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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:09 pm 
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Planetary K (disturbance range) index has been sitting right at the storm threshold all day today. The dreaded Bz is as far south as I've seen in a long time. This doesn't do anything but it opens the gate for any CME etc which would do it. Fortunately they're all weak. Even so the expected awesome aurora has happened in highest latitudes and with the solar wind being what it is, we can expect more.

This has nothing to do with the truly epic hurricane season in the Pacific. That is either just a cycle hitting peak, or an El Nino precursor, or sheer chance, or anthropogenic water temperature rise, or all of the above, or any combination of the above, or none of the above.

Whatever, a cat 5 storm got way closer to the US Pacific Coast than they usually do, and the surf is epic. You've seen the 3-foot shiny tubes of Malibu in movies. These are now hitting the deck of the pier, which is closed for piling damage. My friend who lived on the sand in Seal Beach left his building after a rent increase. I can't imagine this building's garage isn't now 6 inches deep in salt water. Serves the new owner right.

It's THAT kind of year.

nah, it's just due to liberal bias. ;) :rw)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:23 pm 
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The sun's definitely been hotter here, but it seems due to the total clearout of anything in the atmosphere. I noticed that the humidity dropped off to nothing yesterday, then came back.

Most of what this kind of sunspot activity adds is in the X-ray and extreme UV. There's a lot of energy and it does change things a bit, but mostly higher up in the atmosphere. This is why you want the planet to have a magnetic field. Mars doesn't. Poor Mars. It has nothing, really.

The aurora and all that kind of stuff is from particles with mass, mostly ionized hydrogen nuclei, also known as protons since that's all they are. They spiral down magnetic lines and start to push things around electrically and excite atoms at high altitudes. This planet is technically still in the sun's corona, and when it's enhanced you get the fun and light shows.

Right after yesterday's post, the Kp did actually make it into storm territory for 3 hours, but then fell back.


Seems the same thing with the humidity is happening here if I delay what you say by about 8 hours.



Interesting thing about that absence of a magnetic field Mars has, I know nothing about it. I looked and they say it is so. I don't dispute it they probably measured it and found absence, but how could it be. How could it be?

Mars rotates much as our Earth, Iron Oxide is visible to the naked eye from here on earth. All it would need to have magnetic field is to have accumulated a shell shaped static charge about its relatively common center of diameter and mass about which it rotates.

It rotates, got the iron core to be induced to provide for a strong magnetic field, sprinkle some stray electrons on the ground and it ought to have a magnetic field. Or place them in the high atmosphere. Or have it the other way remove stray electrons, the result would be opposite but equal, it would be a magnetic field.

If a distributed static charge is rotating about an axis there is an electrical current, the right hand grip rule, there ought to be a magnetic field, and with all that iron to be induced, to amplify: Mars ought to generate a nice magnetic field. :|

Image

I bet it wouldn't take even a pound of stray electrons to rotate up a dandy magnetic field on mars if one sprinkled them out on the surface. Electrons are powerful, yet so tiny and light. A person would want to use the ones which are already there, just move some of them from where they are, and ought to be. To where they ought not be, i.e. anywhere else along a radial line. Suck them from below the surface, or down from the atmosphere, and anchor them to the surface. Hold them there, so they can't run right back to where they ought to be.

Ought to do it.



ZoWie I'm going to be looking into this, it's fascinating. I cannot imagine how Mars could possibly not have a magnetic field.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:07 pm 
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I don't know much about this. It's always cited (along with the planet's relatively weak gravity) as reasons the Terraforming of Mars, as suggested by SF writers, is harder than it looks. Don't book passage on the canals yet.

A pound of stray electrons might be a lot, since the particle's rest mass is 9.11×10^−31 kg.

We do, however, have plenty of ways to move them around. They just love anodes.

Major flare just happened on the far side. Possible X class. No estimate yet, though a spacecraft did observe it. The classic bright flash followed by video noise from energetic particles hitting the pickup device.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:48 pm 
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Old sol is definitely out of summer slumber, with daily radio fluxes rising to ~144. This is up from the summer, though N.H. summer is always low on the uncorrected due to aphelion. There's a data table somewhere of fluxes corrected to one A.U. (average sun distance).

