# Massive solar filament eruption captured by SDO

The Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite captured this image yesterday. A massive filament on the Sun erupted in a stunning display as seen here in the videos below.

The giant solar eruption created a long filament of magnetic plasma, which extended an astounding 435,000 miles (700,000 kilometers). This is nearly twice the distance between the Earth and the moon, which is about 238,857 miles (384,403 kilometers)

The location of the eruption and the magnetic field configuration and direction of the eruption suggest the impact of the event on the Earth will be limited. Watch the videos below to see it happen:

Here’s a second video, showing closer detail:

From YouTube: A very long solar filament that had been snaking around the Sun erupted today (Dec. 6, 2010) with a flourish. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) caught the action in dramatic detail in extreme ultraviolet light of Helium. It had been almost a million km long ((about half a solar radius) and a prominent feature on the Sun visible over two weeks ago before it rotated out of view. Filaments are elongated clouds of cooler gases suspended above the Sun by magnetic forces. They are rather unstable and often break away from the Sun. Note: the edge of the moon can be glimpsed at 0300 UT during a brief lunar transit.

## 92 thoughts on “Massive solar filament eruption captured by SDO”

1. Jeremy says:

SDO continues to astound. Why can’t all science be about new methods of data collection? When did we fall so much in love with computer simulations?
//goes back to playing video games.

2. Baa Humbug says:

fascinating

3. “Surprises” apart, what did it cause it?

4. Ray says:

The capacity of the sun’s magnetic field to built and sustain such long filaments should certainly tell us about the state of the sun and it’s hidden magnetic/electrical dynamo…

5. Sean Peake says:

It’s funny that space.com said “as predicted, the a ‘mega-filament’ of solar magnetism erupted on Dec. 6th,” and that the “sun is in the midst of an extremely active period of its 11-year solar weather cycle after a long lull in activity.” Ummm… it was and it is?

6. Athelstan. says:

Wow! and Wow!
The sun does it again.

7. rob m. says:

Is that first video in real time?

8. Veronica says:

Does that mean it is going to get warmer? (*hopes*)

9. kwik says:

Was it Trenberths missing Heat?

10. Fitzy says:

So the…Sun…is..like,…a big ball… of like,…hot…fire?
If someone ever connects its behavior to the Earths weather,…man, that guy would like win a million Nobel prizes,…they give you a Prius too now days.
Lucky for us the ipeecac has shown zero effect between 99.99% of the remaining universe and planet Earth-nee-Gaia, AKA as Mother Earth, may go by the name Big Blue.
Looks like that prayer to Ixtel worked, wonder if theres a LOG scale for pagan prayers.
Using the measure one Cancun = one Ixtel prayer, do 100 Cancun’s = a Nova?
See they should of mentioned Quetzalcoatl, that dude is awesome, he would pooped out a white dwarf companion just on principal alone.
His Kung Fu is strong.

rob m.,
I thought the same thing. The first video, at least, must be in fast forward mode since it would take around 2.3 seconds for light to travel the distance Anthony says the solar filament approached.

12. Kev-in-UK says:

re:
<>
This sentence only raised my curiosity as a result of my passing interest in physics. How do we know there will be limited effect? Yes, a direct flare pointed towards us could be expected to cause problems due to various higher energy fluxes, etc. However, is the plasma/energy emitted by a ‘non-directed’ flare ALL lost to space away from the Earth? Is not some of it captured/redirected and ‘channelled’ or ‘guided’ (if you will) into the solar systems’ magnetic and gravitational fields and thus ‘thrown about and distributed’, and thus perhaps into our general proximity (either now – or as we orbit round the sun?).
What I found myself wondering, basically, was ‘is this energy gonna affect us in a few months or years?’ – and therefore querying the original sentence. Will scientists be thinking ‘where did all this energy come from in a few months or years’ when their instruments show an increase, but no direct observed flare, for example? And thus, in relation to the TSI and climate effects, etc – is this kind of stuff taken into consideration?
apologies for sounding vague or stupid – but it was just one of those dumb blonde what if moments….

