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Old 11-02-2008, 12:24 PM   #1
Terra
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Default The Sun is indeed at last waking up.

After a long spell of inactivity the sun appears to be coming out of it's recent slumber.

With a keen interest in this matter I study the SOHO pictures daily for my own peice of mind as we move forward in solar cycle 24. This morning I did my usual check on the website and jumped for joy when I saw this sunspot captured today.

The sun was expected to pick up activity back in November last year as we came out of the solar minimum then NASA said it was due to kick off in March after a delay but since then we have had a very quiet spell with no activity for a long period (months). Sun's face virtually spot-free for months

Apparently I have missed a few also that were in October according to the NewScientistSpace site: New sunspots may signal end of solar dry spell

So, if like me you had concerns about us moving into another quiet period similar to the one experienced between 1645 to 1715 maybe you can breath a sigh of releif again. For more information on this period of time you can read about the Maunder Minimum here.

For those that are interested, there was even an article recently on a spot being square, make up your own mind what it could be

Happy days again...(with respect to this at least).

Cheers all

EDIT: Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Homepage
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Last edited by Terra; 11-02-2008 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Forgot to add SOHO link, sorry
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:59 PM   #2
SIR GALAHAD
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Default Re: The Sun is indeed at last waking up.

HI thanks for the info great but what does this mean for us exactly as im not to up on sunspots thanks /
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:07 AM   #3
Terra
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Default Re: The Sun is indeed at last waking up.

Apologies if I was a bit vague my friend. Although I am not an expert, and someone else may be better suited to explain (please correct me if I am wrong) I shall do my best to elaborate further.

A sunspot is a region on the Sun's surface (photosphere) that is marked by intense magnetic activity, which inhibits convection, forming areas of reduced surface temperature. These areas are shown in black on the MDI Continuum and Magnetogram pictures from the SOHO satellite.




During a "normal" solar cycle, which last roughly 11 years we expect to see a peak (solar maximum - when the sun is at its most active point) and a trough (solar minimum - when the sun is at its quietest point during the cycle). Several dozen sunspots can appear every day during periods of maximum solar activity. But only a small handful of sunspots have occurred during all of 2008 to date, suggesting the Sun's activity is now at a minimum.

NOAA was expecting the new cycle to make a late start in March 2008 after the end of the solar minimum, with a gradual increase in activity peaking around late 2011 or mid-2012, but there has been very little activity so far this year all in all till now, October/November. The tiny spot that was picked up in the 21st/22nd August was so small it seemed insignificant, yet the international authority on sunspots, the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center in Brussels, Belgium, thought it was large enough to make the count.
This has kept watchers here on earth wondering when it would start kicking off again.

The last major spell without any sunspots was during the period known as the Maunder Minimum roughly from 1645 to 1715, when during one 30-year, for example, astronomers observed only about 50 sunspots, as opposed to a more typical 40,000–50,000 spots. At this time the Maunder Minimum coincided with the middle — and coldest part — of the Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North America, and perhaps much of the rest of the world, were subjected to bitterly cold winters.


A Frost Fair on the Thames at Temple Stairs (1684)
by the Dutch painter Abraham Hondius (1625-1695)


This era is often called the "Little Ice Age". During this time it got so cold that rivers and lakes that were normally ice-free froze over and the snow did not melt all year round even at low latitudes. In the middle of the 17th century temperatures dropped so low that the Baltic sea and the Thames River froze over regularly. The ice on the Thames in London was so thick that people organized winter festivals with skating parties and carnivals on the river.



Another major threat that NOAA and NASA also monitor avidly are the solar flares or coronal mass ejections which are common with increased solar activity. These could be a real threat to our satellites and also power stations/electrical systems here on earth if they are big enough. Like a massive EMP pulse, now we rely on technology so much, could possibly have the ability to shut down us down and send us back to the stoneage in a worst case scenario.


