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Latest Sunspot Stories

a55ff5ec73d73a98639c7ec21b4a728e
2011-08-19 07:55:00

Researchers at Reading University said that solar storms are likely to become more disruptive to planes and spacecraft within decades. The team predicts that once the Sun shifts towards an era of lower solar activity, more hazardous radiation will reach Earth. The researchers said in Geophysical Research Letters that the Sun is currently at a grand solar maximum, which is a phase that began in the 1920s. Mike Lockwood, professor of space environment physics at Reading, said in a statement:...

c038d0e2433044b8bef2441b824ccf75
2011-06-23 06:30:00

By Dr. Tony Phillips - Science@NASA In Sept. 1859, on the eve of a below-average1 solar cycle, the sun unleashed one of the most powerful storms in centuries. The underlying flare was so unusual, researchers still aren't sure how to categorize it.  The blast peppered Earth with the most energetic protons in half-a-millennium, induced electrical currents that set telegraph offices on fire, and sparked Northern Lights over Cuba and Hawaii. This week, officials have gathered at the National...

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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...

31d32f937bb5469d6d6c02fc0aa44f631
2011-04-18 09:13:00

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire have monitored the birth of a sunspot over a period of eight hours using observations from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Dr Stephane Regnier will present the results at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno on Monday 18th April. The emerging sunspot was first detectable at 17:00 UT on 30th May 2010 in SDO magnetograms, which map the magnetic intensity of the solar disc. The first signs were small patches of strong...

a9e4828d246fb562b4b4ce46b18879811
2011-03-09 14:11:59

By Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center In March of 1611, a German medical student named Johannes Fabricius left school at Leiden in Holland carrying several of the new-fangled telescopes that were beginning to appear in the Netherlands. He was off to visit his father "“ the well-known astronomer and astrologer David Fabricius who had had a heralded career working with Europe's celebrity astronomers, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. In 1611, David Fabricius lived in Osteel,...

2011-03-02 12:48:00

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA-sponsored research has resulted in the first computer model that explains the recent period of decreased solar activity during the sun's 11-year cycle. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) This recent solar minimum, a period characterized by a lower frequency of sunspots and solar storms, was the deepest observed in almost 100 years. The solar minimum has repercussions on the safety of space travel and...

2f7e635d47dac198a2890d43b4ffa05d
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...

0db1f1b2a72624c503c8348a5a0fa4881
2010-08-26 09:10:50

Why sunspots are a strong source of radio emissions and what information those emissions carry will be the focus of an invited talk by NJIT Research Professor Jeongwoo Lee tomorrow at the International Astronomical Union Symposium on the Physics of Sun and Star Spots in Ventura, CA. The event numbers among the top gatherings in the U.S. for people studying sunspots and related phenomena. Lee, who will speak today, Aug. 26, 2010, will highlight Owens Valley Solar Array (OVSA), one of the two...

2a6c9adc45943567eedfe5045e05fbd91
2010-08-25 09:20:00

NJIT Distinguished Professor Philip R. Goode and the Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) team have achieved "first light" using a deformable mirror in what is called adaptive optics at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO). Using this equipment, an image of a sunspot was published August 23 on the website of Ciel et l'Espace, as the photo of the day: http://www.cieletespace.fr/node/5752 "This photo of a sunspot is now the most detailed ever obtained in visible light," according to Ciel et l'Espace....

2bb53ca739ff7f8448523132e939ab6e1
2010-03-30 07:25:00

After the most profound lull in solar activity for nearly a century, the Sun is finally coming back to life. But will the solar activity return to previous levels? ESA's venerable solar watchdog SOHO is there, watching and measuring, providing unique information about our nearest star. It was the perfect Christmas present for solar physicists. In mid-December 2009, the largest group of sunspots to emerge for several years manifested itself on the solar surface. It occurred just as some solar...


Latest Sunspot Reference Libraries

4_641fa07d2f22a90aec48fb5581337d772
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...

4_993d5736f592b83ac8ab1d50b465fe332
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Sunspot -- A sunspot is a region on the Sun's surface (photosphere) that is marked by a lower temperature than its surroundings, and intense magnetic activity. Although they are blindingly bright, at temperatures of roughly 5000 Kelvin, the contrast with the surrounding material at some 6000 Kelvin leaves them clearly visible as dark spots. Interestingly, if they were isolated from the surrounding photosphere they would be brighter than an electric arc. History Apparent references...

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Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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