We've been trying to have a magnetic storm for a couple of days now. It never quite gets there. Still, polar RF absorption is way up, X-ray is a bit up, and the dreaded Bz turns south now and then.

Class M flares only.

Ham radio band conditions were more like late October yesterday, but today it seems to be degrading somewhat. Still, the DX season cometh.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:53 pm 
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We had a long-duration X1.6 flare in Active Region 2158 at 17:45 UTC yesterday, about 24 hours ago US time. It was a nice bright event with a really pretty full-halo CME.

X1.6 dosn't even make the top ten for this cycle, but given how quiet the sun was all summer it's still a good wake up call. It's right in the middle of the visible sunspot belt, and completely geoeffective.

We had the usual radio effects, and a proton event is in progress.

A watch has been issued for a <=G3 level magnetic storm possibility sometime around Friday when a small portion of the associated coronal mass ejection combines with another CME from a different region. Most of this is predicted to miss the Earth, but as is normal with these, they do what they want to do.

This close to the equinox, the major visible effect will be more really primo aurora for people in high latitudes to watch/photograph. No Carrington Event. Foil hats are not advised.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:54 pm 
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CME #1 got here yesterday, with some effects, including aurora and 6 hours of K index over the storm threshold (G1). K measures geomagnetic instability which is strongly correlated with aurora.

CME #2, from the big X1.6 flare on the 10th, arrived about an hour ago. Nothing spectacular so far, though instruments picked up a huge increase in the solar wind, and the Boulder CO magnetometer took a big boink at 1555 UTC (it's 1646 right now). Too soon for further data, but it's here. G3 storming is expected, but we'll see.

Foil hats are not recommended, though those far enough north should be on aurora watch tonight. Proton flux is still up (S1), but unless you're flying over the North Pole, it's not enough to even talk about let alone do something.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:51 pm 
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Dandy geomagnetic storm came and went. Epic aurora in places like New Hampshire. Space station photos show one really nice discharge in that part of the auroral oval, and it sure looked nice from the ground. Pictures are all over the net.

Kp really did get to 7, not bad for this cycle, but now it's way down and the dreaded Bz remains north.

Weather channel still telling us it's about to happen. Time to rotate in fresher clips..

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:40 pm 
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Interesting news: an X-ray flare estimated at X100,000 occurred.

Good news: it occurred on a star 60 light years away. The Earth is not toast. The sun can't do them that big.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:06 am 
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BIG ASS Active Region 2192 just came around the east limb, and it's a mutha. You could fit 8 earths in it. (Though they would become toast almost instantly.) This thing is making M class flares now and it's only a matter of time for some bigger stuff.

Meanwhile a solar wind boundary crossing has put the dreaded Bz south and we're quite well aurora'd in the usual places.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:40 pm 
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Keep watching AR 2192. It's just like old times when we had real solar cycles. X1.6 flare today, no significant CME, no Carrington event. It did cause a radio blackout, long since over.

The daily solar flux number is a very respectable 216. I'll have to check at some point and see if that's the high for Cycle 24. If not, it's close.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:14 am 
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AR 2192 is now the largest such region since the largest one seen in the previous cycle. Interestingly, the "11-year sunspot cycle" is something of a statistical average, and the peaks don't always come exactly 11 years apart. However, if this one holds up as the largest region, it will be exactly 11 years since October 2003 when the last one happened.

There's also a partial solar eclipse today at around 6:50 PM Eastern. It looks like a pretty decent eclipse as these go, and North America is the prime viewing spot. Unfortunately, in most of the east, the sun is setting when it happens. (Or perhaps the nor'easter still has the sky all clouded up.)

Usual disclaimer applies: you people are all much too smart to stare right at eclipses or focus reflex cameras on them using the optical finder, yes? I make a pinhole in a piece of thin cardboard and project the image on a white paper.

Interesting photographs can be taken of the ground when trees make these pinholes for you, and there are little crescent suns projected all over everything.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:27 pm 
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Where I am the eclipse will reach peak about 2:40 pm, about an hour from now, and then will rotate a few degrees, the moon covering the upper limb for about 20 minuets, and then withdraw. It should be all over by 3:00.

