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    Carol
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    Post  Carol Sat May 22, 2021 11:14 am


    SLEEPING SUNSPOT WAKES UP: After nearly a week of somnolent quiet, sunspot AR2824 is flaring again. An impulsive C4.8-class flare during the late hours of May 21st (1928 UT) was followed by an even stronger C6.1-flare on May 22nd (0256 UT). This image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the UV flash from the C6.1-flare:

    AR2824 is now strobing Earth with pulses of ultraviolet radiation. Waves of ionization rippling through Earth's upper atmosphere have caused shortwave radio blackouts over North America on May 21st (map) and southeast Asia on May 22nd (map). Ham radio operators, aviators and mariners might have noticed unusual propagation at frequencies below ~20 MHz.

    So far there is no sign of Earth-directed CMEs from these explosions; no geomagnetic storms are in the offing. However, stay tuned for updates. Newly-arriving coronagraph imagery from SOHO could change the forecast.


    Last edited by Carol on Fri Aug 27, 2021 7:16 pm; edited 2 times in total


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    Post  Carol Sat May 22, 2021 11:17 am

    SpaceWeather updates 7sisters
    SOLAR CONJUNCTION OF THE PLEIADES: Are you looking for the Pleiades? Don't. It will only hurt your eyes. The Seven Sisters are in conjunction with the sun, high overhead at noon. This short video from SOHO (the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) shows the star cluster passing by the sun on May 21st:

    The Pleiades pass by the sun every year around this time. Human eyes cannot see the close encounter, but SOHO can. Onboard coronagraphs use an opaque disk to block the glare of the sun, revealing nearby stars, asteroids, comets and, in this case, star clusters. Coronagraphs are designed to monitor coronal mass ejections (CMEs), but since the launch of SOHO in 1995 they have proven useful for so much more.

    The Pleiades will be gliding by the sun for some days to come. Join SOHO for a ringside seat. https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime-images.html

    NEXT WEEK: A LUNAR ECLIPSE! On May 26th, the full Moon will pass through the shadow of Earth, producing a total lunar eclipse visible from parts of Asia, Antarctica, Australia and the Americas. For 14 and a half minutes, the disk of the Moon will turn orange--the same color as the core of our planet's shadow. In the USA, this will be a crack-of-dawn event visible from the western half of the country.


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    Post  Carol Sun May 23, 2021 7:31 am

    Explosive volcanic eruptions triggered by cosmic rays: Volcano as a bubble chamber.

    Recall there is a link between low solar activity (#GrandSolarMinimum) and increased volcanic activity — particularly silica-rich volcanoes are activated by the increased Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs): Grand Solar Minimum Symptoms:

    There are several lessons learned from studying earlier cycles, and particularly good data on very early global cooling events in Europe. See also specific examples, throughout previous cycles in History.

    See also "GSM Symptoms" to read about other characteristics of low solar activity — it's not just agriculture that suffers: hail storms, seismic/volcanic, weakened (meridional) jetstream, electrical activity in Earth's atmosphere (purple aurora, "sprites"), precipitative extremes (hence the "hunger stones" at low river levels, but also the 100-year floods):

    https://wiki.iceagefarmer.com/wiki/Grand_Solar_Minimum_Symptoms

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1342937X10001966


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    Post  Carol Sun May 23, 2021 1:01 pm

    https://spaceweather.com/ - May 23, 2021

    SOLAR FLARE FRENZY AND CME: Yesterday, May 22nd, sunspot AR2824 unleashed a sequence of solar flares unlike anything we've seen in years. In only 24 hours, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded 10 C-flares and 2 M-flares: movie. The rapidfire explosions hurled multiple overlapping CMEs into space. According to NOAA models, at least one of them will graze Earth's magnetic field on May 26th. The impact of the CME's dense flank could spark G1-class geomagnetic storms and auroras.


    SpaceWeather updates Dynamicspectrum_strip


    The radio burst coincided with an M1.4-class solar flare at 21:30 UT. "This was a very hot and dynamic flare for sure," says Ashcraft. "I was recording audio at 22 MHz and 21 MHz, and my radio spectrograph was operating from 30 MHz down to 15 MHz. Strong solar radio emissions were present at all frequencies."

