Posts Tagged ‘solar’

The Sun from NASA’s SDO spacecraft


Making some progress anyway – and finding resonance is a key factor.

A Queen’s University Belfast scientist has led an international team to the ground-breaking discovery of why the Sun’s magnetic waves strengthen and grow as they emerge from its surface, which could help to solve the mystery of how the corona of the Sun maintains its multi-million degree temperatures, says Phys.org.

For more than 60 years observations of the Sun have shown that as the magnetic waves leave the interior of the Sun they grow in strength but until now there has been no solid observational evidence as to why this was the case.

The corona’s high temperatures have also always been a mystery. Usually the closer we are to a heat source, the warmer we feel.

However, this is the opposite of what seems to happen on the Sun—its outer layers are warmer than the heat source at its surface.

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Solar train – OK for millionaires?

Posted: December 1, 2019 by oldbrew in innovation, Travel
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A bit of fun for tourists, but an electric bus would have been a lot cheaper.


[4mins.25 secs. video]

This is considered to be one of the best preserved ancient stone monuments in Britain, although research into it seems to have been minimal. It can be found near Wigtown in the far south-west of Scotland.

Note the specific solar alignments of the three central stones, and the lunar significance of its circle of nineteen megaliths – thought to represent the lunar nodal cycle of 18.6 years, according to the commentary (or possibly the 19 year Metonic cycle – or both?).

The Metonic cycle is described as ‘a period of almost exactly 19 years that is nearly a common multiple of the solar year and the synodic (lunar) month.’

Credit: Railfuture


Well, 10% solar-powered – that’s the target. Of course solar has its variables, mainly weather conditions and hours of daylight. So is this ‘solution’ worth the bother and cost, or not? The era of batteries on train locomotives has also arrived – see ‘Adding a third dimension – battery power’ here.

How many times have we looked at clever innovation and wondered why on earth no one thought of doing it before?

Often the simplest of ideas seem to lead to the most elegant of engineering solutions, says RailEngineer.

The truth is, of course, that invention is only half of the story. Sometimes the right meeting of minds must happen before a bright idea can become a reality.

To the best of our knowledge, the direct supply of solar power to rail traction systems has never been done, anywhere in the world.

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The two Voyager space probes, launched in 1977, are still delivering tales of the unexpected.

The boundary region between the sun’s sphere of influence and the broader Milky Way galaxy is complicated indeed.

Humanity’s second taste of interstellar space may have raised more questions than it answered, writes Mike Wall @ Space.com.

NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft popped free of the heliosphere — the huge bubble of charged particles that the sun blows around itself — on Nov. 5, 2018, more than six years after the probe’s pioneering twin, Voyager 1, did the same.

The mission team has now had some time to take stock of Voyager 2’s exit, which occurred in the heliosphere’s southern hemisphere (as opposed to Voyager 1, which departed in the northern hemisphere).

In a series of five papers published online today (Nov. 4) in the journal Nature Astronomy, the researchers reported the measurements made by the probe as it entered interstellar space.

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What, if anything, might this mean for the coming Northern Hemisphere winter?

Spaceweather.com

Oct. 3, 2019: Solar Minimum is underway, and it’s a deep one. Sunspot counts suggest it is one of the deepest minima of the past century. The sun’s magnetic field has become weak, allowing extra cosmic rays into the solar system. Neutron monitors at the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland, show that cosmic rays are percentage points away from a Space Age record:

crinfo2

Researchers at the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory have been monitoring cosmic rays since 1964. When cosmic rays hit Earth’s atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that rain down on Earth’s surface. Among these particles are neutrons. Detectors in Oulu count neutrons as a proxy for cosmic rays.

As the top panel shows, cosmic rays naturally wax and wane with the 11-year solar cycle. During Solar Maximum cosmic rays are weak; during Solar Minimum they are strong. The Space Age record for cosmic rays was set…

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Credit: reference.com


There are many reasons NASA is pursuing the Artemis mission to land astronauts on the moon by 2024: It’s a crucial way to study the moon itself and to pave a safe path to Mars, says Phys.org.

But it’s also a great place to learn more about protecting Earth, which is just one part of the larger Sun-Earth system.

Heliophysicists—scientists who study the Sun and its influence on Earth—will also be sending up their own NASA missions as part of Artemis. Their goal is to better understand the complex space environment surrounding our planet, much of which is driven by our Sun.

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H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

An interview with Professor Valentina Zharkova on the effect of solar activity on terrestrial climate – from Conversations That Matter, with Stuart McNish.

The sun is going through a stage known as a solar or Maunder Minimum. This is where the solar activity that ignites solar flares or sun spots has decreased.