13. Rational Debate says:

Anthony, here’s an excellent and timely companion article/issue to go with this solar filament article; Solar Storm Weather Forecasts and Warnings (p.s., do I get a hat tip for posting the solar flair to tips 9:40 am? Please, not if you found it elsewhere or were already working on it of course!): http://www.space.com/businesstechnology//nasa-solar-shield-sun-storms-101108.html
I did a quick search and didn’t find anything already posted on this issue, but could have missed something (hope not).
NASA’s Solar Shield to Protect Power Grids From Sun Storms
By Nola Redd SPACE.com Contributor posted: 08 November 2010 07:05 am ET
NASA has devised a new tool in the battle against massive eruptions from the sun: an early warning system to protect electrical grids on Earth from extremely powerful solar storms.
The new project, called Solar Shield, is designed to predict the severity of powerful sun storms at specific locations on Earth to help power companies plan responses and limit the potential damage to their equipment.
“It amounts to knowing ‘something is coming and it may be big,'” said project leader Antti Pulkkinen, a research associate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., told SPACE.com. But Solar Shield should provide “much more specificity.”
Massive sun eruptions
The chief target for NASA’s Solar Shield are huge sun eruptions called coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, which can shoot off billions of tons of plasma and charged particles…..
When the magnetic field associated with a CME encounters the Earth’s magnetic field, the two merge and an enormous amount of energy is transferred to the geomagnetosphere. This resulting current can affect astronauts or satellites in space, as well as commercial power grids.
If the CME is strong enough, the grids can become overburdened or damaged. The resulting blackout could last anywhere from hours to months, depending on the amount of damage sustained.
Strong CMEs are classified as low-frequency/high-impact events, meaning that while they are rare, their consequences are far-reaching, researchers said.
A 2008 workshop by the National Research Council’s Space Studies Board predicted that a “severe geomagnetic storm scenario” would have societal and economic costs of up to $2 trillion in the first year alone, and recovery time ranging from four to 10 years. The predictions from NASA’s Solar Shield could potentially help avoid the worst of the damage, researchers said. The project aims to minimize the effects by providing both short- and long-term predictions regarding impending CMEs. Today, scientists can tell when an ejection is headed towards Earth, but the data is very generalized. [Amazing Photos of Recent Sun Storms]….. (full article online) 14. jack morrow says: VUK ETC says: Wow that was impressive! I can imagine what an even larger one would do to us if it hit us. We should be spending some of our wasted “climate” money on harding our electrical grid and making preparations for the event if we do get zapped. Arthur C. Clarke talked about this years ago. 15. [SNIP – no electric universe, iron sun, discussion on WUWT ~mod] 16. Large but it seems rather light. 17. ShaneCMuir says: December 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm [SNIP – no electric universe, iron sun, discussion on WUWT ~mod] That´s not a good Marketing policy: The more discussions, the more hits! REPLY: If I was after hits, I’d post porn. Get your own blog if you want to discuss the stuff. – Anthony 18. Ackos says: Cool. The new owner of the Sun should be proud of such of a display 19. George E. Smith says: Nothing to see here; things like that can’t affect me here on earth. Question. just how much REAL TIME is in those videos ?? 20. R. Gates says: This is the second such very long filament the sun has produced in the last 6 months or so. I’d be curious to know if this kind of long filament production is normal or very rare? Is this an indication of the current general sluggishness of the sun, (i.e. were such filaments common as Cycle 23 was getting underway?) It would of course be really great to know if such filaments were common in cycles before the Dalton or Maunder Minimums, but of course no such data exists… 21. George E. Smith says: December 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm Question. just how much REAL TIME is in those videos ?? Several hours. Watch the time ticker at the bottom of the frame. 22. dwright says: WOW , just WOW Amazing realtime photos, NASA has spent a few dollars well on solar research sats after all. Takes a “Robust” platform to take that kind of abuse. Their next project should be to leave Hansen in prison where he belongs. IMHO and as always snip if you need to, Mod. [d] 23. peterhodges says: while f10.7 flux and AP both remain relatively FLAT the discrepancy between 10.7/AP and ssn looks to both falsify L&P, and Svalgaard’s claim that they are undercounting sunspots i respect all those mentioned above and their work, it just looks like they are probably wrong, or at least not exactly right, in this case 😉 24. This was not a solar flare, nor was it a CME; it was a collapsed filament. Filaments apparently occur most during solar minimum. Notice that this huge, enormous, preposterous eruption only rated a B1 in solar x-ray irradiance? Has anybody looked a solar irradiance lately? It is flat-lined. This is hardly the same type of activity we saw in the 90s. The magnetic activity of the Sun is considerably reduced, must likely because the dynamo that drives the Sun is experiencing a once in over 6000 years lull. The solar barycenter has been transiting the solar surface for a decade, and it is still at the solar surface. Lulls have occurred in the past 6000 years, but not for the duration this lull is taking. And it is only going to get quieter in the next few years. 25. dwright says: peterhodges-…………….checked the link “I love the smell of napalm and computer models burning in the morning” In my case another long, cold night on the north coast of Canada. 🙂 [d] 26. “When did we fall so much in love with computer simulations?” I am not a Scientist or anything credible, but I would guess that “we” fell in love with simulations back in the 60’s and 70’s (when I was using them to justify buying computer hardware) when “we” discovered that unlike observations, we could make simulations prove anything we wanted to prove. 