Posts Tagged ‘solar’


This was a surprise, but whatever the interpretation, the numbers speak for themselves.

‘Richard Christopher Carrington determined the solar rotation rate from low latitude sunspots in the 1850s and arrived at 25.38 days for the sidereal rotation period. Sidereal rotation is measured relative to the stars, but because the Earth is orbiting the Sun, we see this period as 27.2753 days.’ – Wikipedia.

What happens if we relate this period to the lunar draconic year?

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While this may all seem a bit vague, it looks like a step in the right direction.

Historic space weather could help researchers better predict future events and atmospheric cycles, a new study in Space Weather reports.

This finding comes from scientists at the University of Warwick, who tracked space weather in solar cycles for the last half century, reports The Space Reporter.

That then revealed a repeatable pattern in the way space weather activity alters over each solar cycle.

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Credit: solen.info


This story appeared two weeks ago, and is by no means the first to suggest the arrival of the new solar cycle. But now the claims are getting louder and the telltale sunspots bigger.

Looks like Solar Cycle 25 has indeed begun, writes Christian Harris at Spaceweatherlive.

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Image credit: sunpower.com.au


Saving money thanks to government subsidies always invites the question: who is really paying for the offer? No prizes for guessing.

Labor wants Australian suburbs to run on batteries through a plan to subsidise solar power storage for thousands of households, reports news.com.au.

And it believes the plan could cut electricity bills by 60 per cent.

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Credit: solen.info


The storm was so strong that the change in magnetic direction could be easily measured on a compass, as this 2013 article explains.

Ghosts and goblins, candle-lit jack o’lanterns and dark haunted houses, ominous screeching and maniacal laughter – these are some of the frightening fantasies we associate with Halloween.

But ten years ago during the Halloween of 2003, while children in costumes paraded door-to-door for treats, the Sun was playing its own tricks with planet Earth, says Directions Magazine.

The consequence: a solar-terrestrial nightmare became a scary reality.

The Halloween Storm

In mid-October 2003, a bundle of concentrated magnetic energy emerged from the Sun’s interior, forming a large sunspot, a site of seething activity. Enormous solar flares soon followed. Then, on October 28, the sunspot abruptly ejected a concentrated mass of electrically conducting solar wind, flinging it out into interplanetary space toward the Earth. Less than a day later, on October 29, a geomagnetic storm was initiated as the solar wind disrupted the Earth’s protective magnetosphere.

Over the next three days, the “Halloween magnetic storm” would evolve and grow to become one of the largest such storms in half a century.

Magnetic storms are global phenomena, and their effects can be easily seen around the world. During the Halloween storm, for example, magnetic direction in Alaska quickly changed by more than 20 degrees. In other words, the storm was so large that it could be measured with a simple compass.

The Halloween magnetic storm also produced spectacular aurora, with green phantom “northern lights” seen as far south as Texas and Florida.

The Impacts of this Storm

The USGS network of magnetic observatories monitored activity from the Halloween storm in collaboration with international partners. The storm played tricks on technological systems around the world, which scientists continue to analyze even today.

Continued here.

See also: The Halloween Storms: When Solar Events Spooked the Skies | GPS World

Climate and the Solar Magnetic Field

Posted: October 20, 2018 by oldbrew in predictions, solar system dynamics
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Interesting solar predictions from Professor Zharkova.

The Next Grand Minimum

Presentation by Professor Valentina Zharkova

When: Wednesday 31st October, from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Where: 55 Tufton Street, Westminster, SW1P 3QL

Principal component analysis (PCA) of the solar background magnetic field observed from the Earth, revealed four pairs of dynamo waves, the pair with the highest eigen values are called principal components (PCs).

PCs are shown to be produced by magnetic dipoles in inner and outer layers of the Sun, while the second pair of waves is assumed produced by quadruple magnetic sources and so on. The PC waves produced by a magnetic dipole and their summary curve were described analytically and shown to be closely related to the average sunspot number index used for description of solar activity. Based on this correlation, the summary curve was used for the prediction of long-term solar activity on a millennial timescale.This prediction revealed the presence of a grand cycle of…

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Image credit: BBC


One Saudi energy official commented: “Everyone is just hoping this whole idea would just die”. Looks like it has run into the sand.
H/T DW.com.