    This event was so intense, radio operators in the Arctic heard it at midnight. Rob Stammes chart-recorded the outburst from the Polarlightcenter in Lofoten, Norway:


    SpaceWeather updates Spit_strip

    "This wasn't even a particularly strong flare," says Cukas. "It was a C2-class eruption at approximately 15:34 UT." Cukas recorded the event using a homemade solar telescope and a Solar Spectrum brand H-alpha filter.

    "Normally, solar radio bursts can only be received during daylight hours," says Stammes. "Here in the Lofoten islands, the sun is only just below the horizon in May around midnight. So I was able to detect the event even though the sun was not up."

    Astronomers classify solar radio bursts into 5 types. Ashcraft's radio spectrograph is able to determine which ones were present in the May 22nd outburst. "It was a mixture of Type II and Type V," he says. These are caused, respectively, by shock waves and electron beams moving through the sun's atmosphere in the aftermath of strong flares.

    The flaring of sunspot AR2824 continues apace on May 23rd, so more radio bursts may be in the offing.

    SpaceWeather updates Midnightradioburst_strip

    HUGE SOLAR RADIO BURST: During yesterday's frenzy, the sun emitted a shortwave radio burst so loud that "it drowned out lightning static from a severe local thunderstorm," reports Thomas Ashcraft, who recorded the noisy signal using a radio telescope in rural New Mexico. Click to listen to a 100 second sample of the sounds emerging from his loudspeaker.


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    Post  Carol Tue May 25, 2021 8:38 am

    GEOMAGNETIC STORM WATCH: On May 22nd, sunspot AR2824 unleashed a sequence of solar flares unlike anything we've seen in years. In only 24 hours, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded 10 C-flares and 2 M-flares: movie. The rapidfire explosions hurled multiple overlapping CMEs into space. According to NOAA models, a combined CME will hit Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of May 25th, potentially sparking G2-class geomagnetic storms on May 26th.

    Solar storms are back, threatening life as we know it on Earth - A few days ago, millions of tons of super-heated gas shot off from the surface of the sun and hurtled 90 million miles toward Earth.

    https://phys.org/news/2021-05-solar-storms-threatening-life-earth.html


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    Post  Carol Tue May 25, 2021 5:07 pm

    SpaceWeather updates Blood-Moon

    SpaceWeather updates Th.jpg?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP

    The wolves will be howling...

    How to Watch Tomorrow's ‘Super Blood Moon’ Eclipse


    On Wednesday, May 26, the Moon will move into Earth’s shadow, resulting in the first total lunar eclipse in nearly two and a half years. Here’s how to seeit, regardless of where you live in the world.

    The eclipse is “super” because the Moon will pass near to its orbital perigee—its closest point to Earth—making it appear large and bright in the sky (the Moon will appear about 7% larger than normal).

    As for the “blood” part of the equation, our large natural satellite should be cast in a distinctly reddish glow, a result of the Sun’s rays being filtered through Earth’s atmosphere; lunar eclipses happen when the Moon passes through Earth’s shadow, but some sunlight manages to reach the lunar surface.

    Watch the Moon turn red during this month’s total lunar eclipse

    A total lunar eclipse generally lasts for hours, requires no equipment to see, and is completely safe to look at — no filter required. There’s no blinding Sun in the sky; all we’re watching is Earth’s shadow fall across Luna’s face. And on the morning of Wednesday, May 26, many observers on our planet’s night side will see that happen.


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    Post  Carol Fri May 28, 2021 1:18 pm

    SpaceWeather updates Bolt_crop

    A 'LIGHTNING BOLT' ON THE SUN: Yesterday, during the late hours of May 27th, the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2824 became unstable and erupted. The blast expelled a mass of hot plasma that zig-zagged across the surface of the sun like an oversized lightning bolt:

    "Oversized" in this case means ~500,000 km long. The blast channel stretched almost one and a half times the distance from Earth to the Moon!

    Because the debris was confined to the sun's surface, possibly guided and held down by a naturally-occuring tunnel of magnetic arches, there was no significant coronal mass ejection (CME). This was an explosion that failed to launch.