27. R. Gates says: December 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm This is the second such very long filament the sun has produced in the last 6 months or so. I’d be curious to know if this kind of long filament production is normal or very rare? This is very common. 28. dwright says: I can’t stop Sol vomited after another man tried to marry his wife. (I can’t leave it, I know, MOD) [d] 29. Pamela Gray says: Place a tiny piece of the Sun on my finger my beloved and leave the rather dull diamond snug in its mountain. I would rather have the Sun. 30. peterhodges says: leif um, thanks ahead of time for your patience if you can explain the L&P plots…i don’t see anything relating strength and intensity of the magnetic field to invisible sunspots. my understanding was that 1)ssn and 10.7 follow historically the same rough curve 2)if L&P thesis was ‘correct’ then ssn curve should start to run lower than 10.7 curve. and the opposite is happening. which is why i also wonder if you assertion of undercounting ssn is correct – if you were correct then the curves should also begin to converge if all they are saying is that ssn should go down with magnetic strength, does that really mean anything… if all the other indicators (10.7, tsi, etc) also track the same? 31. peterhodges says: December 7, 2010 at 7:20 pm 1)ssn and 10.7 follow historically the same rough curve Yes and no. The units and numbers are different. But is is possible to construct a formula that empirically converts one to the other. See Figure 7 of http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Microwaves-at-23-24-Minimum.pdf that shows the SSN as a function of F10.7. The blue symbols show the historical data 1951-1988. Since 1996 that formula no longer works: see the red symbols all falling below the blue. One can omit the Japanese data and only use the Canadian F10.7 values with the same result. [Note that both the directors of the Japanese and and of the Canadian observatory are co-authors of this paper and agree on combining the data to minimize systematic errors]. So, the sunspot number since about 1990 is running to low compared with what it ‘should’ have been for a given value of the solar flux. This is vividly shown on the next slide. 2)if L&P thesis was ‘correct’ then ssn curve should start to run lower than 10.7 curve . So the SSN curve is running below what we expected it to be. The L&P effect [slide 10 and an up-to-date version here http://www.leif.org/research/Livingston%20and%20Penn.png ] is that the average magnetic field strength also seems to have gone down the past 15 years. As the field goes down, it cools the sunspot less and the spots are getting warmer [thus radiating more] and their contrast to the surrounding photosphere is getting weaker, making the spots more difficult to see. When the field strength falls below 1500 or so Gauss, the spots have such low contrast that they are effectively invisible [at least with the small telescopes that are used for the sunspot count] or at least much harder to see, leading to the observer missing many of the smallest spots. The largest spots will always be visible [so there will always be some LARGE spots – during the Maunder Minimum all the spots seen were large spots as far as we (or I) know]. The SSN number is mainly determined by the number of small spots [there are more of those than of large spots]. Here is the observation on 24th Dec. 1957: ftp://howard.astro.ucla.edu/pub/obs/drawings/1957/dr571224.jpg This is most spotted sun ever observed. In 2003, the L&P effect was beginning to take effect and there were even more smaller spots than large ones: ftp://howard.astro.ucla.edu/pub/obs/drawings/2003/dr031029.jpg If L&P are correct [and everything so far suggests that – but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, so we need to wait and see until everybody is convinced] even these small spots will disappear and we may be left with only large spots [but few of them] like now: http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/08dec10/hmi200.gif This is all very exciting. 32. Enneagram says: December 7, 2010 at 3:31 pm Filaments of the Earth: Elves and sprites Not at all. These are completely different physical phenomena and have nothing in common with solar filaments. 33. janama says: the videos are dated August 2010. Can’t be yesterday’s flare. 34. janama says: December 7, 2010 at 8:37 pm the videos are dated August 2010. Can’t be yesterday’s flare. 8th of December = 2010-12-08, not 12th of August 35. peterhodges says: sweet. thanks for the clarification leif! if i inderstand your explanation, i was not looking at a long enough ‘picture’ to see the ssn/10.7 convergence, and the ssn drop is not so dramatic because single larger spots keep the ssn ‘high’ in absence of many smaller spots. a straight ‘spot’ count might show a more dramatic drop in #. so i guess everyone awaits the descent below 1500Gauss 36. peterhodges says: December 7, 2010 at 9:59 pm because single larger spots keep the ssn ‘high’ in absence of many smaller spots Not quite. A large spot and a small spot should count the same [namely as ONE spot]. There is, however, a problem, namely that the Locarno station which is used as the international reference station unfortunately does count a large spot 5 times, i.e. gives it 5 times the weight of a small spot. This skews the spot count and makes it a bit higher than it should be. This method was introduced by Waldmeier in 1945 and makes all sunspot numbers since then about 20% to high, see: http://www.leif.org/research/SIDC-Seminar-14Sept.pdf For the L&P effect, this ‘error’ does not alter the conclusion materially. 