Eclipse Calculator, when is your next eclipse?: http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in.html?query=


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:04 pm 
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AR 2192 has now made it most of the way across the part of the sun we see, all the time making X-class flares and sudden ionospheric fadeouts, without a significant CME.

Sometimes you get lucky.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:48 pm 
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Heads up, aurora watchers. A G2 level geomagnetic storm watch has been issued for tomorrow, November 10. This is due to a recent X1.6 flare producing a CME which was first supposed to miss the Earth, but now the models show that we might get the edges of it.

Might.

We'll know fairly soon. Times are always UTC, and the new UTC day begins in the afternoon/early evening here in CONUS.

G2 level storming does not produce any of the stuff the media are always on about. Just a pretty light show and some other minor disturbances to our ever more vulnerable infrastructure.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:24 pm 
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Kp index took a boink right on schedule. It got to 5, and is now back down at 4, right on the storm threshold.

[UPDATE: now stable at Kp=2]

That's not a very big boink. It reflects what so far are G1 level disturbances only. Pretty minor, but then it was a pretty minor edge of a major CME that otherwise went somewhere else.

Still, I would be amazed if someone didn't get good aurora somewhere.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:21 pm 
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While it's not all that big a deal, it's still worth noting that the enormous Active Region 2192 made it all the way around the parts of the sun we don't see, and came back out on the east limb still pretty healthy looking. It was renumbered AR 2209, and it's been good for some small flares and your occasional radio blackout. It currently trips across the solar disk again.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:04 pm 
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M6.1 flare about a half hour ago. Active Region 2222. Possible geoeffective CME. Blew out the low end of HF radio like a champ (R2 level event). The noise came back right away, but the signals are still pretty well hosed.

The chances of a Carrington Event here are somewhere between zero and zip.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:15 pm 
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Big flare on the far side of the sun, with an enormous CME. The space-borne coronagraphs they use to pick these up always look like the sun's blowing its cookies big time, but it isn't.

Possible magnetic storms in the next couple of days are from coronal holes, not flares.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:43 pm 
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Solar activity is high, perhaps the highest in Cycle 24. Today's radio flux is a dandy 213. Lots of M class flares, some geoeffective, but nothing serious. We have one incoming CME, also no big deal. Yes, there's been lots of really pretty aurora in all the usual places.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:44 pm 
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Now, it's hard to say. We got an X1.8 flare out of all this, and the sun remains very active. We had the longest radio blackout (R3) in quite a while, though it didn't hit this side of the Earth because it was night time here. We also have lots of CMEs. They're not full-halo ones, and mostly directed elsewhere. Some kind of minor geomagnetic whoomp around the 21st is a fairly good possibility. It would be an interesting whoomp, but not a huge whoomp.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:49 pm 
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The dreaded Bz has been south all day, and the proton flux is creeping up. Any CME impact will eventually cause the magnetic whoomp mentioned above, though right now we remain whoompless.

Good bet for aurora tonight, and a long night to watch it in.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:04 pm 
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We got the whoomp a couple of hours ago. It wasn't much of a whoomp at all. As whoompage goes, it leaves a lot to be desired. Still a good night for aurora, though.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:18 pm 
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We finally got past storm threshold, and into G1 status. Mostly it caused more gorgeous aurora photos making the net rounds. I mean, it's like you want to chuck it all and go take time exposures in dark cold icy northern Norway for the duration.

We're back to a K index of 3, and we'll see where it goes. Not a big deal at all.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:00 pm 
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OK, we're back in G1. There are some nice BIG ASS sunspots, and they're the good kind with the twisted magnetic loops between members of a pair. The dreaded Bz is decidedly south, and Kp is over threshold.

No big flares either, just stuff. It starts to actually feel like a solar maximum.

There's also a real good comet in the sky below Orion, with an amazingly long tail. I think binoculars would pick it up in the city. It's visible without them in the country, or at least it was before the full moon set up shop right around there.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:09 pm 
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Yes, we've been storming on and off for weeks now. But it's nearly all enhanced solar wind, a coronal hole or two, and your occasional eruption. For an obvious solar peak period, we've been awfully short on large flares. Many many little ones, flash flash flash, but no big ones.

Pretty aurora, though. Still. Lots of photos in all the usual places. Great cycle for aurora.

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