    SOLAR SECTOR BOUNDARY CROSSING: Earth's magnetic field is quieting as effects from the May 26th CME impact subside. The calm should continue until May 30th when our planet is expected to cross through a fold in the heliospheric current sheet.The crossing, called a "solar sector boundary crossing," could trigger minor geomagnetic activity. Solar wind speed: 445.3 km/sec


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    Post  Carol Mon May 31, 2021 1:06 pm

    SpaceWeather updates C3_splash2


    JUST IN - AN OFF-TARGET CME MIGHT SIDESWIPE EARTH: Minor G1-class geomagnetic storms are possible on June 1st when a CME is expected to sideswipe Earth's magnetic field. The storm cloud was hurled into space on May 28th by departing sunspot AR2824, shown here in a movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory:

    This is one of the brightest and fastest CMEs of new Solar Cycle 25. If it were heading directly toward Earth the forecast might be different, calling for major instead of minor geomagnetic storms. However, sunspot AR2824 was almost all the way out of the Earth strike zone when it erupted on May 28th. Only the trailing periphery of the plasma cloud is likely to reach us.

    That said, even glancing blows from CMEs can produce a good light show. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on June 1st.


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    Post  Carol Wed Jun 02, 2021 6:44 am

    WAITING FOR A CME: A CME (movie) expected to sideswipe Earth yesterday did not. It either missed or it's late. NOAA analysts are leaning toward "late." A glancing blow is still possible on June 2nd. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras, especially in the southern hemisphere where autumn darkness favors visibility.

    SpaceWeather updates Virga_strip

    IRIDESCENT VIRGA OVER PARIS: Bertrand Kulik is a nature photographer who does some of his best work from the balcony of his apartment. Can you blame him for staying home? He lives in Paris! "At the end of the day on May 29th, I saw these iridescent clouds of virga from my flat in District 15," he says.

    Virga is rain that evaporates before it hits the ground. Of course, Parisian virga doesn't fall from ordinary gray rainclouds. These are iridescent; small water droplets (probably supercooled below freezing) diffract the rays of the setting sun to produce a raincap of pastel color.

    "I have seen virga before, but never like this," says Kulik. For some photographers, there's no place like home.


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    With deepest respect ~ Aloha & Mahalo, Carol
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    Post  Carol Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:51 pm

    SpaceWeather updates Longbeach_strip

    SOLAR ECLIPSE TODAY: Sunrise has never been so beautiful--or weird. On Thursday, June 10th, dawn broke over the northeastern USA and Canada with a solar eclipse in progress. Here is what it looked like from Long Beach, New Jersey:

    "We saw two symmetric horns rise above the waves of the Atlantic," says photographer Michael Zeiler. "Heavy refraction in the low atmosphere squashed the crescent-shaped sun into a truly fantastical shape."

    As the eclipsed sun continued to rise, cameras clicked around New York City where the crescent hung behind many iconic landmarks. For example:


    SpaceWeather updates Liberty_strip


    "It was a partly cloudy kind of morning, but I was able to capture this amazing experience through some of the gaps in the clouds," says photographer Anthony Quintano.

    The eclipse was visible in Europe, too, as an afternoon event. The sun was high in the sky when astrophotographer Thierry Legault caught a rare solar transit of the International Space Station not far from the dark limb of the Moon:


    SpaceWeather updates Isstransit_strip2


    "I drove 400km from Paris to Macon, France, to get this split-second shot," says Legault. "As usual, there was a lot of adrenalin!"


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    What is life?
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    Post  Carol Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:43 pm

    More potential scary shi t.

    THE TERMINATION EVENT: Something big may be about to happen on the sun. "We call it the Termination Event," says Scott McIntosh, a solar physicist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), "and it's very, very close to happening."

    If you've never heard of the Termination Event, you're not alone. Many researchers have never heard of it either. It's a relatively new idea in solar physics championed by McIntosh and colleague Bob Leamon of the University of Maryland - Baltimore County. According to the two scientists, vast bands of magnetism are drifting across the surface of the sun. When oppositely-charged bands collide at the equator, they annihilate (or "terminate"). There's no explosion; this is magnetism, not anti-matter. Nevertheless, the Termination Event is a big deal. It can kickstart the next solar cycle into a higher gear.

    SpaceWeather updates Terminate_anim_strip
    Above: Oppositely charged bands of magnetism march toward the sun's equator where they annihilate one another, kickstarting the next solar cycle.

    "If the Terminator Event happens soon, as we expect, new Solar Cycle 25 could have a magnitude that rivals the top few since record-keeping began," says McIntosh.