37. Christoph Dollis says: I’m absolutely disgusted by Anthony Watts’ censorship of a competing scientific hypothesis. And I say this as someone who took an electric universe supporter to task a couple months back and, frankly, ridiculed him (a comment which was allowed to stand, by the way). I may have been too hasty. While I still think that some of the ideas of the ideas are exceedingly unlikely, the idea that the universe itself may be a lot more pervaded with plasma and electricity than first thought and that the Sun traversing different regions of our galaxy may cause fluctuations — through some process or other — of the Sun’s luminosity, Sunspot frequency, coronal mass ejection events, or other behaviour is not so outlandish as to be beyond consideration and discussion. But not here. This blog — to my severe disappointment after years of reading and commenting — silences alternative scientific viewpoints. If Anthony Watts or others had criticisms of plasma physicists’ (and their wilder cousins, the electric universe blokes’), ideas I’d be more than happy to listen to it them with rapt attention. Their criticisms might even mirror my own that I made here a couple months ago. However, Anthony, you are acting in the same manner as you have shown that the mainstream climate science community acts. REPLY: Be as disgusted as you wish, but there are certain topics that I have simply learned from experience not to discuss here. There are other forums to discuss UFO’s, chemtrails, 9/11 truth, HAARP weather modification, astrology, electric universe, and iron sun to name a few. These topics invariably turn ugly. I also don’t discuss religious, faith healing, or atheistic issues, such as you’ll find permeating blogs like Pharyngula, again because of the ugliness demonstrated to occur when such discussions erupt. Therefore I choose not to discuss these topics here and it it is my perogative to do so in my own house with guests. My issue is to keep the peace, and to keep this blog manageable. I do this for my own interest. I’m not a paid blogger like Joe Romm or DeSmog Blog, or RC. I run this blog while juggling a daily radio weather forecast job, a business with employees, and a family with young children. I don’t have the luxury of trying to manage a wild west show or Godwin’s Law outbreaks also. If you are unhappy with how I conduct my own household, you know where the door is. However, I’ll point out that this strategy has worked pretty well, and for the most part has helped WUWT maintain a readership unmatched by any other climate related blogs. – Anthony 38. Christoph Dollis says: I wish I could go back and correct the typographical errors in my last post, but I stand by my point. 39. Christoph Dollis says: Note: My response to Anthony’s reply is below. I mean we only discovered the sodium ion trail of the moon a little over a decade ago, recent NASA space probes to comets have shown behaviour that was completely unpredicted by NASA that seems to show comets look a lot more like rocky asteroids than “dirty balls of dust and ice” and what’s more, that they may well be electrically charged, and here is Electric Universe booster ret. Professor of Electrical Engineering Don Scott invited to speak at NASA Goddard this year — in 2010. I’m not someone who has blind allegiance to NASA Goddard by any means, but if — after their surprising comet test results like Deep Impact 2 and the huge unexpected flash that preceded the copper impactor from reaching the surface — if for no other reason than that — they are willing to open their mind to a new idea from a previously unlikely source, why can’t we? We don’t have to open our minds so much that our brains fall out, but is their some scientific advantage to a completely closed mind I’m missing? We don’t come close to understanding all there is to know about the solar system, plasma, comets, or — for that matter, the Sun (why for example is the center of a Sunspot cooler than the edge and why is the Sun’s surface 6,000 K in temperature, but the corona between 1 and 3 million?). The astrophysicist who developed the nuclear powered model of the Sun — Sir Arthur Eddington — himself said the competing theory was that the Sun drew its energy not from an internal nuclear furnace, but from the surrounding ether, the galaxy, by some unknown process. Well, I don’t know who was right. I certainly thought Eddington was right. But if even the great man himself can name the alternative hypothesis in his books and writings, we can’t here? On a thread discussion a magnetic plasma flare from the Sun? I typed the above before reading your reply to my last comment. My point is this isn’t like HARP or 9/11 truth or chemtrails. You don’t know why the Sun has flares. You have no realistic idea why there are Sunspots. You — and no person on Earth — has proven why the Corona is so much hotter than the surface of the Sun, if the interior is really where all the heat has been generated. There are ideas about this, but the math doesn’t show them as adequate so the best scientists can do is combine the theories and say we’ll figure it out eventually. Scientists are constantly discovering new plasma processes in space, and in our solar system. Now I personally think that some of the electric universe claims are nuts (the mythology based ones). But, plasma physics isn’t nuts. Your post is about plasma physics. Even the experts don’t know what the hell is going on with the Sun, not really. And you and I both know that the Sun is hella important for the climate. As both you, I, and Monckton for that matter are aware, if the Sun’s luminosity varies much, that explains in great measure why the Earth seems to have alternatively heated up, and frozen over, several times repeatedly. If NASA Goddard has no problem keeping an open mind and inviting the author of The Electric Sky to speak this very year, why can you not match NASA Goddard in terms of open-mindedness? REPLY: Because my experience has shown me that when I do open such discussions, they turn ugly, and I have a lot of moderation work and responses to individual gripes on my hands, like I’m doing right now. My issue is with poor behaviors by some who push theories at any cost, not the issue being discussed. Case in point. Dr. Oliver K. Manuel (iron sun guy) used to post here regularly. However he got in the habit of carpet bombing threads with links back to his own blog factoids, just to provoke discussions. It was off topic, boorish, and incessant. I asked him to stop, several times. Finally I had to ban him. Geoff Sharp and barycentrism met a similar fate, but he learned to behave and not abuse his posting privileges, and so you see him here