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Latest Solar cycle Stories

2011-02-22 22:03:24

Total Irradiance Monitor on Glory to study changes in the sun's brightness, impact on climate change A $28 million University of Colorado Boulder instrument developed to study changes in the sun's brightness and its impact on Earth's climate is one of two primary payloads on NASA's Glory mission set to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Feb. 23. Designed and built by a team from CU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, the instrument called the Total...

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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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2011-01-20 13:32:03

Earth's climate continues to change at a rapid pace. Last week, NASA announced that 2010 was tied as the warmest year on record. Likewise, the last decade was the warmest in the 130-year global temperature record maintained by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City. Meanwhile, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, engineers are preparing NASA's next Earth-observing mission -- a satellite called Glory -- for launch in late February. The...

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2011-01-15 11:02:06

Scientists have taken a major step toward accurately determining the amount of energy that the sun provides to Earth, and how variations in that energy may contribute to climate change. In a new study of laboratory and satellite data, researchers report a lower value of that energy, known as total solar irradiance, than previously measured and demonstrate that the satellite instrument that made the measurement"”which has a new optical design and was calibrated in a new way"”has...

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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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2010-12-17 08:16:09

Two satellite instruments aboard NASA's Solar Radiation & Climate Experiment (SORCE) mission -- the Total Solar Irradiance Monitor (TIM) and the Solar Irradiance Monitor (SIM) -- have made daily measurements of the sun's brightness since 2003. The two instruments are part of an ongoing effort to monitor variations in solar output that could affect Earth's climate. Both instruments measure aspects of the sun's irradiance, the intensity of the radiation striking the top of the atmosphere....

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2010-11-07 07:54:19

Nine years after beginning its unprecedented look at the gateway between Earth's environment and space, not to mention collecting more data on the upper atmosphere than any other satellite, NASA's Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) mission has been extended again. Before the launch of TIMED, the mesosphere and lower thermosphere/ionosphere -- which help protect us from harmful solar radiation -- had been one of the least explored and understood regions of our...

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2010-10-15 11:25:00

After detailed analysis of data from the SOHO and GOES spacecraft, a team of European scientists has been able to shed new light on the role of solar flares in the total output of radiation from our nearest star. Their surprising conclusion is that X-rays account for only about 1 per cent of the total energy emitted by these explosive events. Flares are sudden energy releases in the Sun's atmosphere that occur when the solar magnetic field is locally unstable. When the magnetic field lines...

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2010-09-29 05:55:00

The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, have dwindled in the last five years, becoming more rare than at any other time in the last hundred years, said the Finnish Meteorological Institute on Tuesday. The Northern Lights typically follow an eleven-year "solar cycle," in which frequency of the phenomena increases to a maximum point then begins to taper off toward a minimum and then repeats the cycle. The last solar minimum occurred in 2008, but seems to have continued "on and on and on,"...

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2010-08-27 09:09:44

Star known as HD49933 is located 100 light years away from Earth In a bid to unlock long-standing mysteries of the sun, including the impacts on Earth of its 11-year cycle, an international team of scientists has successfully probed a distant star. By monitoring the star's sound waves, the team has observed a magnetic cycle analogous to the sun's solar cycle. Results of the study, conducted by scientists at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., and...


Latest Solar cycle Reference Libraries

How Solar Cycles Impact Our Weather Here On Earth
2013-01-13 09:10:34

Solar cycles: what are they and why should we care about them? Solar cycles are made up of what are known as solar minimums (min) and solar maximums (max). We refer to a solar min at the time when the sun is not active with many sunspots, while a solar max is just the opposite when we see a large increase in sunspot activity. So how long do solar cycles last? Typically they run on what is known as an 11 year cycle from the max to the min and then start over again anew. As of 2012 we...

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2004-10-19 04:45:41

Solar Maximum -- The Sun, a roiling ball of plasma, occupies its place in space approximately 93 million miles from Earth. Though it seems simple to inhabitants of this planet -- the Sun shines, giving light and heat -- the processes occurring in the Sun are so complex that many scientists devote their careers to just one aspect of solar activity. Changes in the activity of the Sun particularly engage solar scientists. Whether fluctuations in the solar magnetic field, expulsions of...

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Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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