Posts Tagged ‘solar’

Solar flare [image credit: NASA/SDO]


Quoting from the research article’s plain language summary: ‘We find that some aspects of the space weather climate are in fact reproducible, they can be inferred from that of previous solar maxima. This may help understand the behaviour of future solar maxima.’ Solar wind variation is highlighted.

Historic space weather may help us understand what’s coming next, according to new research by the University of Warwick, says Phys.org.

Professor Sandra Chapman, from Warwick’s Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, led a project which charted the space weather in previous solar cycles across the last half century, and discovered an underlying repeatable pattern in how space weather activity changes with the solar cycle.

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During a total solar eclipse, the Sun’s corona and prominences are visible to the naked eye [image credit: Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be ]


Perhaps the probe will be able to shed some light, so to speak, on the Sun’s famous coronal heating problem.

On Aug. 6, the Parker Solar Probe will launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for one extremely intense mission: to fly closer to the sun than any spacecraft before, reports CBC News.

The probe will fly through and study the sun’s atmosphere, where it will face punishing heat and radiation. At its closest, it will come within 6.1 million kilometres of the sun.

“A lot of people don’t think that’s particularly close,” said Nicola Fox, the project scientist for the Parker Solar Probe. “But if I put the sun and the Earth in the end zones in a football field, the Parker Solar Probe will be on the four-yard line in the red zone, knocking on the door for a touchdown.”

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If ‘slowdowns’ in global average temperatures can be natural, why not ‘speed-ups’ as well? Recent global temperature patterns correlate very poorly, if at all, with changes in the trace gas CO2 as required by IPCC-supporting climate theorists.

A team of researchers from the U.K., Sweden and Australia has found that three periods of global warming slowdown since 1891 were likely due to natural causes rather than disruptions to the factors causing global warming, reports Phys.org.

In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes their study of global mean surface temperatures (GST) since the late 19th century and what they found.

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New insights on the internal workings of the Sun. The lead researcher notes: “Solar Rossby waves are gigantic in size, with wavelengths comparable to the solar radius”. They have maximum amplitudes in the Sun’s equatorial regions.

A team of scientists led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) and the University of Göttingen has discovered new waves of vorticity on the Sun, reports Phys.org.

As described in today’s issue of Nature Astronomy, these Rossby waves propagate in the direction opposite to rotation, have lifetimes of several months, and maximum amplitudes at the Sun’s equator. For forty years scientists had speculated about the existence of such waves on the Sun, which should be present in every rotating fluid system.

Now, they have been unambiguously detected and characterized for the first time. The solar Rossby waves are close relatives of the Rossby waves known to occur in the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans.

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Image credit: BBC


They say ‘the next step is to work on scaling up the system and boosting its efficiency’.

MIT-developed system could provide drinking water even in extremely arid locations, says MIT’s News Office.

It seems like getting something for nothing, but you really can get drinkable water right out of the driest of desert air.

Even in the most arid places on Earth, there is some moisture in the air, and a practical way to extract that moisture could be a key to survival in such bone-dry locations. Now, researchers at MIT have proved that such an extraction system can work.

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UK winter weather forecast [image credit: BBC]


So says a new study, which also has the benefit of being topical. The current weak solar cycle is highlighted.

Periods of extreme cold winter weather and perilous snowfall, similar to those that gripped the UK in a deep freeze with the arrival of the ‘Beast from the East’, could be linked to the solar cycle, pioneering new research has shown.

A new study, led by Dr Indrani Roy from the University of Exeter, has revealed when the solar cycle is in its ‘weaker’ phase, there are warm spells across the Arctic in winter, as well as heavy snowfall across the Eurasian sector, reports Phys.org.

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There may be consequences for electrical activity on Earth, as well as space radiation changes.

The Next Grand Minimum

Meteorologist Paul Dorian, Vencore, Inc.

All indications are that the upcoming solar minimum which is expected to begin in 2019 may be even quieter than the last one which was the deepest in nearly a century. One of the natural impacts of decreasing solar activity is the weakening of the ambient solar wind and its magnetic field which, in turn, allows more and more cosmic rays to penetrate the solar system. The intensification of cosmic rays can have important consequences on such things as Earth’s cloud cover and climate, the safety of our astronauts exploring in space, and lightning.

SIDC+DailySunspotNumberSince1900Daily observations of the number of sunspots since 1 January 1900 according to Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC). The thin blue line indicates the daily sunspot number, while the dark blue line indicates the running annual average. The recent low sunspot activity is clearly reflected in the recent low values…

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NASA image of the day: Sun’s quiet corona [credit: NASA/SDO]


‘Magnetic’ seems to mean ‘electromagnetic’ in this report. There’s a definition of an Alfvén wave here.

Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast have led an international team to the ground-breaking discovery that magnetic waves crashing through the sun may be key to heating its atmosphere and propelling the solar wind, as Phys.org reports.