    This is, to say the least, controversial. Most solar physicists believe that Solar Cycle 25 will be weak, akin to the anemic Solar Cycle 24 which barely peaked back in 2012-2013. Orthodox models of the sun's inner magnetic dynamo favor a weak cycle and do not even include the concept of "terminators."

    "What can I say?" laughs McIntosh. "We're heretics!"

    The researchers outlined their reasoning in a December 2020 paper in the research journal Solar Physics. Looking back over 270 years of sunspot data, they found that Terminator Events divide one solar cycle from the next, happening approximately every 11 years. Emphasis on approximately. The interval between terminators ranges from 10 to 15 years, and this is key to predicting the solar cycle.

    SpaceWeather updates Cycles_strip
    Above: Marked in red, the official forecast for Solar Cycle 25 is weak.

    "We found that the longer the time between terminators, the weaker the next cycle would be," explains Leamon. "Conversely, the shorter the time between terminators, the stronger the next solar cycle would be."

    Example: Sunspot Cycle 4 began with a terminator in 1786 and ended with a terminator in 1801, an unprecedented 15 years later. The following cycle, 5, was incredibly weak with a peak amplitude of just 82 sunspots. That cycle would become known as the beginning of the "Dalton" Grand Minimum.

    Solar Cycle 25 is shaping up to be the opposite. Instead of a long interval, it appears to be coming on the heels of a very short one, only 10 years since the Terminator Event that began Solar Cycle 24. Previous solar cycles with such short intervals have been among the strongest in recorded history.

    These ideas may be controversial, but they have a virtue that all scientists can appreciate: They're testable. If the Termination Event happens soon and Solar Cycle 25 skyrockets, the "heretics" may be on to something. Stay tuned.



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    Post  Carol Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:57 pm

    SOLAR WIND, INCOMING: A high-speed stream of solar wind is approaching Earth. ETA: June 15-16. The gaseous material is flowing from a southern hole in the sun's atmosphere and could spark high-latitude auroras when it arrives.


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    Post  Carol Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:50 pm



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    Post  Carol Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:55 pm

    A SUNSPOT GEYSER: Sunspot AR2833 has gone nearly two weeks without producing a significant flare. Don't call it 'boring' though. "This sunspot has a furious geyser," says Apollo Lasky who photographed the plasma fountain from his backyard observatory in Naperville, Illinois:


    SpaceWeather updates Geyser_strip_opt2


    The geyser (if that's what it really is) dwarfs any geyser on Earth. It is more than a million times the size of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, and could swallow most US states.

    This could be an unusual type of "Moving Magnetic Feature" (MMF). MMFs are plasma flows around sunspots that carry away magnetic flux, causing sunspots to wither and decay. AR2833, however, has been remarkably stable (we didn't say 'boring'), barely changing as it glides quietly across the face of the sun. If the geyser is an MMF, it is not having the usual effect.


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    Post  Carol Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:13 am

    July 6th

    Dr. Tamitha Skov
    Surreal!! The first X-Class flare #SolarCycle25! Newly promising region 2838 demonstrates new yce can do! R3-level #Radio Blackout dying off on Earth's dayside & more possible X-flare risk likely jumps 30% #Radiation storm risk grows. Expect #GPS & radios issues.

    How many solar flares do you see? We just had another M-flare as well. That makes 3 #RadioBlackouts in the past 24 hours. Lots of smaller flares too popping like popcorn on the Earth's dayside. Note the nightside is unaffected. If you can't see the sun you can't hear it scream.

    The recent X-flares sets records. Not only is it the first of Solar#25, but it's also the first to create a slow EMP-like (E-3) magnetic crochet. This may explain why some #amateur radio stations near the dayside equator had to cycle power to resume ops.

    I see Radio Blackout
    Storm Risk
    Popcorn
    First in many years (y now?)
    Light
    Heat
    ETC

    CORONAL MASS EJECTION 7/8/21: Decaying sunspot AR2837 (N17W36) erupted on July 7th, hurling a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space: movie. Most of the CME is heading away from Earth, but it still might affect us. NOAA analysts are looking into the possibility of a glancing blow by the CME's flank a few days from now.

    CO-ROTATING INTERACTION REGION: NOAA forecasters say there is a chance of geomagnetic unrest on July 9th when a co-rotating interaction region (CIR) is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. CIRs are transition zones between slow- and fast-moving solar wind. Solar wind plasma piles up in these regions, producing CME-like density gradients that can spark auroras. Aurora alerts: SMS Text.