Citing Saudi government officials, the US business daily Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Monday that Saudi plans to build the world’s biggest solar power generation facility had been shelved, as the desert kingdom was working on a “broader, more practical strategy to boost renewable energy.”

The solar project was expected to generate about 200 gigawatts of energy by 2030 — more than three times the country’s daily needs.

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The Chill of Solar Minimum

Posted: September 28, 2018 by oldbrew in atmosphere, research, solar system dynamics, Temperature
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Credit: NOAA


Researchers have found that the last time the thermosphere was rated ‘hot’ was around 2003 (see chart below). Now with a deep solar minimum upon us, the obvious question is: what effect might this have on our planet as a whole?

Sept. 27, 2018: The sun is entering one of the deepest Solar Minima of the Space Age, says Dr. Tony Phillips at Space Weather.

Sunspots have been absent for most of 2018, and the sun’s ultraviolet output has sharply dropped. New research shows that Earth’s upper atmosphere is responding.

“We see a cooling trend,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”

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Artist’s impression of an exoplanetary system [credit: NASA]


…and don’t get the answers their models led them to expect. Could the close proximity to their star of most exoplanets so far observed be a factor?

Sun-like stars rotate up to two and a half times faster at the equator than at higher latitudes, a finding by researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi that challenges current science on how stars rotate, reports Phys.org.

Until now, little was known about the precise rotational patterns of Sun-like stars, only that the equator spins faster than at higher latitudes, similar to the Sun.

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How constant is the “solar constant?”

Posted: September 19, 2018 by oldbrew in Analysis, data, IPCC, Measurement
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Well…it’s complicated. The available data is less than perfect, but the ‘natural variation option’ (so to speak) is still on the table.

Andy May Petrophysicist

The IPCC lowered their estimate of the impact of solar variability on the Earth’s climate from the already low value of 0.12 W/m2 (Watts per square-meter) given in their fourth report (AR4), to a still lower value of 0.05 W/m2 in the 2013 fifth report (AR5), the new value is illustrated in Figure 1. These are long term values, estimated for the 261-year period 1750-2011 and they apply to the “baseline” of the Schwabe ~11-year solar (or sunspot) cycle, which we will simply call the “solar cycle” in this post. The baseline of the solar cycle is the issue since the peaks are known to vary. The Sun’s output (total solar irradiance or “TSI”) is known to vary at all time scales (Kopp 2016), the question is by how much. The magnitude of short-term changes, less than 11 years, in solar output are known relatively accurately, to better…

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Interesting. Another article reporting the solar gamma ray ‘mystery’ can be found here.
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Research paper (pdf): Evidence for a New Component of High-Energy Solar Gamma-Ray Production

The Next Grand Minimum

Devdiscourse News Desk 29 Aug 2018, 01:18 PM

New research by US scientists has detected that the Sun is emitting a higher than expected amount of high-energy light consisting of gamma rays. But the most unusual thing is that the rays with the highest energy appear when the star is at its least active point, according to the study, which is published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The work is the first investigation that has examined gamma rays over most of the solar cycle, a period of about 11 years during which the activity of the star increases and decreases.

The group of scientists, led by astrophysicist Tim Linden, analyzed data that NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray space telescope collected between August 2008 and November 2017. The observations included a period of low solar activity in 2008 and 2009, a period of greatest activity in 2013 and a reduction in activity…

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Credit: NASA


Temporary weather effects and more. For more background, there are several extra links in the original ScienceNews article.

A year after the total solar eclipse of 2017, scientists are still pondering the mysteries of the sun.

It’s been a year since the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, captured millions of imaginations as the moon briefly blotted out the sun and cast a shadow that crisscrossed the United States from Oregon to South Carolina.

“It was an epic event by all measures,” NASA astrophysicist Madhulika Guhathakurta told a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans in December. One survey reports that 88 percent of adults in the United States — some 216 million people — viewed the eclipse either directly or electronically.

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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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