It’s a normal cycle and one that has been linked to the mini ice age that lasted more than 50 years starting in the mid-1600s.

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Thanks to Ian Wilson for introducing us to his new paper, which is part three of the planned four-part series. The paper can be downloaded from The General Science Journal here. Abstract below.

Abstract

The best way to study the changes in the climate “forcings” that impact the Earth’s mean atmospheric temperature is to look at the first difference of the time series of the world-mean temperature, rather than the time series itself.

Therefore, if the Perigean New/Full Moon cycles were to act as a forcing upon the Earth’s atmospheric temperature, you would expect to see the natural periodicities of this tidal forcing clearly imprinted upon the time rate of change of the world’s mean temperature.

Using both the adopted mean orbital periods of the Moon, as well as calculated algorithms based upon published ephemerides, this paper shows that the Perigean New/Full moon tidal cycles exhibit two dominant periodicities on decadal time scales.

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A Summer without Sunspots

Posted: September 28, 2019 by oldbrew in Solar physics
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Solar cycle 24 – going, going…

Spaceweather.com

Sept. 23, 2019: Could northern summer 2019 go down in history as “the summer without sunspots”? From June 21st until Sept 22nd, the sun was blank more than 89% of the time. During the entire season only 6 tiny sunspots briefly appeared, often fading so quickly that readers would complain to Spaceweather.com, “you’ve labeled a sunspot that doesn’t exist!” (No, it just disappeared.) Not a single significant solar flare was detected during this period of extreme quiet.

The sun on Sept. 22, 2019–as blank as a billiard ball. Credit: NASA/SDO

This is a sign that Solar Minimum is underway and probably near its deepest point. For 2019 overall (January through September), the sun has been blank 72% of the time, comparable to annual averages during the century-class Solar Minimum of 2008 (73%) and 2009 (71%). The current Solar Minimum appears to be century-class as well, meaning you have to go…

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Obsessing about tiny percentages of trace gases in the atmosphere may be a popular sport in some quarters these days, but it’s an unproductive one.

Political and corporate leaders gathered for the climate week in New York City have urged significant action to fight global warming, writes Dr. Shaviv in the Epoch Times.

But, given the high costs of the suggested solutions, could it be that the suggested cure is worse than the disease?

As a liberal who grew up in a solar house, I have always been energy-conscious and inclined toward activist solutions to environmental issues.

I was therefore extremely surprised when my research as an astrophysicist led me to the conclusion that climate change is more complicated than we are led to believe.

The disease is much more benign, and a simple palliative solution lies in front of our eyes.

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Solar wind and Earth [credit: NASA]


H/T Tallbloke

This 2017 Chinese study is here.

Below is the Summary — obviously the full info and graphics can be viewed via the link.
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Many studies presented that solar variability does play a significant role in affecting the Earth’s climate change. Almost all of previous studies focused on the effects of solar total irradiation energy.

As the second major source, the solar wind energy flux exhibits more significant long-term variations, but its effect has been rarely concerned. Although the energy content of solar wind energy flux is of 4-5 orders lower than that of irradiation energy, its long-term variation is much more significant.

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Sunspots [image credit: NASA]


Here it’s claimed that the model matches the observations, which is surely a good start in any research. With a deep solar minimum now in progress, theorists should have plenty of new data to work with.

For 400 years people have tracked sunspots, the dark patches that appear for weeks at a time on the sun’s surface, says Phys.org.

They have observed but been unable to explain why the number of spots peaks every 11 years.

A University of Washington study published this month in the journal Physics of Plasmas proposes a model of plasma motion that would explain the 11-year sunspot cycle and several other previously mysterious properties of the sun.

“Our model is completely different from a normal picture of the sun,” said first author Thomas Jarboe, a UW professor of aeronautics and astronautics. “I really think we’re the first people that are telling you the nature and source of solar magnetic phenomena—how the sun works.”

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The Solar Panel Toxic Waste Problem

Posted: September 16, 2019 by oldbrew in Accountability, Energy
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‘Solar panels generate 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than nuclear power plants’ – and in some parts of the world recycling rules can be sketchy, or worse.

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

For decades, the solar industry benefited from generous federal, state, and local subsidies to increase its footprint. Yet these generous subsidies ignore the costs of disposal of solar panel waste.

Things may be changing. In May 2018, Michael Shellenberger, a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment” and Green Book Award Winner, wrote in Forbes that the problem of solar panel disposal will explode with full force in two or three decades and wreck the environment because it is a huge amount of waste which is not easy to recycle.

Shellenberger was citing comments, published in the South China Morning Post, from Chinese solar expert Tian Min, general manager of Nanjing Fangrun Materials, a recycling company in Jiangsu province that collects retired solar panels. Tian called his country’s solar power industry “a ticking time bomb.”