    A BIG GLOWING CLOUD OF MARSDUST: Dust storms on Mars are bigger than we thought; they even spill into space. According to a recent paper in JGR Planets, Mars appears to be leaking dust, filling a huge volume of the inner solar system with gritty debris. You can see it with your naked eye. The bright triangle in this image from the Haleakalā Observatory in Hawaii is marsdust:


    SpaceWeather updates Zl_strip

    "A friend described it as blazing," says Rob Ratkowski, who took the picture on Feb. 10th. "It was bright and very obvious."

    It's called Zodiacal Light, and astronomers have long wondered what causes it. The usually faint triangle is sunlight scattered by dust in the plane of our solar system. The dust, it turns out, comes from Mars.

    NASA's Juno spacecraft flew through the dust cloud en route to Jupiter between 2011 and 2016. Dust grains smashed into Juno at about 10,000 mph, chipping off submillimeter pieces of spacecraft. Juno's oversized solar arrays turned out to be excellent dust detectors, registering as many as 200 hits per day.

    Ironically, the sandblasting allowed researchers to map the cloud for the first time. One theory of Zodiacal Light held that asteroids were responsible. Yet, as Juno flew through the asteroid belt toward Jupiter, impact rates sharply dropped, sometimes to zero. Asteroids were not the answer. Instead, they realized, the dust must be coming from Mars. Orbital elements of the dust grains essentially match that of the Red Planet.



    Mars is the dustiest place in the Solar System, with dust storms that envelop the entire planet for months. But how does this dust escape? During storms, dust is sometimes launched to very high altitudes in the Martian atmosphere; researchers call it 'rocket dust'. However, leaving Mars requires overcoming escape velocity (~5 km/s), and even rocket dust has trouble doing that. Dust grains would have an easier time launching from Phobos and Deimos; however, those small moons don't produce enough dust to explain the Zodiacal Light.

    So, there's still a mystery here. Mars has the dust, but researchers haven't yet figured out how Mars delivers it. Lead author John Leif Jørgensen (Technical University of Denmark) and colleagues hope other scientists will help them solve this final piece of the puzzle.



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    With deepest respect ~ Aloha & Mahalo, Carol
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    Post  Carol Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:18 am

    Are Intensifying Solar System Magnetic Fields Affecting Earth's Crust? (Video)
    Date: Wednesday, 7-Jul-2021 11:49:59


    So many strange incidents of collapse and fire across the planet all in the same weeks, so it makes me wonder if its related to the solar system's second magnetic field forming. What if Ley Lines or Veins of Minerals began to vibrate faster and heat up?



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    Post  Carol Mon Jul 12, 2021 1:50 pm

    SpaceWeather updates X525022main-faq12-0-1625988139.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ZhzCbeImP2
    These incredible images shared by NASA of the Sun in different wavelengths will leave you awestruck

    Solar storm warning: 'High speed' space storm to hit earth today or tomorrow
    By Madhuri Adnal | Updated: Sunday, July 11, 2021

    WINDY WITH A CHANCE OF STORMS: Today, a high-speed stream of solar wind is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. Wind speeds could top 600 km/s, sparking minor (G1-class) geomagnetic storms and high latitude auroras. The gaseous material is flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun's atmosphere.

    New Delhi, July 11: A geomagnetic storm (also known as a solar storm) approaching the Earth at a speed of 1.6 million kilometers and this storm will hit the Earth either on Sunday (July 11) or Monday (July 12).

    Solar storm approaching Earth likely to hit today; can affect GPS & mobile signal | Oneindia News
    People living at northerly or southerly latitudes may also expect to see beautiful aurora during the night time, a report with Spaceweather.com has stated.

    Solar storm is a temporary disturbance of the Earth's magnetosphere caused by a solar wind shock wave and/or cloud of magnetic field that interacts with the Earth's magnetic field.

    Our sun's adolescence was stormy-and new evidence shows that these tempests may have been just the key to seeding life as we know it.

    Some 4 billion years ago, the sun shone with only about three-quarters the brightness we see today, but its surface roiled with giant eruptions spewing enormous amounts of solar material and radiation out into space. These powerful solar explosions may have provided the crucial energy needed to warm Earth, despite the sun's faintness. The eruptions also may have furnished the energy needed to turn simple molecules into the complex molecules such as RNA and DNA that were necessary for life. The research was published in Nature Geoscience on May 23, 2016, by a team of scientists from NASA.