again. I can’t be everything to every person. I have to choose, right now I choose sleep as it is 12:26AM – Anthony 40. Christoph Dollis says: Sorry about the excess bolding at the end. I meant to close that tag off after “Your post” and not bold the last 3 pars. REPLY: Fixed, Anthony 41. Christoph Dollis says: Thanks for repairing my broken bold tag. And have a good sleep. “Case in point. Dr. Oliver K. Manuel (iron sun guy) used to post here regularly. However he got in the habit of carpet bombing threads with links back to his own blog factoids, just to provoke discussions. It was off topic, boorish, and incessant.” I do understand that, Anthony. Alternative theories of any stripe can attract a certain element. It’s unfortunate, however, that an alternative theory that may prove to be entirely relevant (possibly the key factor) to climate change is not allowed to be discussed. There are scientists like Anthony Perrat, a graduate student of Nobel prize in physics winner, Hannes Alfven (for magnetohydynamics: Tom Clancy fans, see the caterpillar drive in the Red October) … who dislike the electric universe stuff as much as you do because of their reliance on mythology to pose very unlikely scenarios. But still, he believes — and I am coming to believe — that astrophysicists have developed a great understanding of the mechanics of gravity, but are sorely lacking in understanding solar/galactic plasma (and possibly electricity to generate the magnetic fields). All of that is relevant to the Sun and the Sun is directly relevant to Earth’s climate. Pleasant dreams! 42. Christoph Dollis says: Pleasant dreams and, for what it’s worth, my disappointment was in direct measure to how much I value your site. I simply hope that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. While I don’t believe mythology has much of a place in astrophysics, plasma (and possibly electricity, which would generate the magnetic fields we keep discovering) does. The Sun’s corona and flares, at least, being largely charged plasma, that varies in intensity and heat output (and magnetism, for that matter, also important), this seems relevant to a climate blog. Sleep well. 43. Carla says: Christoph Dollis says: December 8, 2010 at 12:13 am ..The astrophysicist who developed the nuclear powered model of the Sun — Sir Arthur Eddington — himself said the competing theory was that the Sun drew its energy not from an internal nuclear furnace, but from the surrounding ether, the galaxy, by some unknown process.. ~ This is great, “from the surrounding ether, the galaxy, by some unknown process,” or yet unseen process. Vuks, might soon be landing an instellar cloudlett on a Maunder and Oort min, that would totally be icing on the cake. Then to see the flux tube distribution, and eat that cake too. woo woo Frisch team making comments like interstellar medium shaping this helisopheric spaceship. Oh no its plasma and electric dbl layers running the show. lol 44. derspatz says: Wow. That filiment closeup youtube reminds me of what was captured in this youtube clip: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqgNrj6oEdc&fs=1&hl=en_US] If it weren’t happening in more or less a vacuum, I wonder what it would sound like ! regarDS 45. The L&P Effect is showing us that we have more specks. Nothing new here. In the early days these measurements were done properly by Solanki. He and his students only measured large spots which gave us a good example of the Suns potential magnetic output. L&P today give the same weighting to a large area like 1131 and a small speck that is magnetically irrelevant. By including all the speck measurements (which are increasing) the magnetic value must decrease. I have measured every sunspot group of SC24 that passes the Layman’s Count threshold (unlike L&P) using a contrast measurement not unlike one of the L &P measures. I also have the luxury of measuring the highest magnetic strength per group which L&P cannot achieve as their data selection is constrained. My results are in complete disagreement and show that the magnetic strength of a weak SC24 is still increasing towards cycle max. Link to the latest graph HERE. 46. Christoph Dollis says: December 7, 2010 at 11:34 pm the idea that the universe itself may be a lot more pervaded with plasma and electricity than first thought It has long been known that most of the stuff we can see is in the plasma state. It has also long been known that there are no electric fields in the rest frame of that plasma [it simply shorts out]. And that when plasma meets a magnetic field, transient electric currents are induced with all kinds of effects [e.g. aurorae]. The issue with the EU and PU is what drives what? Large persistent electric currents need a persistent electromotive force to be maintained [otherwise the battery goes flat]. the Sun traversing different regions of our galaxy may cause fluctuations — through some process or other — of the Sun’s luminosity, Sunspot frequency, coronal mass ejection events The Galaxy is big and the Sun travels very slowly. It takes thousands of years to make traverse or enter a different region. Second, the solar wind blows at a speed 11 times greater than that which electric or magnetic changes can propagate upstream to the Sun. We don’t come close to understanding all there is to know about the solar system, plasma, comets, or But we do know quite a lot. ‘All’ is a big word. for that matter, the Sun (why for example is the center of a Sunspot cooler than the edge and why is the Sun’s surface 6,000 K in temperature, but the corona between 1 and 3 million?). Those things we do know something about. Sunspot is cooler because its magnetic field slows the convection of heat from the interior. For the corona there are several theories that explain its high temperature. Our problem here is that we do not know which one(s) are dominant. Perhaps they all work to various degrees. Sir Arthur Eddington — himself said the competing theory was that the Sun drew its energy not from an internal nuclear furnace, but from the surrounding ether, the galaxy, by some unknown process. Well, perhaps you can show us where he said that in papers published after the nuclear processes have been explained [~1940]. Today we directly observe the expected number of neutrinos generated by the nuclear furnace, so there is no need to invoke ‘unknown forces’. if the interior is really where all the heat has been generated. Nobody thinks that ALL the heat is generated in the interior. Some one part in a million is generated in the surface layers. 