This is not really news. The Associated Press had reported in 2013…

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Solar panel road [image credit: Wattway]


The rotting leaves didn’t help, says ScienceAlert. Neither did the local tractors. Solar panels should be angled towards the Sun anyway, but that kills the whole road idea.

In July, the French daily newspaper Le Monde reported that the 0.6-mile (1 kilometre) solar road was a fiasco.

In December 2016, when the trial road was unveiled, the French Ministry of the Environment called it “unprecedented”. French officials said the road, made of photovoltaic panels, would generate electricity to power streetlights in Tourouvre, a local town.

But less than three years later, a report published by Global Construction Review says France’s road dream may be over.

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Credit: Wikipedia


H/T The GWPF

The researchers say: “We have detected no evidence of human influence”, so the implications of the observed long-term natural variation are clear enough. But some reading between the lines may be needed here, due to a few of the usual nods towards man-made warming theory that climate researchers feel they have to make to survive these days.

Research sheds light on 500-year Chinese climate cycle and suggests global cooling could be on the way, reports the South China Morning Post.

A new study has found winters in northern China have been warming since 4,000BC – regardless of human activity – but the mainland scientists behind the research warn there is no room for complacency or inaction on climate change, with the prospect of a sudden global cooling also posing a danger.

The study found that winds from Arctic Siberia have been growing weaker, the conifer tree line has been retreating north, and there has been a steady rise in biodiversity in a general warming trend that continues today.

It appears to have little to do with the increase in greenhouse gases which began with the industrial revolution, according to the researchers.

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They call it ‘the world’s most ambitious project‘. Mind-boggling expenditure if it ever gets built. The solar city aspect of the plan gets panned here.

The riches of Silicon Valley have enabled some extravagant and quixotic projects, but they’ve got nothing on what oil money can do, says MNNOFA News.

A new report from The Wall Street Journal shares some of the proposals for Saudi Arabia’s biggest megaproject yet: a city built in the desert named Neom, where robots will outnumber humans and hologram teachers will educate genetically-enhanced students.

The details are stunning. It’s a mixture of dystopian fiction (AI surveillance cameras everywhere!) and childish imaginings (let’s build a robot dinosaur park!). Taken together, the plans remind of you what a dedicated nine-year-old can achieve in Minecraft. Yes, the scale and ambition are impressive, but it’s not like you could do this in real life, right?

Cloud seeding? Robot servants? A fake moon!? Sure, why not.

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Sunspots [image credit: NASA]


This looks timely as predictions of the possibly imminent – or not – start of solar cycle 25 jockey for position, so to speak. Is there a new and better method here?

In a pair of new papers, scientists paint a picture of how solar cycles suddenly die, potentially causing tsunamis of plasma to race through the Sun’s interior and trigger the birth of the next sunspot cycle only a few short weeks later, reports EurekAlert.

The new findings provide insight into the mysterious timing of sunspot cycles, which are marked by the waxing and waning of sunspot activity on the solar surface.

While scientists have long known that these cycles last approximately 11 years, predicting when one cycle ends and the next begins has been challenging to pin down with any accuracy. The new research could change that.

In one of the studies, which relies on nearly 140 years of solar observations from the ground and space, the scientists are able to identify “terminator” events that clearly mark the end of a sunspot cycle.

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Plus: how big will the bite of the ongoing solar minimum be, compared to the last one? We’re due to find out sometime soon.

Spaceweather.com

July 16, 2019: Note to astronauts: 2019 is not a good year to fly into deep space. In fact, it’s shaping up to be one of the worst of the Space Age.

The reason is, the solar cycle. One of the deepest Solar Minima of the past century is underway now. As the sun’s magnetic field weakens, cosmic rays from deep space are flooding into the solar system, posing potential health risks to astronauts.

NASA is monitoring the situation with a radiation sensor in lunar orbit. The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) has been circling the Moon on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft since 2009. Researchers have just published a paper in the journal Space Weather describing CRaTER’s latest findings.

lroAbove: An artist’s concept of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

“The overall decrease in solar activity in this period has led to an increased flux of…

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Readers can comment on this disagreement/misunderstanding/debate here at The Talkshop and/or at Joe Postma’s own website (link below).

Roy Spencer’s post that kicked it off is here.

[UPDATE: follow-up video to the one shown below – here.]

Climate of Sophistry

Roy Spencer published an article today stating that I am incorrectly ranting about the fraud of flat Earth theory making its way into modern physics via climate science.  I analyze his statement and expose that climate science truly is indeed flat Earth theory: it is baked into the mathematics!

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