The sun is the source of energy that sustains all life on Earth but much remains unknown about it. However, a group of researchers at Queen’s have now unlocked some mysteries in a research paper, which has been published in Nature Physics.

In 1942, Swedish physicist and engineer Hannes Alfvén predicted the existence of a new type of wave due to magnetism acting on a plasma, which led him to obtain the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1970.

Since his prediction, Alfvén waves have been associated with a variety of sources, including nuclear reactors, the gas cloud that envelops comets, laboratory experiments, medical MRI imaging and in the atmosphere of our nearest star – the sun.

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Solar wind at Mars [image credit: universetoday.com]


The researchers say ‘the solar wind likely only had a very small direct effect on the amount of Mars atmosphere that has been lost over time.’ This makes them suspect that ‘a magnetic field is not as important in shielding a planet’s atmosphere as the planet’s gravity itself.’ It was always hard to see how the magnetic shield theory worked when Venus with its dense atmosphere has little magnetism.

The Red Planet’s low gravity and lack of magnetic field makes its outermost atmosphere an easy target to be swept away by the solar wind, but new evidence from ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft shows that the Sun’s radiation may play a surprising role in its escape, reports Phys.org.

Why the atmospheres of the rocky planets in the inner solar system evolved so differently over 4.6 billion years is key to understanding what makes a planet habitable.

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Solar flare [image credit: NASA/SDO]

The “entangled magnetic ‘rope’ forms” leading to eruptions sound similar to Birkeland currents, which can become like ‘twisted or braided rope’ and also feature in auroras.

A single phenomenon may underlie all solar eruptions, according to researchers from the CNRS, École Polytechnique, CEA and INRIA in an article featured on the cover of the February 8 issue of Nature.

They have identified the presence of a confining ‘cage’ in which an entangled magnetic ‘rope’ forms, causing solar eruptions, reports Phys.org.

It is the resistance of this cage to the attack of the rope that determines the power and type of the upcoming flare.

This work has enabled the scientists to develop a model capable of predicting the maximum energy that can be released during a solar flare, which could have potentially devastating consequences for the Earth.

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Well, they may think they do. But once they accept that the Sun can vary its output they have to accept it can vary up or down. If there’s a ‘grand minimum’ then there should be a ‘grand maximum’ (which may have just happened), and all points in between. Claims of ‘human-induced climate change’ have to be weighed against natural variation. The fact that reports like this are starting to appear suggests the writing is on the wall for climate warmists, due to natural factors they used to claim were too trivial to mention.

The sun might emit less radiation by mid-century, giving planet Earth a chance to warm a bit more slowly but not halt the trend of human-induced climate change, says Phys.org.

The cooldown would be the result of what scientists call a grand minimum, a periodic event during which the sun’s magnetism diminishes, sunspots form infrequently, and less ultraviolet radiation makes it to the surface of the planet.

Scientists believe that the event is triggered at irregular intervals by random fluctuations related to the sun’s magnetic field.

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We don’t normally do press releases at the Talkshop, but this one might be interesting if we can work out what it really means. The fact that they refer to grid stability implies it’s an issue in Germany at least.

Automobile, home and power supply combined to form an intelligent energy network: In a pilot project the Audi Smart Energy Network for the first time interacts with the power grid.

This marks a major advance for grid stability, claims Audi’s press release.

As part of a research project, Audi is running a pilot project with households in the Ingolstadt area and the Zurich region in conjunction with other partners.

This involves combining various sizes of photovoltaic systems with stationary storage batteries. The control software by the Zurich start-up company Ampard distributes the solar power intelligently based on the current or plannable demand from car, household and heating system.

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Quiet sun [image credit: NASA]


This is an opinion piece, a sort of alarmism-in-reverse, and no-one can be sure that any given weather or climate forecast will prove to be accurate or even on the right lines, but the arguments are here to consider. Numerous climate researchers do expect the solar slowdown to push average temperatures lower for at least a decade or two. Others think 0.04% carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will counter all that.

The danger from the Global Warming crowd is that they are misleading the entire world and preventing us from what is dangerously unfolding that sparks the rapid decline in civilization – GLOBAL COOLING, says Martin Armstrong at Armstrong Economics.

I previously warned that this is not my opinion, but simply our computer. If it were really conscious it would be running to store to buy heating pads. This year will be much colder  for Europe than the last three. It will also be cold in the USA.

We are in a global cooling period and all the data we have in our computer system warns that the earth is turning cold not warm.

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Credit: NASA


Researchers say: ‘Study of wave characteristics reveals complex interconnections between the Sun, Moon, and Earth’s neutral atmosphere and ionosphere.’

The waves in the upper atmosphere are similar to the V-shaped waves left behind by a ship moving through water, reports The IB Times.