47. Marc DeRosa says: There are two more movies associated with this filament eruption available here and here. These movies came from a listing of recently flagged events by members of the SDO/AIA team here. Interested parties can subscribe to an RSS feed there as well. 48. John T says: “rob m. says: December 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm Is that first video in real time?” Based on the time stamps, it looks like 1 sec of video equals about 1 hr of real time. 49. Paul Vaughan says: Leif, does volcanic activity affect geomagnetic aa index? 50. Paul Vaughan says: December 8, 2010 at 8:34 am Leif, does volcanic activity affect geomagnetic aa index? No. Not unless a volcano erupts just under either of the two observatories [Hartland, UK; and Canberra, AU], which I don’t see happen as they are both in geologically stable terrains. 🙂 51. John T says: December 8, 2010 at 8:14 am Based on the time stamps, it looks like 1 sec of video equals about 1 hr of real time. Even without timestamps one can estimate this. The solar radius is 700,000 km. If the ejected matter moves at solar wind speed, 400 km/s [it does not quite as there is further acceleration a bit further out], the radius [which is about the size of eruption] is traversed in 700,000/400 = 1750 seconds [about half an hour]. 52. Paul Vaughan says: Re: Leif Svalgaard Can you think of any reason for clusters of temporally-indexed 1 to 7 year aa index power spikes (complex mexican hat wavelet) to match up with volcanic indices? The pattern, while not stunning, suggests at least some kind of indirect coupling. 53. Paul Vaughan says: December 8, 2010 at 10:23 am Can you think of any reason for clusters of temporally-indexed 1 to 7 year aa index power spikes (complex mexican hat wavelet) to match up with volcanic indices? The pattern, while not stunning, suggests at least some kind of indirect coupling. The most plausible reason is ‘looking at twenty random things, one of them will be significant at the 95% level’. There have, of course, been people finding correlations between volcanism and solar activity. E.g. http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/news/2008ScienceMeeting/doc/Session4/S4_03_Crowley.pdf See slide 27. There are all kinds of hare-brained ‘explanations’: LOD, barycenter, electric forces, ‘unknown forces’, you know the drill. Many of these have been discussed on WUWT over time. I won’t put any credence in any. It is likely that volcanism influences the deposition of 14C and 10Be and thus creates a seeming solar activity connection. And there is this ‘logic’: volcanoes influence climate, solar activity influences climate, ERGO solar activity triggers volcanoes [or is it the other way around?]. A stone cannot fly, you cannot fly, ERGO, you are a stone! [people with the ‘open mind’ syndrome would counter that stones sometimes fall from the sky … so the premise (that they can’t fly) must be false]. Volcanoes even, at times, fling stones into the sky 🙂 54. Geoff Sharp says: December 8, 2010 at 6:22 am The L&P Effect is showing us that we have more specks. Nothing new here. The L&P effect is simply that ordinary spots turn into specks. I have measured every sunspot group of SC24 that passes the Layman’s Count threshold (unlike L&P) So you bias the selection from the start to the larger spots, invalidating the result. L&P do not say that the largest spots are decreasing in strength. For your enjoyment I repeat an earlier comment: The L&P effect [slide 10 and an up-to-date version here http://www.leif.org/research/Livingston%20and%20Penn.png ] is that the average magnetic field strength also seems to have gone down the past 15 years. As the field goes down, it cools the sunspot less and the spots are getting warmer [thus radiating more] and their contrast to the surrounding photosphere is getting weaker, making the spots more difficult to see. When the field strength falls below 1500 or so Gauss, the spots have such low contrast that they are effectively invisible [at least with the small telescopes that are used for the sunspot count] or at least much harder to see, leading to the observer missing many of the smallest spots. The largest spots will always be visible [so there will always be some LARGE spots – during the Maunder Minimum all the spots seen were large spots as far as we (or I) know]. The SSN number is mainly determined by the number of small spots [there are more of those than of large spots]. Here is the observation on 24th Dec. 1957: ftp://howard.astro.ucla.edu/pub/obs/drawings/1957/dr571224.jpg This is most spotted sun ever observed. In 2003, the L&P effect was beginning to take effect and there were even more smaller spots than large ones: ftp://howard.astro.ucla.edu/pub/obs/drawings/2003/dr031029.jpg If L&P are correct [and everything so far suggests that – but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, so we need to wait and see until everybody is convinced] even these small spots will disappear and we may be left with only large spots [but few of them] like now: http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/08dec10/hmi200.gif The strongest argument for L&P is the growing discrepancy between F10.7 and the SSN [seen in both Japanese and Canadian (as well as combined) observations]. The second strongest argument is the persistence of cosmic ray modulation even when no or few spots were observed [Maunder and Spoerer minima]. And the third strongest is the disappearance of the OH lines. Then comes the actual measurements [and you can disregard the earliest if you like as they don’t matter]. Bill Livingston does not a agenda in this. 55. Rational Debate says: Isn’t it just about the right timing now for some genius to figure out, beyond a doubt, that the odd solar activity REALLY is because the sun is about to go supernova within the next ten years. As a result, there is a mad scramble to build interstellar Noah’s Arks to save the human race, and the mass diaspora begins? Sorry, just couldn’t resist, must be a result of inhaling all those sci fi novels, libraries worth, as a kid! 56. George E. Smith says: “”””” Leif Svalgaard says: December 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm George E. Smith says: December 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm Question. just how much REAL TIME is in those videos ?? Several hours. Watch the time ticker at the bottom of the frame “”””” Thanks Leif; that puts it in context. If you ever get invited to go there, I would turn it down; it looks too damn dangerous to me; but spectacular. 