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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 08:02 PM
Original message
New Sunspot Cycle Has Begun
Edited on Sun Nov-16-08 08:33 PM by Dover
Sun Shows Signs Of Life: Long-Awaited Solar Cycle 24 Starting To Take Off


ScienceDaily (Nov. 12, 2008) After two-plus years of few sunspots, even fewer solar flares, and a generally eerie calm, the sun is finally showing signs of life.


"I think solar minimum is behind us," says sunspot forecaster David Hathaway of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

His statement is prompted by an October flurry of sunspots. "Last month we counted five sunspot groups," he says. That may not sound like much, but in a year with record-low numbers of sunspots and long stretches of utter spotlessness, five is significant. "This represents a real increase in solar activity."

Even more significant is the fact that four of the five sunspot groups belonged to Solar Cycle 24, the long-awaited next installment of the sun's 11-year solar cycle. "October was the first time we've seen sunspots from new Solar Cycle 24 outnumbering spots from old Solar Cycle 23. It's a good sign that the new cycle is taking off.".

..snip..

At first glance, old- and new-cycle sunspots look the same, but they are not. To tell the difference, solar physicists check two things: a sunspot's heliographic latitude and its magnetic polarity. (1) New-cycle sunspots always appear at high latitude, while old-cycle spots cluster around the sun's equator. (2) The magnetic polarity of new-cycle spots is reversed compared to old-cycle spots. Four of October's five sunspot groups satisfied these two criteria for membership in Solar Cycle 24.

The biggest of the new-cycle spots emerged at the end of the month on Halloween. Numbered 1007, or "double-oh seven" for short, the sunspot had two dark cores each wider than Earth connected by active magnetic filaments thousands of kilometers long. Amateur astronomer Alan Friedman took this picture from his backyard observatory in Buffalo, New York:

On Nov. 3rd and again on Nov. 4th, double-oh seven unleashed a series of B-class solar flares. Although B-flares are considered minor, the explosions made themselves felt on Earth. X-rays bathed the dayside of our planet and sent waves of ionization rippling through the atmosphere over Europe...cont'd

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/0811112303...






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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. Fascinating!
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 08:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. This is so cool.
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. You mean it's "HOT!"...lol...n/t
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Yes. You are right. I made an error in judgment..
:thumbsup: :hi:
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. recommend -- the universe is a wonder. nt
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NCarolinawoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
4. Wow!!!
Thanks for posting this.

....Heh, and I use to think Halloween was a "moon thing"--not a "sun thing". :o

This was all very interesting.
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Interesting timing in Nov. too....during the election!
Edited on Sun Nov-16-08 08:36 PM by Dover
Hmmmmm.....a new magnetic shift...a reverse polarity...a new president.

From the article:

At first glance, old- and new-cycle sunspots look the same, but they are not. To tell the difference, solar physicists check two things: a sunspot's heliographic latitude and its magnetic polarity. (1) New-cycle sunspots always appear at high latitude, while old-cycle spots cluster around the sun's equator. (2) The magnetic polarity of new-cycle spots is reversed compared to old-cycle spots. Four of October's five sunspot groups satisfied these two criteria for membership in Solar Cycle 24.

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democraticco12 Donating Member (7 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
6. The sun is huge
And definitely not in my list of vacation spots.
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Wait through this series of stills to see how big the sun
truly is...

Size of planets and stars, annimated GIF

Annimated GIF comaring sizes of our planet and starts
CLICK on the picture

http://anotherpalebluedot.blogspot.com/2007/11/size-of-...
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soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. cool! our sun is a wuss. but i'm suddenly feeling slimmer
relatively speaking
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. It's not just huge...
It's HUGH!1!!!11!!1!!1!1!!
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