    NASA looks at Louisiana delta system, eyes global forecasts using high-tech airborne systemsNASA looks at Louisiana delta system, eyes global forecasts using high-tech airborne systems

    What is a geomagnetic storm?
    The Earth's magnetosphere is created by our magnetic field and protects us from most of the particles the sun emits. When a CME or high-speed stream arrives at Earth it buffets the magnetosphere. If the arriving solar magnetic field is directed southward it interacts strongly with the oppositely oriented magnetic field of the Earth. The Earth's magnetic field is then peeled open like an onion allowing energetic solar wind particles to stream down the field lines to hit the atmosphere over the poles. At the Earth's surface a magnetic storm is seen as a rapid drop in the Earth's magnetic field strength. This decrease lasts about 6 to 12 hours, after which the magnetic field gradually recovers over a period of several days.

    Do solar storms affect Earth?
    Modern society depends on a variety of technologies susceptible to the extremes of space weather. Strong electrical currents driven along the Earth's surface during auroral events disrupt electric power grids and contribute to the corrosion of oil and gas pipelines.

    Changes in the ionosphere during geomagnetic storms interfere with high-frequency radio communications and Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation. During polar cap absorption events caused by solar protons, radio communications can be compromised for commercial airliners on transpolar crossing routes.

    Exposure of spacecraft to energetic particles during solar energetic particle events and radiation belt enhancements cause temporary operational anomalies, damage critical electronics, degrade solar arrays, and blind optical systems such as imagers and star trackers.

    How long does Solar storms usually last?
    Solar storms can last only a few minutes to several hours but the affects of geomagnetic storms can linger in the Earth's magnetosphere and atmosphere for days to weeks.


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    Post  Carol Sat Jul 24, 2021 8:56 am

    WAITING FOR THE CME: A CME expected to sideswipe Earth's magnetic field on July 23rd did not arrive on time. It might have missed, or it may yet deliver a glancing blow later today July 24th. There is a slight chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms in response to a tardy arrival on July 24th. Aurora alerts: SMS Text.

    LONG DURATION SOLAR FLARE: Today began with an explosion on the sun. Minutes after UT midnight, sunspot AR2849 erupted, producing a long-duration C4-class flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the ultraviolet flash:


    SpaceWeather updates C4_teal_anim_strip_opt


    An hour-long pulse of X-rays and ultraviolet radiation ionized the top of Earth's atmosphere, disrupting the usual propagation of radio waves over the Pacific Ocean. Mariners, aviators, and ham radio operators may have noticed sudden drops in signal strength at frequencies below 20 MHz: blackout map.

    The explosion also hurled a CME into space: movie. The cloud does not appear to be heading for Earth.

    ==

    ALPHA CAPRICORNID METEOR SHOWER: Today, meteor storms are rare, but a few hundred years from now they could be commonplace. Consider this fireball, recorded by Thomas Ashcraft on July 21st, a preview of things to come:


    SpaceWeather updates Radiant


    "This is a probable alpha Capricornid," says Ashcraft, who operates an automated meteor camera in rural New Mexico. "It was magnitude -11, about as bright as a waxing gibbous Moon." Next: Turn up the volume. The soundtrack is a 54.309 MHz digital TV signal reflected from the fireball's ionized trail.

    Alpha Capricornid meteors are debris from Comet 169P/NEAT. They appear every year in late July, peaking around the July-August boundary with 5 to 9 meteors per hour. Many "alpha Caps" are slow, bright fireballs.

    This is a minor shower today, but in the not-too-distant future, it could turn into a regular meteor storm. Researchers Peter Jenniskens (SETI Institute) and Jeremie Vaubaillon (Paris Observatory) have studied the alpha Capricornid debris stream. They believe it resulted from a major fragmentation event ~5000 years ago when as much as half of the original comet disintegrated. Since then, the debris has been drifting toward Earth.


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    Post  Carol Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:57 am



    ALL QUIET ALERT: A CME expected to hit Earth on July 23rd or 24th has missed. Our planet's magnetic field is quiet and should remain so until July 28th when a new stream of solar wind arrives. The gaseous material is flowing from a sinuous hole in the sun's atmosphere.


