The build-up to the first ever Solar Maximum recorded in digital, and 3D, is well underway. The latest solar storm to capture the worlds attention is AR1476. At 60,000 miles or 100,000 kilometres across AR1476 is a sunspot of immense proportions. So large that it is visible in photo’s using a decent digital camera and the proper filters (welding glasses), it is never a good idea to stare directly at or point your camera towards the sun.
AR 1476 first appeared last week, spotted by NASA’s SDO team, who proceeded to tweet the observation. The news spread rapidly, with space weather warnings being announced. generating a massive buzz on the way.
SDO is keeping a close eye on AR1476, the sunspot is still active, with a 10% chance of an X-Class solar flare and 4 massive active dark cores within, AR 1476 is both fascinating and dangerous. An X-Class flare is the highest rated class and potentially dangerous, at the very least it could most annoying. With the ability to destroy communications satellites and interfere with radio signals an uncomfortable silence may ensue.
Continue reading Solar Maximum Update. Sunspot AR1476 Visible Without A Telescope…
The Sun, the light at the centre of our solar system is fast approaching the end of its 11 year solar cycle. With the height of solar activity reached, the solar maximum, is it now time for our Sun to slumber?
NASA, not short of an opinion on all things scientific expect the current solar cycle to end mid-2013, while Japanese researchers armed with their own observations dispute NASA’s predictions. Suggesting instead that May this year will see the Sun’s pole shift, temporarily creating a quad pole magnetic field until the pole reversal completes and the next solar cycle begins.
An international research team led by Saku Tsuneta, a professor at National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) has been performing the monthly solar observations since September 2008, making use of Hinode, the Japanese solar observing satellite. Saku and his team of researchers have discovered that the sun’s pole shift will occur 12 months sooner than expected, May 2012.
Continue reading The Sun’s Four Pole Magnetic Field, Solar Pole Shift And The New Little Ice Age…
“When Athol previewed this video to the office we were unanimously stunned, easily the video of the month. We set him to writing, chaining him to his desk. For your reading pleasure and visual stimulation we present NASA’s Solar Tornado and other interesting Solar facts”, Buddha’s Brother.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory – SDO – permanently keeps one eye open looking at the Sun, even on its second birthday. To celebrate two years of duty NASA has released incredible footage from our solar spy in the sky, the clearest footage ever captured of a Solar Tornado. Confirming the most unusual fact that the Sun also has Tornadoes, a little known phenomenon of galactic proportions.
Clearly visible in the video is a planet sized Tornado as large as the Earth. Held within multiple overlapping magnet fields the Tornado dances along the surface of the Sun, wind speeds of 500,000 kilometres per hour make this an amazingly massive and powerful storm.
Continue reading SDO’s Second Birthday, The Solar Tornado and The Approaching Solar Maximum in 2013…