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October 7th, 2008, 04:52 AM
ASTEROID IMPACT: If predictions were correct, asteroid 2008 TC3 hit Earth this morning (Oct. 7th at 0246 UT), exploding in the atmosphere over northern Sudan like a kiloton of TNT and creating a fireball as bright as a full Moon. Most of the 3-meter-wide asteroid would have vaporized in the atmosphere with only small pieces possibly reaching the ground as meteorites.
October 7th, 2008, 04:54 AM
Spotless Sun: Blankest Year of the Space Age
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Sept. 30, 2008: Astronomers who count sunspots have announced that 2008 is now the "blankest year" of the Space Age.
As of Sept. 27, 2008, the sun had been blank, i.e., had no visible sunspots, on 200 days of the year. To find a year with more blank suns, you have to go back to 1954, three years before the launch of Sputnik, when the sun was blank 241 times.
"Sunspot counts are at a 50-year low," says solar physicist David Hathaway of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. "We're experiencing a deep minimum of the solar cycle."
December 18th, 2008, 12:23 PM
Magnetic Field Hole Could Cripple Communications in 2012
Scientists have found two large leaks in Earth's magnetosphere, the region around our planet that shields us from severe solar storms.
The leaks are defying many of scientists' previous ideas on how the interaction between Earth's magnetosphere and solar wind occurs: The leaks are in an unexpected location, let in solar particles in faster than expected and the whole interaction works in a manner that is completely the opposite of what scientists had thought.
The findings have implications for how solar storms affect the our planet. Serious storms, which involved charged particles spewing from the sun, can disable satellites and even disrupt power grids on Earth.
December 18th, 2008, 12:24 PM
The bottom line: When the next peak of solar activity comes, in about 4 years, electrical systems on Earth and satellites in space may be more vulnerable.
How it works
Earth's magnetic field carves out a cavity in the sun's onrushing field. The Earth's magnetosphere is thus "buffeted like a wind sock in gale force winds, fluttering back and forth in the" solar wind, Sibeck explained.
Both the sun's magnetic field and the Earth's magnetic field can be oriented northward or southward (Earth's magnetic field is often described as a giant bar magnet in space).
The sun's magnetic field shifts its orientation frequently, sometimes becoming aligned with the Earth, sometime becoming anti-aligned.
Scientists had thought that more solar particles entered Earth's magnetosphere when the sun's field was oriented southward (anti-aligned to the Earth's), but the opposite turned out to be the case, the new research shows.
December 18th, 2008, 12:26 PM
Essentially, the Earth's magnetic shield is at its strongest when scientists had thought it would be at its weakest.
When the fields aren't aligned, "the shield is up and very few particles come in," said physicist Jimmy Raeder of the University of New Hampshire in Durham.
Conversely, when the fields are aligned, it creates "a huge breach, and there's lots and lots of particles coming in," Raeder added, at the news conference.
The Sun operates on an 11-year cycle, alternating between active and quiet periods. We are currently in a quiet period, with few sunspots on the sun's surface and fewer solar flares, though the next cycle of activity has begun.
It is expected to peak around 2012, bringing lots of sunspots, flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). CMEs can interact with the Earth's magnetosphere, causing problems for satellites, communications, and power grids.
This upcoming active period now looks like it will be more intense than the previous one, which peaked around 2006, some scientists think. The reason is the changes in the sun's alignment
"It should be that we're in for a tough time in the next 11 years," Sibeck said.
December 20th, 2008, 02:18 PM
The heavens are already shifting. Science may have some of the scientific explanations, but HE has the answers! Praise the Lord!
Very interesting signs in the heavens and the Seas (perpetuial tidal waves?) Oh yea...the signs are active.
NASA: Ionosphere not where it should be
WASHINGTON (UPI) -- The U.S. space agency says it has discovered the boundary between the Earth's upper atmosphere and space has moved to extraordinarily low altitudes.
The finding was determined by National Aeronautics and Space Administration instruments aboard an Air Force satellite launched in April. The instruments, including ion and neutral sensors, make measurements of the variations in neutral and ion densities and drifts that can result in disruptions of navigation and communication signals. I can't post the URL but here is where the article is.
I cant post the URL, but the link where I got this information is above. HELP! I can't even refer to the link!
December 20th, 2008, 10:00 PM
:bash Hmmmmmm :glasses Just funnin..I don't no snap about puters but love geography and astronomy.
January 8th, 2009, 07:21 PM
Report: Powerful Solar Storm Could Shut Down U.S. for Months
A new study from the National Academy of Sciences outlines grim possibilities on Earth for a worst-case scenario solar storm.
Damage to power grids and other communications systems could be catastrophic, the scientists conclude, with effects leading to a potential loss of governmental control of the situation.
The prediction is based in part on major solar storm in 1859 caused telegraph wires to short out in the United States and Europe, igniting widespread fires.
It was perhaps the worst in the past 200 years, according to the new study, and with the advent of modern power grids and satellites, much more is at risk.
"A contemporary repetition of the  event would cause significantly more extensive (and possibly catastrophic) social and economic disruptions," the researchers conclude.
Rush to prepare
The race is on for better forecasting abilities, as the next peak in solar activity is expected to come around 2012.
While the sun is in a lull now, activity can flare up at any moment, and severe space weather — how severe, nobody knows — will ramp up a year or two before the peak.
Some scientists expect the next peak to bring more severe events than other recent peaks
January 8th, 2009, 07:23 PM
"Obviously, the sun is Earth's life blood," said Richard Fisher, director of the Heliophysics division at NASA. "To mitigate possible public safety issues, it is vital that we better understand extreme space weather events caused by the sun's activity."
"Space weather can produce solar storm electromagnetic fields that induce extreme currents in wires, disrupting power lines, causing wide-spread blackouts and affecting communication cables that support the Internet," the report states. "Severe space weather also produces solar energetic particles and the dislocation of the Earth's radiation belts, which can damage satellites used for commercial communications, global positioning and weather forecasting."
The report was commissioned and funded by NASA. Experts from around the world in industry, government and academia participated. It was released this week
January 8th, 2009, 07:37 PM
i lov eteh Allman brothers...sweet Melissa...lalalalala
Thanks for the post Lighthouse. Good to see you still keep up with the sun and good to see you too :)
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