Sun

The Sun’s magnetic field is about to flip

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 8.39.15 AMBefore you panic, this is an occurrence that happens approximately every eleven years at the midpoint of the solar cycle.  We are currently in a “Solar Max” period, even though this has been a mild one.

As humans we depend on the light of the Sun.  The astrological Sun feeds our vitality and quality of being, and when there is a solar storm or a coronal mass ejection we are affected here on earth.  Cosmic rays disrupt the electrical systems on earth, and as humans we are surrounded by an elecromagnetic grid that can be affected by solar changes.

NASA has kindly made a wonderful video that even I could understand, enjoy!

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By | 2018-06-11T12:12:42+00:00 August 6th, 2013|Astronomy, Sun|0 Comments

Solar Maximum and global warming

solar maximumIt seems pretty much everyone agrees now that the earth is warming, and the extreme weather over the past week certainly seems to confirm that both the weather AND the climate is changing.  Steven Forrest’s July newsletter included an article about the current Solar Maximum which reminded me that I haven’t written on this topic for quite awhile.  Steven links to a The Night Speaks which discusses the research of Aleksandr Leonidovich Chizhevsky who divided the sunspot cycle into four phases that correlate to human behavior: 

Phase One: The solar minimum. With sunspot activity at its eleven-year low, humanity is in an easygoing mood, tolerant but lazy. People are occupied with personal concerns and little inclined to organize themselves into any kind of unified, history-shaping force.

Phase Two: The solar increase. Social energies begin to coalesce. Exciting new Ideas and charismatic spokes people appear, planting seeds that quickly germinate into mass movements. Alliances form. According to Chizhevsky, at this point in the cycle some fundamental problem arises and demands radical solution.

Phase Three: The solar maximum. Energies abound. Everyone is excited, eager to respond en masse to leadership or inspiration, for better or worse. An air of enthusiastic drunkenness suffuses the polity. Emigration increases. Wars begin. Tension is high.

Phase Four: The solar decline. Exhausted and often disenchanted, humanity now loses steam. The seductive easy answers of the previous several years break down. Unity and collective focus drop off. Disillusionment increases. Groups disband. People go back to tending their own gardens – and gradually we descend again into the peaceful lassitude of Phase One, the sunspot minimum.

Chizhevsky divided the four solar phases into periods of three, two, three and three years respectively. Due to the varying lengths of the […]

By | 2018-06-11T12:12:58+00:00 July 2nd, 2013|Astronomy, Sun|0 Comments

The Sun is definitely waking up

After a prolonged “solar minimum,”  with record long periods without sunspots, the Sun has become extremely active again.  These periods of solar maximum alternating with solar minimum are a normal part of solar activity but the last solar minimum was particularly long: 12.4 years rather than the usual 11 years.

A positive effect of the delay in the return of sunspot activity is that the maximum period will not coincide with December 2012 as previously feared.  This was one of the explanations for the fearmongering surrounding the December 2012 date, but it’s now behind schedule and the maximum of the maximum period likely won’t arrive until 2013 or 2014.

In the meantime, reports that “the entire Earth-facing side of the Sun erupted in a tumult of activity” with a C3-class flare, a solar tsunami, radio bursts, coronal mass ejection (CME) .  The impact of the CME hit the Earth’s magnetic field today at 1:30 pm EDT.

It’s interesting (but not necessarily significant) that this burst of solar energy comes when there’s a lot of planetary energy anyway with Mars and Saturn facing off against Jupiter and Uranus.

CMEs can sometimes affect communication satellites and power grids, but this C-class flares typically do not create a lot of problems.  But those in northern latitudes may be treated to some nice auroras!

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By | 2018-06-11T12:13:19+00:00 August 3rd, 2010|Astronomy, Sun|Comments Off on The Sun is definitely waking up

The Sun is waking up


solar flare
Recent solar flare

Solar scientists met last week to discuss the higher levels of solar activity that are likely as we move out of the Solar Minimum of the past few years.  The head of NASA’s Heliophysics Division says “our technological society has developed an unprecedented sensitivity to solar storms.”

reports an M2-class flare on June 12th that hurled a billion-ton coronal mass ejection into space, and a new sunspot has emerged with a series of its own eruptions.   Solar flares have been connected with weather extremes, and there have been some powerful lightning storms over the past few days.

There are proven connections between Jupiter and sunspots, so the fact that the Sun is erupting into flares at the time that Jupiter conjoins Uranus in the fiery sign of Aries is an interesting coincidence.

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By | 2018-06-11T12:14:04+00:00 June 13th, 2010|Astronomy, Sun|1 Comment
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