57. Paul Vaughan says: Leif, you may recall our discussion about Perry’s mysterious lags (e.g. 32 years, aa & Mississippi flow, 2007 article). I believe his lags will disappear if he looks at the temporal evolution of how El Ninos & La Ninas line up with NH summer/winter (SH winter/summer). Coincident with the 30s Dust Bowl, there’s a sharp switch in summer-winter contrasts. Temperature-precipitation relations vary seasonally & regionally. For example, over large portions of the northern hemisphere, the sign of the relationship is opposite in winter to that in summer (but there are notable regional exceptions). The absolute temperature & pressure (not just anomaly) is relevant for clouds & precipitation and therefore solar-terrestrial relations researchers like Perry might be wise to condition their analyses accordingly. NPI from ~1925-1945 should be a big clue, particularly considering the 0 lag Aleutian Low region mechanism suggested by Perry. (I would toss away all the speculation about 32 year ocean loops and focus instead on on the evolution of 0 lag temperature & pressure by season.) Thanks for the notes on volcanism/geomagnetism relations (or lack thereof!) 58. Leif Svalgaard says: December 8, 2010 at 11:36 am So you bias the selection from the start to the larger spots, invalidating the result. Incorrect, only the SINGLE specks/small spots are isolated via the threshold. A measured group that has mixture of spot/speck sizes has the total area measured, the smaller spots influencing the total darkness number but by not measuring each speck on its own the record is not spurious. The strongest argument for L&P is the growing discrepancy between F10.7 and the SSN [seen in both Japanese and Canadian (as well as combined) observations]. The second strongest argument is the persistence of cosmic ray modulation even when no or few spots were observed [Maunder and Spoerer minima]. And the third strongest is the disappearance of the OH lines. Then comes the actual measurements [and you can disregard the earliest if you like as they don’t matter]. There is always a small discrepancy between F10.7 flux and SSN. High flare activity in 2002 is one cause, even so the Canadian flux record is very close to the SSN record. There is no need to add the Japanese record to skew the results. Plage and coronal hole activity will still modulate cosmic rays during a solar grand minimum. Your continued reference to a theory that is flawed and without mechanism does not help your reputation. The L&P theory is pseudo-science. 59. Geoff Sharp says: December 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm Incorrect, only the SINGLE specks/small spots are isolated via the threshold. A measured group that has mixture of spot/speck sizes has the total area measured, the smaller spots influencing the total darkness number but by not measuring each speck on its own the record is not spurious. A single speck/spot has a sunspot count of 11, so removing that has a large effect. The large spot has a large influence on the area, but the magnetic flux comes from not just the large spot but from all the little specks around it [polarities must balance]. Today’s large spot is a good example: http://sdowww.lmsal.com/sdomedia/SunInTime/2010/12/08/l_HMImag.jpg Your area measure would miss all the white fields to the left of the big black spot. As I have said earlier, your count is misconceived and badly executed [e.g. uncalibrated] and is basically junk, but may serve your purpose for which it was apparently designed. There is always a small discrepancy between F10.7 flux and SSN. I’m talking about a systematic difference. And by definition, there is not a systematic difference as the conversion formula is a least squares fit. Canadian flux record is very close to the SSN record. There is no need to add the Japanese record to skew the results. Ken Tapping discovered the difference using the Canadian record. The Japanese record simply confirms his finding. Plage and coronal hole activity will still modulate cosmic rays during a solar grand minimum. You only have plages and coronal holes when you have magnetic fields so the dynamo must still be working. If these magnetic fields are strong enough, spots form. Not above 1500 G, no spots form or are visible, simple as that. The fields cannot be much weaker than 1500 G, because then we would lose the modulation. Your continued reference to a theory that is flawed and without mechanism does not help your reputation. The L&P theory is pseudo-science. I need no help wrt to my reputation. L&P is not theory, but observational fact so far. You may call it an ‘inconvenient truth’. There are mechanisms if you need some. E.g. sunspots are formed by coalescence of small pores and specks driven together by convective motions, which in turn depends on temperature differences. In a complicated system [also true for the Earth’s atmosphere] natural fluctuations occur stochastically, no more is needed. 