Solar Cycle 24 activity picked up in March. Several coronal mass ejections (CME) came our way thanks largely to the sunspot group 1429. March began with a CME directed toward Earth. Although the warnings suggested more severe problems than actually occurred, it still was a reasonably strong storm. The Sun’s rotation brought sunspot 1429 back again at month-end and it provided a little more excitement. A good summary of the solar activity in March can be found on the Solarham.com site. To take a look at the summary, click here. This solar activity and it’s affect on the Earth’s geomagnetic field can be seen on the chart below: (click on charts to improve clarity)
Both the sunspot number and the F10.7 flux were below the predicted monthly numbers in March but seem to be generally following the forecast Solar Cycle 24 forecast path. See charts below:
The Asahi Shimbun* reports that “Officials of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the Riken research foundation said on April 19 that the activity of sunspots appeared to resemble a 70-year period in the 17th century in which London’s Thames froze over and cherry blossoms bloomed later than usual in Kyoto. The sun may be entering a period of reduced activity that could result in lower temperatures on Earth, according to Japanese researchers. “ They are suggesting that solar Cycle 24 is the beginning of an era similar to the Maunder Minimum.
A solar cycle usually lasts about 11 years. During the cycle, the poles switch polarity at about the time of the solar maximum. Many scientists are predicting that Cycle 24’s maximum will occur about May of 2013. However, the Japanese researchers found signs of unusual magnetic changes in the sun. They report that the solar observation satellite…
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Dr Hathaway of NASA has revised his Cycle 24 sunspot forecast. He predicts a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 60 in the Spring of next year. Cycle 24 will be the smallest in about 100 years. For the record, his forecast graphed is shown below:
He has revised his prediction method as follows:
Recent work [see Hathaway Solar Physics; 273, 221 (2011)] indicates that the equatorward drift of the sunspot latitudes as seen in the Butterfly Diagram follows a standard path for all cycles provided the dates are taken relative to a starting time determined by fitting the full cycle. Using data for the current sunspot cycle indicates a starting date of May of 2008. Fixing this date and then finding the cycle amplitude that best fits the sunspot number data yields the current (revised) prediction.
To read more of the NASA report click here.
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Generally speaking, Solar Cycle 24’s April sunspots numbers, F10.7cm flux and the geomagnetic field Ap index all indicate reduced solar actively. NASA as well most of the experts in this field agree that Solar Cycle 24 will be a record setter of a sort—least active in about 100 years. One need not base this on computer models or some consensus, however. All that is required is to look at the data. I do not think anyone has a handle on why Cycle 24 is acting this way. There are many theories and perhaps one of them is correct. Will Cycle 25 continue this downward trend? Click on the charts to improve clarity.
- It could result in a gigantic coronal mass ejection, which would blast the Earth with radiation and possibly knock-out power lines and disrupt satellites
PUBLISHED: 15:48 EST, 8 May 2012 | UPDATED: 16:04 EST, 8 May 2012
A mind-bogglingly big sunspot has appeared in the past few days, which could mean the Earth is about to be blasted by powerful solar storms.
Known as AR 1476, it was spotted by Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft, which launched in 2010.
Its diameter of 60,000 miles is many times that of the Earth, which measures just under 8,000 miles across.
The sunspot is so ginormous that it’s possible to view with home telescopes – though experts warn that these must be fitted with sun filters to prevent permanent eye damage.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO
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Published on May 9, 2012 by celestialconvergence
According to Space Weather, Sunspot 1476 poses a threat for X-class solar flares.
SOLAR ACTIVITY INTENSIFIES: Huge sunspot AR1476 is crackling with M-class solar flares and appears to be on the verge of producing something even stronger. The sunspot’s ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field harbors energy for X-class flares, the most powerful kind. Earth is entering the line of fire as the sunspot rotates across the face of the sun.
Earlier today, amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft of New Mexico detected strong shortwave radio bursts coming from the sunspot. “The strongest burst so far occured around 1631 UT on May 9th,” reports Ashcraft. “I am observing at 28 MHz and 21.1 MHz. As I send this note I am hearing more bursting, indicating powerful magnetic dynamism within active region 1476.”
Solar radio bursts are caused by plasma instabilities that ripple through the sun’s atmosphere in the…
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Huge sunspot AR1476 is crackling with M-class solar flares and appears to be on the verge of producing something even stronger. The sunspot’s ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field harbors energy for X-class flares, the most powerful kind. Earth is entering the line of fire as the sunspot rotates across the face of the sun.
This morning, May 10th around 0418 UT, sunspot 1476 unleashed an impulsive M5-class solar flare. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash:
Apparently, the almost-X class explosion did not hurl a significant CME toward Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate a 65% chance of more M-class flares and a 10% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.
WHAT DOES A SUNSPOT SOUND LIKE? On May 9th, amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft of New Mexico detected strong shortwave radio bursts coming from the sunspot. Click to hear the “solar static” that roared out of his loudspeaker:
“The strongest burst so far occured around 1631 UT on May 9th,”…
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How the planet is small, the Diny makes trouble! The Farts!!
Recent studies have shown that massive herbivorous dinosaurs emitting methane through “farts” are a possible cause for climate change.
These colossal beasts would have produced massive amounts of the harmful gas.
”A simple mathematical model suggests that the microbes living in sauropod dinosaurs may have produced enough methane to have an important effect on the Mesozoic climate,” said the study leader, Dave Wilkinson, from Liverpool John Moores University.