agrees with Dikpati that the next solar maximum should be a doozy. But he disagrees with one point. Dikpati's forecast puts Solar Max at 2012. Hathaway believes it will arrive sooner, in 2010 or 2011.

"History shows that big sunspot cycles 'ramp up' faster than small ones," he says. "I expect to see the first sunspots of the next cycle appear in late 2006 or 2007—and Solar Max to be underway by 2010 or 2011."

Who's right? Time will tell. Either way, a storm is coming.


Author: Dr. Tony Phillips | Production Editor: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA


See full article with images here http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/10mar_stormwarning.htm
23luda23
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Solar Storm Warning Empty Re: Solar Storm Warning

Post by Spirit-Being July 16th 2009, 6:34 pm

Great Article i watched something on television with Dr Michio Kaku he was also talking about a solar storm that may hit the earth around 2012 this was the estimated time frame. If this solar storm hits us we could loose satellites, which could cause communications a serious problems. That would mean the possibility of internet and cell phones going down. We must be grateful for what we have here and now, because we never know what will take place in the future.

We have all become so dependent on the satellites in the sky, keeping all of humanity connected.

How would we react if cell phones and internet went down?

Thanks for sharing luda

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Post by Wind-Dancer July 16th 2009, 9:19 pm

NASA




A new study from the National Academy of Sciences outlines grim possibilities on Earth for a worst-case scenario solar storm.

Damage to power grids and other communications systems could be catastrophic, the scientists conclude, with effects leading to a potential loss of governmental control of the situation.

The prediction is based in part on a major solar storm in 1859 that caused telegraph wires to short out in the United States and Europe, igniting widespread fires.
is this our future?
It was perhaps the worst in the past 200 years, according to the new study, and with the advent of modern power grids and satellites, much more is at risk.

"A contemporary repetition of the [1859] event would cause significantly more extensive (and possibly catastrophic) social and economic disruptions," the researchers conclude.

Is this our future?

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Post by Spirit-Being July 17th 2009, 5:51 pm

The solar storm predicted for 2011 - 2012 could be nothing more than the previous solar storms we have had in the past, but what if this storm was massive? I did some thinking on this today the scientists speak of cycles, but what about super cycles, these would be cycles that span over millions of years and there would be no way for scientists to predict something so massive because we have not seen one from our sun during our lives. One thing i have learned is the universe is very unpredictable, sometimes the weather man has trouble predicting weather patterns, so i would imagine space would be that much more difficult to predict. This is a theory of mine so please do not take this for any truth, it is something that i started thinking about and this is what came to me.

If you have any input on this would be greatly appreciated.

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Solar Storm Warning Empty Re: Solar Storm Warning

Post by Wind-Dancer July 21st 2009, 7:41 am

By MICHAEL CASEY,
AP
Excitement, Fear Precede Solar Eclipse
Superstitions Surround Rare Event in Asia

BANGKOK (July 20) -- Millions of people across Asia will witness the longest total solar eclipse that will happen this century, as vast swaths of India and China, the entire city of Shanghai and southern Japanese islands are plunged into darkness Wednesday for about five minutes.
Streams of amateur stargazers and scientists are traveling long distances to witness the once-in-a-lifetime event.

The longest total solar eclipse of this century will occur Wednesday. Millions of people across Asia are expected to witness the event. The eclipse will plunge vast swaths of India, China and southern Japan into darkness for about five minutes. It could spark panic in some communities. Here, Indian astronomer Debiprosad Duari explains the impending eclipse.

Astronomers hope the eclipse will unlock clues about the sun, while an astrologer in Myanmar predicts it could usher in chaos. Some in India are advising pregnant relatives to stay indoors to follow a centuries-old tradition of avoiding the sun's invisible rays.
The eclipse will appear first at dawn in India's Gulf of Khambhat just north of the metropolis of Mumbai.
It will move east across India, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China before hitting the Pacific. The eclipse will cross some southern Japanese islands and be last visible from land at Nikumaroro Island in the South Pacific nation of Kiribati. Elsewhere, a partial eclipse will be visible in much of Asia.
For astronomers, it will be a chance for a prolonged view of the sun's corona, a white ring 600,000 miles from the sun's surface. The previous total eclipse, in August 2008, was two minutes and 27 seconds. This one will last 6 minutes and 39 seconds at its maximum point.
Solar scientist Lucie Green is aboard an American cruise ship heading for that point near the Japanese island of Iwo Jima, where the axis of the moon's shadow will pass closest to earth.
Passengers paid $2,599 to $3,643 for the cruise run by Mayhugh Travel Inc., a California company that specializes in astronomy vacations, according to the company's Web site.



New telescope photos of the Omega Nebula were released July 8 by the European Southern Observatory, showing a colorful display. The nebula is one of the newest and most massive star-production regions in the Milky Way. The intense light of the young stars causes gases, like hydrogen and sulfur, in the cloud to glow.

"The corona has a temperature of 2 million degrees but we don't know why it is so hot," said Green of University College London. "What we are going to look for are waves in the corona. ... The waves might be producing the energy that heats the corona. That would mean we understand another piece of the science of the sun."
Scientists are hoping data from the eclipse will help explain solar flares and other structures of the sun and why they erupt, said Alphonse C. Sterling, a NASA astrophysicist who will be following the eclipse in China.
"We'll have to wait a few hundred years for another opportunity to observe a solar eclipse that lasts this long, so it's a very special opportunity," said Shao Zhenyi, an astronomer at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory.
Man has been recording solar eclipses for 4,000 years, and even today they inspire a combination of fear, fascination and wonder.
One astrologer in Myanmar, also known as Burma, predicted in a magazine that the eclipse would trigger wars, instability and natural disasters for the next several months.
Liang Wei is among more than 40 members of a Chinese solar eclipse fan club traveling to Shanghai to see the event.
"Even though I'm not a scientist, it's an experience I've waited all my life for," said the 29-year-old Guangzhou native, who works at a lighting company and operates an online fan site for eclipse enthusiasts.
In India, hundreds of scientists are gathering in the village of Taregna in Bihar state. One team, led by Dr R.K. Sinha of Patna University, will study bird behavior.
"The researchers will observe whether they suddenly move back to their nests, sound differently and behave in an unusual manner due to sudden darkness," he said.
A travel agency in India is running a charter flight to watch the eclipse by air.
Some families have advised pregnant relatives to confine themselves to curtained rooms, following long-held fears that the invisible rays would harm the fetus and the baby born with disfigurations, birthmarks or a congenital defect.
"I've been told to lie straight on the bed with my eyes open and to chant prayers and verses from the Hindu holy texts during the eclipse," said Sonya Chadha, a New Delhi accountant who is seven months pregnant and plans to take the day off. "If even a tiny sliver of light falls on me, it could harm my child."
In Japan, where the last total eclipse happened in 1963, people are flocking to the small southern island of Yakushima, which is holding a a two-day festival with fireworks, dancing, grilled squid and cotton candy. The island's 180 hotels are fully booked. A partial eclipse will be visible in Tokyo.

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Post by Spirit-Being July 21st 2009, 1:10 pm

Possibilities of eclipses having affects on us is astounding, if this eclipse is to trigger chaos on the planet only time will tell. But i do feel that things are in motion whatever they may be.

Many Blessings

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