Picture of a CME taken in 2000. The plate in the middle of the picture protects SOHO's sensors etc.

Here are a few articles that may be of interest:

NOAA: Sunspot is Harbinger of New Solar Cycle, Increasing Risk for Electrical Systems - Jan 2008
NASA: Solar Storm Warning - Oct 2006
NASA: Historic solar storm in 1859

The one thing that protects us from this solar activity is the earth's electromagnetic sphere, which if some reports are correct is very slowly getting weaker.



Hope this explains it more for you, someone else here on Avalon might be able to better explain it. I am no professional and am here purely to monitor every scenario I can for my family in these trying times.

All the best
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Old 11-04-2008, 11:21 PM   #4
SIR GALAHAD
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Default Re: The Sun is indeed at last waking up.

Thanks terra for that very informative now i see . that does go pretty much with a vision i had to do with future earth were people were living in gold coloured dome style house of heat proof a bit like the foil you see on the satelites and also peoples clothing was also made from the same material and if you didnt wear this you would burn very quickly
better get your factor 50 ready lol . thanks for the info .
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:46 AM   #5
giovonni
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Question Re: The Sun is indeed at last waking up.

Greeting's to all,
I am still complexed and a bit concerned, about the two ongoing theories on this subject? It is quite evident, the Sun is moving into another flare cycle, but opponents say, the lack of solar activity is an indication of a coming mini -ice age? I kEEP- having this same dream, with a foolish looking jokster, laughing at me, as I go for a swim in the deep- repeating "be prepared fool- for all possibilities"! Then he throws (what seemed like a handful of sand) but it feels like a cold snowball, as it smashes off the back of my noggin? I'm very serious.giovonni

Last edited by giovonni; 11-05-2008 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 11-05-2008, 01:24 AM   #6
PodWORLD
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Default Re: The Sun is indeed at last waking up.

If I may posit my ignorant two cents or ameros.

Sun activity is linked to relationships with other suns. I have listed elsewhere the importance say of Sirius B in this regard.

This magnetism is the very power that ancients sought to harness and according to some did. I can't prove that. Think of the body as a series of relationships between cells that transfer magnetic and electrical energy. Think of suns in this way. Macrocosm/Microcosm.
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Old 11-05-2008, 01:37 AM   #7
John aka#404
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Default Re: The Sun is indeed at last waking up.

Terra, that was awesome. Thank you. I think your explanation was fine. I am no expert either and enjoy keeping up on this as well.

One thing that has been bugging me... is how I swear the sun seems to further SW faster than normal over the past few years. Anyways, another story... excuse my digress.

Thanks
-John aka#404
.

Last edited by John aka#404; 11-08-2008 at 08:04 AM. Reason: hda to fxi tyooe
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Old 11-05-2008, 01:41 AM   #8
Antaletriangle
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Default Re: The Sun is indeed at last waking up.


Explanation: Imagine a pipe as wide as a state and as long as half the Earth. Now imagine that this pipe is filled with hot gas moving 50,000 kilometers per hour. Further imagine that this pipe is not made of metal but a transparent magnetic field. You are envisioning just one of thousands of young spicules on the active Sun. Pictured above is perhaps the highest resolution image yet of these enigmatic solar flux tubes. Spicules dot the above frame of solar active region 10380 that crossed the Sun in 2004 June, but are particularly evident as a carpet of dark tubes on the right. Time-sequenced images have recently shown that spicules last about five minutes, starting out as tall tubes of rapidly rising gas but eventually fading as the gas peaks and falls back down to the Sun. These images also indicate that the ultimate cause of spicules is sound-like waves that flow over the Sun's surface but leak into the Sun's atmosphere.


Courtesy Astronomy picture of the day 2008 November 2
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:49 AM   #9
giovonni
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Cool Re: The Sun is indeed at last waking up.

Greeting's Mate,
I've got to make a copy of that image! thanks- Gio
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