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    Post  Carol Tue Jul 27, 2021 9:24 am

    Tuesday, Jul. 27, 2021

    What's up in space

    SpaceWeather updates Coronalhole_sdo_200

    Solar wind flowing from this northern coronal hole could brush Earth on July 28th.

    GEOMAGNETIC FORECAST:
    Today, Earth's magnetic field is quiet. It should stay that way until July 28th when a narrow stream of solar wind arrives. The gaseous material is flowing from a sinuous hole in the sun's atmosphere, and could trigger minor (Kp=4) geomagnetic unrest. Aurora alerts: SMS Text.

    SUBSIDING NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: After a long summer of record setting, noctilucent clouds (NLCs) are finally starting to subside. This 1-week animation of data from NASA's AIM spacecraft shows the recent contraction of the North Pole's noctilucent ring:


    SpaceWeather updates Nlc_1week_anim_strip

    NLCs are Earth’s highest clouds. They form when summertime wisps of water vapor rise up to the edge of space, about 83 km high, and crystalize around disintegrated meteoroids. When you see one, you’re literally seeing a cloud of frosted meteor smoke.

    It's not unusual for the clouds to retreat in late July. To show how noctilucent cloud cover typically changes during summer months, atmospheric scientist Cora Randall (University of Colorado LASP) made this plot:


    SpaceWeather updates Frequencies_strip

    These are data from AIM. Since the spacecraft was launched in 2007, NLCs have typically started their seasonal decline ~30 days after the summer solstice--that is, about now. To help us pick out the year 2021, Randall included a pane with all previous years colored grey; 2021 is highlighted in red.

    "You'll see that although we've probably passed the peak, we're still seeing more clouds than average for this time of year," says Randall. "I don't think ground-based observers should put their cameras away quite yet!"

    Indeed, even subsiding NLCs can put on a beautiful show. High-latitude observers often photograph them deep into August--sometimes alongside auroras in darkening Arctic skies. It doesn't get much better than that.


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    Post  Carol Wed Jul 28, 2021 10:02 am

    THE SOLAR WIND HAS ARRIVED: Earth is entering a stream of solar wind flowing ~550 km/s from a sinuous hole in the sun's atmosphere. First contact during the early hours of July 28th opened a crack in Earth's magnetic field, sparking an hours-long episode of minor (Kp=4) geomagnetic unrest. So far, no auroras have been reported. Aurora alerts: SMS Text.

    MERCURY AND A CME: Looking for Mercury? Don't. It's blindingly close to the sun. Yesterday, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) photographed Mercury only 6 degrees from the solar disk. Play the movie and watch a CME target the first planet:

    No, the CME didn't actually hit Mercury. Mercury is at the farside of its orbit, preparing to pass behind the sun (astronomers call this "superior solar conjunction"). The narrow CME passed between us and Mercury, creating only the appearance of impact.

    At closest approach on Aug. 1st, Mercury will be just 1.7 degrees from the sun. The day before, Mercury will skim the outskirts of the Beehive star cluster. Human eyes cannot see these events, but coronagraphs can. Join SOHO for a ringside seat.

    SOUTHERN DELTA AQUARID METEOR SHOWER: Last night, NASA's network of all-sky meteor cameras detected five southern delta Aquarid fireballs over the USA. This one, photographed from Mt. Lemmon in Arizona, was easily visible in full moonlight:


    SpaceWeather updates Sda

    Five fireballs in one night is a good sign. Even more may be expected when the shower peaks on July 29-30. The southern delta Aquarid meteor shower happens every year in late July when Earth passes through a stream of debris from sungrazing Comet 96P/Machholz. It is known for its fast bright fireballs, best seen during the hours around local midnight when the constellation Aquarius is above the southern horizon.

    🪐 SPACE – 🇳🇴 Norway: An unusually large meteor briefly lit up southern Norway on Sunday, creating a spectacular sound and light display as it rumbled across the sky.

    Reports and experts say, "A bit of it may have hit the Earth, possibly not far from the capital, Oslo".


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    Post  Carol Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:21 pm

    SERIOUS DISTURBANCES IN THE MAGNETOSPHERE!

