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Latest Coronal mass ejection Stories

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2011-04-20 10:09:54

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire studied the largest solar flare recorded in nearly five years. The solar eruption in February was caused by five rotating sunspots working in concert, BBC News reports. Solar flares are eruptions on the surface of the sun which begin as concentrated magnetic fields and are visible as sunspots. As the magnetic fields build up, they twist and erupt, releasing vast amounts of heat, light and radiation."Twisting the Sun's magnetic field is like...

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2011-04-19 08:30:32

The largest disturbances to the Earth's geomagnetic environment occur when it is buffeted by solar material hurled in our direction by explosive changes in the Sun's atmosphere. These Coronal Mass Ejections or CMEs contain approximately a billion tons of ionized gas or plasma and can have a dramatic and damaging impact on everything from satellites to power grids. Now a team of scientists have used two spacecraft to study these events in unprecedented detail. Graduate student Anthony Williams...

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2011-04-15 09:05:00

By Dr. Tony Phillips - Science@NASA If you've ever stood in front of a hot stove, watching a pot of water and waiting impatiently for it to boil, you know what it feels like to be a solar physicist. Back in 2008, the solar cycle plunged into the deepest minimum in nearly a century. Sunspots all but vanished, solar flares subsided, and the sun was eerily quiet. "Ever since, we've been waiting for solar activity to pick up," says Richard Fisher, head of the Heliophysics Division at NASA...

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2011-02-18 05:55:00

A surge of charged plasma particles from a massive solar eruption has brushed off the Earth's northern pole, producing auroras and disrupting some radio communications, according to NASA scientists. However, the Earth appears to have dodged a widespread geomagnetic storm, with the effects confined to the northern latitudes, possibly as far south as Canada and Norway. "There can be sporadic outages based on particular small-scale events," said Dean Persnell, project scientist at NASA's Solar...

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2011-02-16 13:20:00

Observers say that the Sun has unleashed its strongest flare in four years. The eruption was an X-flare, which is the strongest type of flare that can affect communications on Earth. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft recorded an intense flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation emanating from a sunspot. The British Geological Survey (BGS) issued a geomagnetic storm warning and said that observers might be able to see auroras from the northern U.K. The flare was recorded on...

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2011-02-05 08:29:58

Physicists, led by a researcher at the University of Warwick, studying new images of clouds of material exploding from the Sun have spotted instabilities forming in that exploding cloud that are similar to those seen in clouds in Earth's atmosphere. These results could greatly assist physicists trying to understand and predict our Solar System's "weather". The researchers, led by of the Centre for Fusion Space and Astrophysics, at the University of Warwick's Department of Physics, made their...

2011-02-04 11:10:00

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA will score big on super SUN-day at 11 a.m. EST, Sunday, Feb. 6, with the release online of the first complete view of the sun's entire surface and atmosphere. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Seeing the whole sun front and back simultaneously will enable significant advances in space weather forecasting for Earth, and improve planning for future robotic or crewed spacecraft missions throughout the solar...

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2011-01-08 08:15:00

To prevent solar damage to communication, navigation and other high tech systems, scientists are determining the temperatures, composition and movement of materials inside the sunSunspots are huge, dark, irregularly shaped--and yet, temporary--areas of intense magnetism on the sun that expand and contract as they move."The diameters of sunspots are frequently on the order of 50,000 miles," said Frank Hill of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) National Solar Observatory. "By contrast, the...

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2010-12-29 10:25:00

2011 could bring more space weather as the Sun pulls out of a trough of low activity and heads into a long-awaited and possibly destructive period of turbulence. Many people may be surprised to find out that the Sun goes through moments of calm and tempest. However, two centuries of observation have revealed that our star follows an 11-year cycle of behavior. The latest cycle started in 1996 for reasons that are unclear, but it has taken longer than expected to end. Experts say that there...

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2010-12-13 13:55:00

On August 1, 2010, an entire hemisphere of the sun erupted. Filaments of magnetism snapped and exploded, shock waves raced across the stellar surface, billion-ton clouds of hot gas billowed into space. Astronomers knew they had witnessed something big. It was so big, it may have shattered old ideas about solar activity. "The August 1st event really opened our eyes," says Karel Schrijver of Lockheed Martin's Solar and Astrophysics Lab in Palo Alto, CA. "We see that solar storms can be global...