The 21 August total solar eclipse that overshadowed the entire stretch from Oregon to South Carolina, not only offered some mind-boggling views, but also left a weird effect on Earth’s atmosphere.

The event created heat-energy ripples or “bow waves”, something akin to the V-shaped waves left behind by a ship moving through water, in Earth’s upper atmosphere, Gizmodo reports.

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Uranus [image credit: NASA]


One of the two processes involved is “due to high-speed particles from outside the solar system, known as galactic cosmic rays, bombarding the atmosphere and influencing the formation of clouds”, reports Phys.org. If so, it looks like further evidence for the Svensmark hypothesis.

Changes in solar activity influence the colour and formation of clouds around the planet, researchers at Oxford and Reading universities found.

The icy planet is second furthest from the sun in the solar system and takes 84 Earth years to complete a full orbit – one Uranian year.

The researchers found that, once the planet’s long and strange seasons are taken into account, it appears brighter and dimmer over a cycle of 11 years. This is the regular cycle of solar activity which also affects sun spots.

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The Sun Watcher and the Dragon 

Posted: December 16, 2017 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Measurement, research, Solar physics
Tags: ,

TSIS-1 heading for the ISS [image credit: NASA]


In these times of unusually low sunspot activity, it’s more important than ever to get the best possible data about solar irradiance, using the latest technology – and here it is.

A new solar irradiance sensor is headed for the International Space Station, NASA reports.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off on December 15, 2017, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The rocket carried a SpaceX Dragon laden with 4,800 pounds of research equipment, cargo, and supplies for the International Space Station.

Amidst the research equipment is the Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1), a Sun-watching sensor that will measure how much solar energy reaches Earth (total solar irradiance) and how that energy is distributed across the electromagnetic spectrum (spectral solar irradiance).

The measurements are critical to understanding Earth’s energy budget, climate change, and how small variations in the Sun’s output can change the way energy circulates through Earth’s atmosphere.

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Mars from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope


The report says ‘a stronger solar wind mainly accelerates particles already escaping the planet’s gravity, but does not increase the ion escape rate’. That also raises the question of the thick Venusian atmosphere around another planet with no magnetism to speak of. Maybe some aspects of magnetosphere theory needs to be looked at again?

Despite the absence of a global Earth-like magnetic dipole, the Martian atmosphere is well protected from the effects of the solar wind on ion escape from the planet, reports Phys.org.

New research shows this using measurements from the Swedish particle instrument ASPERA-3 on the Mars Express spacecraft.

The results have recently been presented in a doctoral thesis by Robin Ramstad, Swedish Institute of Space Physics and Umeå University, Sweden.

Present-day Mars is a cold and dry planet with less than 1 percent of Earth’s atmospheric pressure at the surface.

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History suggests extended quiet periods on the Sun do have consequences on Earth, so it will be interesting to see how things play out over the next few years and beyond. Watch out for the length of this solar cycle as well, following a run of shorter than average cycles in the last 100 years or so.

The Next Grand Minimum

by Meteorologist Paul Dorian, Vencore, Inc.

Overview

Solar cycle 24 has turned out to be historically weak with the lowest number of sunspots since cycle 14 peaked more than a century ago in 1906 and by some measures, it is the third weakest since regular observations began around 1755. This historically weak solar cycle continues a weakening trend in solar irradiance output since solar cycle 21 peaked around 1980 and the sun is fast-approaching the next solar minimum. The last solar minimum lasted from 2008 to 2009 and the sun was as quiet during that time as it has been since 1978. The sun is likely to enter the next solar minimum phase within three years or so. The sun has been spotless for 26% of the time in 2017 (90 days) and the blank look should increase in frequency over the next couple of years leading into the next…

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A fine day in Antarctica [image credit: BBC]


We’re told: ‘Environmental champion, who was first person to walk to both poles, uses Antarctic trek as green wake-up call.’ But who really needs to be woken up? The polar night means Antarctica is a dead zone for solar power for six months of every year, highlighting the fact that part-time sources of electricity can never be relied upon.

“Thirty years ago, I was the first person in history perhaps stupid enough to walk to the North and South Poles,” renowned British explorer Robert Swan, 61, tells IBTimes UK.

“I had no intention ever in my life of ever walking anywhere cold again – this was definite.”

But that is exactly what he is going to do.

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It’s not known exactly what factors govern this constant minimum, but this is an interesting finding as Phys.org reports.

Using more than a half-century of observations, Japanese astronomers have discovered that the microwaves coming from the sun at the minimums of the past five solar cycles have been the same each time, despite large differences in the maximums of the cycles.

In Japan, continuous four-frequency solar microwave observations (1, 2, 3.75 and 9.4 GHz) began in 1957 at the Toyokawa Branch of the Research Institute of Atmospherics, Nagoya University. In 1994, the telescopes were relocated to NAOJ Nobeyama Campus, where they have continued observations up to the present.

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