    7/27/21 - Paradoxically, there are immense amounts of interplanetary magnetic fields - IMF (blue) which not only weaken the di-pole massively, - they also strike more and more frequently through the protective shield and reach earth. These fields cannot come from the sun, as the solar wind is at "minimum" in all parameters and the orange / yellow background coming from the sun also indicates that the intensity is significantly higher than can be read on the monitors. These IM fields probably come from the intergalactic cloud, into which we have been penetrating ever deeper since 1995 - they have crossed in about 1,000 years, but until then we have to live with these "non-sun" IM fields, which have a strong impact on all life Impact earth! -


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    Post  Carol Fri Jul 30, 2021 1:32 pm

    SpaceWeather updates Nuclearaurora_strip  
    Above: 'Nuclear auroras' over Honolulu (L) and a Pacific surveillance aircraft (R) on July 9, 1962.

    NUCLEAR BOMBS CAN CAUSE GEOMAGNETIC STORMS: They called it "Starfish Prime." On July 9, 1962, the US military exploded a thermonuclear warhead 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean. What happened next surprised everyone.

    Witnesses from Hawaii to New Zealand reported auroras dancing overhead, magnificent midnight "rainbow stripes" that tropical sky watchers had never seen before. Radios fell silent, then suddenly became noisy. Burglar alarms sounded as local streetlights in Honolulu went black.

    Starfish Prime essentially created an artificial solar storm complete with auroras, geomagnetic activity, and blackouts. Much of the chaos that night was caused by the electromagnetic pulse (EMP)--a ferocious burst of radiation that can ionize the atmosphere and pepper the ground below with secondary particles akin to cosmic rays. Government and industry researchers have been studying the Starfish Prime EMP for decades.

    A new paper just published in the research journal Earth and Space Science suggests they might be overlooking something.

    "Typical EMP simulations found in government and industry reports use over-simplified models of the Earth," says lead author Jeffrey Love of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). "They do not provide accurate estimates of the hazard in complex geological settings."

    In their paper, Love et al describe how a high-altitude nuclear blast jerks Earth's magnetic field. First, the EMP ionizes a layer of air underneath the bomb. This layer presses downward, pinning Earth's magnetic field lines in their pre-blast locations. Next, as the ionization subsides, the magnetic field springs back. It's a sort of heaving, lurching geomagnetic storm.

    Geomagnetic storms are famous for causing power blackouts. Usually the sun is to blame, but EMPs can do it, too. Lurching magnetic fields cause electrical currents to flow through the ground. Literally, rocks beneath your feet begin to tingle with electricity. These currents, in turn, make their way into grounded electric-power grids, potentially damaging transformers and blacking out power supplies.

    SpaceWeather updates Midcontinent_strip
    Above: A geological map of the eastern midcontinental USA. Triangles mark the locations of recent magnetotelluric measurements.

    The crucial point of Love's paper: Earth is not the same everywhere. In recent years, researchers have been sounding Earth's crust to determine the 3D electrical properties of our planet. These magnetotelluric surveys reveal huge variations in conductivity from place to place, depending on the mix of underlying rock. Love has been one of the pioneers in applying this type of Earth data to space weather, predicting how global geomagnetic storms might affect local power lines. Now he and his colleagues are doing the same with EMPs.

    The team focused their attention on the eastern midcontinental USA, a region bracketed by St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee. Between 2016 and 2019, the USGS conducted a magnetotelluric survey of the area, so the data are fresh. The terrain is remarkable for its mix of rock types. Underneath it all is a layer of Precambrian basement rock, which is electrically resistive; this is overlain by differing depths of younger, electrically conductive sedimentary rock. Notable features include the Ozark Dome, where the sedimentary layer is thin, and the Reelfoot Rift, which is deeply filled with sedimentary rock.

    Love's team simulated a nuclear explosion about 300 km above this region. They found a huge range of geoelectric responses. Some power lines in the simulation had excess voltages near 2000 V, while others were closer to 0 V. Both were sharp departures from previous studies.

    The authors note that the Eastern Midcontinent is just a small fraction of the USA. Similar studies need to be done elsewhere. Researchers still have a lot of ground to cover when it comes to nuclear geomagnetic storms.


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    Post  Carol Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:32 pm


    DENSE SOLAR WIND SPARKS GEOMAGNETIC STORM: A dense wave of solar wind crashed against Earth's magnetic field on August 2nd, sparking a G1-class geomagnetic storm. It may have been a ripple from a passing CME--one of several "near miss CMEs" that left the sun in late July. High-latitude photographers should be alert for auroras in night-sky exposures on Aug. 2-3.


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    Post  Carol Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:02 am


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