icubud: (Vapor Trails)
Huge tornadoes discovered on sun - first ever video

These twisters are several times as wide as our planet!

Solar Max

Dec. 30th, 2010 09:18 am
icubud: (Vapor Trails)

The coming year will be an important one for space weather as the Sun pulls out of a trough of low activity and heads into a long-awaited and possibly destructive period of turbulence.

Many people may be surprised to learn that the Sun, rather than burn with faultless consistency, goes through moments of calm and tempest.

But two centuries of observing sunspots -- dark, relatively cool marks on the solar face linked to mighty magnetic forces -- have revealed that our star follows a roughly 11-year cycle of behaviour.

The latest cycle began in 1996 and for reasons which are unclear has taken longer than expected to end.

Now, though, there are more and more signs that the Sun is shaking off its torpor and building towards "Solar Max," or the cycle's climax, say experts.

"The latest prediction looks at around midway 2013 as being the maximum phase of the solar cycle," said Joe Kunches of NASA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

But there is a prolonged period of high activity, "more like a season, lasting about two and a half years," either side of the peak, he cautioned.

At its angriest, the Sun can vomit forth tides of electromagnetic radiation and charged matter known as coronal mass ejections, or CMEs.

rest of story here

Solar Max

Dec. 30th, 2010 09:18 am
icubud: (Vapor Trails)

The coming year will be an important one for space weather as the Sun pulls out of a trough of low activity and heads into a long-awaited and possibly destructive period of turbulence.

Many people may be surprised to learn that the Sun, rather than burn with faultless consistency, goes through moments of calm and tempest.

But two centuries of observing sunspots -- dark, relatively cool marks on the solar face linked to mighty magnetic forces -- have revealed that our star follows a roughly 11-year cycle of behaviour.

The latest cycle began in 1996 and for reasons which are unclear has taken longer than expected to end.

Now, though, there are more and more signs that the Sun is shaking off its torpor and building towards "Solar Max," or the cycle's climax, say experts.

"The latest prediction looks at around midway 2013 as being the maximum phase of the solar cycle," said Joe Kunches of NASA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

But there is a prolonged period of high activity, "more like a season, lasting about two and a half years," either side of the peak, he cautioned.

At its angriest, the Sun can vomit forth tides of electromagnetic radiation and charged matter known as coronal mass ejections, or CMEs.

rest of story here
icubud: (Vapor Trails)

The Canadian Press

Date: Thursday Nov. 4, 2010 4:27 PM ET

MONTREAL — Great balls of fire have been reported swooping over Eastern Canada and several U.S. states.

Even NASA's on the case.

There are different theories about what was behind the sighting of those fireballs. A NASA spacecraft got a closer look at one of the possible sources today.

The spacecraft flew past Hartley 2 -- taking closeup pictures after the comet made one of its closest passes by Earth this week.

But one expert is skeptical of reports that any fireballs came from Hartley -- which is roughly 1.2 kilometres wide and spews deadly cyanide gas.

Scientist Peter Brown says his meteor group at the University of Western Ontario tracked one of two fireballs while the other was tracked by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.


http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20101104/comet-nasa-canada-101104
icubud: (Vapor Trails)

The Canadian Press

Date: Thursday Nov. 4, 2010 4:27 PM ET

MONTREAL — Great balls of fire have been reported swooping over Eastern Canada and several U.S. states.

Even NASA's on the case.

There are different theories about what was behind the sighting of those fireballs. A NASA spacecraft got a closer look at one of the possible sources today.

The spacecraft flew past Hartley 2 -- taking closeup pictures after the comet made one of its closest passes by Earth this week.

But one expert is skeptical of reports that any fireballs came from Hartley -- which is roughly 1.2 kilometres wide and spews deadly cyanide gas.

Scientist Peter Brown says his meteor group at the University of Western Ontario tracked one of two fireballs while the other was tracked by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.


http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20101104/comet-nasa-canada-101104

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