60. Geoff Sharp says: December 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm Your continued reference to a theory that is flawed and without mechanism does not help your reputation. I need no help wrt to my reputation. L&P is not theory, but observational fact so far. You may call it an ‘inconvenient truth’. There are mechanisms if you need some. E.g. sunspots are formed by coalescence of small pores and specks driven together by convective motions, which in turn depends on temperature differences. In a complicated system [also true for the Earth’s atmosphere] natural fluctuations occur stochastically, no more is needed. A recent paper has more on how this can happen: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asna.200911311/pdf 61. Leif Svalgaard says: December 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm Your area measure would miss all the white fields to the left of the big black spot. As I have said earlier, your count is misconceived and badly executed [e.g. uncalibrated] and is basically junk, but may serve your purpose for which it was apparently designed. If tiny specks are produced next to a large area they are all included in the darkness measurement, each individual pixel is taken on it merit ie its contrast strength in the green channel. So nothing is missed unless L&P are now measuring plage? The threshold makes very little difference to the darkness measurement as it only removes SINGLE specks and small spots so your comments are unwarranted. The “junk” counting method just happens to come very close to your perceived value for the sunspot record if you were going to discount it… Meanwhile the F10.7 flux value stays at a low 84.6 while at the same time the area and darkness measurement is close to a SC24 record. Unipolar groups are dominating, and their affect on flux production might mean we see an opposite divergence this cycle (SSN higher than F10.7). It is certainly starting to show in the SIDC record. 62. Geoff Sharp says: December 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm If tiny specks are produced next to a large area they are all included in the darkness measurement, each individual pixel is taken on it merit ie its contrast strength in the green channel. So nothing is missed unless L&P are now measuring plage? the total area of the tiny specks is so small compared to the large spot that they don’t matter. For 1131 give us the area of the large black spot and the area of the [white] specks, and you’ll see. Meanwhile the F10.7 flux value stays at a low 84.6 while at the same time the area and darkness measurement is close to a SC24 record. So is 84.6, the average for 2010 is a low 79.9. And you miss the point: L&P is about disappearance of the small spots. Unipolar groups are dominating There are no unipolar groups. All active regions are bipolar. L&P says that the weakest spots are getting weaker. The leader spot is usually the strongest, so a consequence of L&P is that the weaker follower spots should be lost leaving us with more single large spots. This has a large influence on the sunspot number as most of the count comes from the small spots. 63. Geoff Sharp says: December 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm A measured group that has mixture of spot/speck sizes has the total area measured… It sounds like you have abandoned the Layman’s Sunspot Count [where you simply subtracted the contribution from groups you didn’t like from the SIDC number] and are now simply measuring the area. This is progress. The best way would be to total the unsigned magnetic flux over the disk. This is now very easy with HMI. MWO, and SOLIS providing that information in standard formats [FITS files]. An example of SOLIS data: ftp://solis.nso.edu/synoptic/level3/vsm/time-series/svsm_m11_absmeanfield_mr.jpg [ignore the single spike]. And MWO: http://obs.astro.ucla.edu/150_data.html#plots [but beware of instrument upgrades: http://www.leif.org/research/MWO%20MPSI%20-%20F107.pdf ]. So, modern instruments have very good means of quantifying solar activity. The challenge is to carry that back in time [centuries and more]. 64. Leif Svalgaard says: December 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm It sounds like you have abandoned the Layman’s Sunspot Count [where you simply subtracted the contribution from groups you didn’t like from the SIDC number] and are now simply measuring the area. This is progress. You are getting confused. There are three metrics to consider. 1. The Layman’s Sunspot Count that sets a sunspot threshold of 333 pixels. Counted pixels have a reading less than or equal to 150 in the green channel. (SDO Continuum image). The SIDC count is discounted by the spots/specks that don’t make the grade. 2. The Darkness Ratio measures all pixels in a group that make the grade. So once a group passes the threshold all pixels in that group are measured. Two readings are taken over the entire group, 0-34 in the green channel and 0-70 in the green channel and then a percentage is taken of the totals (SOHO Continuum images). This allows the less magnetic areas in a group to influence the overall value without skewing the data as seen via L&P. 3. DSN value. This has no threshold but measures the total solar face and records all pixels between 0-150 in the green channel. Another measure is also recorded between 0-132 in the green channel to determine the darkness ratio (SDO Continuum). Then the total area is multiplied by the darkness factor (81% translates into 8.1) to give a value which is then multiplied by a conversion factor to bring it back to the SOHO standard. A bit convoluted but the end result I think showing the true potential of SPOT activity. For 1131 give us the area of the large black spot and the area of the [white] specks, and you’ll see. Measuring 1131 at 2:30 UTC 9th Dec the main spot has 7633 pixels (up around 300 pixels from yesterday). There are another 8 pixels representing extremely small pores that surround it. In this example the extra pores would contribute very little to the overall darkness ratio value which is correct. If L&P measured the pores it would give 1 spot with a gauss reading over 3000 and the rest around 1600. Bin them altogether like is seen and the daily value is grossly understated. I have used the SDO Continuum image in this example but could do the same exercise with the SOHO image. 65. Geoff Sharp says: December 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm 1. The Layman’s Sunspot Count that sets a sunspot threshold of 333 pixels. Counted pixels have a reading less than or equal to 150 in the green channel. (SDO Continuum image). The SIDC count is discounted by the spots/specks that don’t make the grade. But you don’t use this for anything. Measuring 1131 at 2:30 UTC 9th Dec the main spot has 7633 pixels (up around 300 pixels from yesterday). There are another 8 pixels representing extremely small pores that surround it. Since the magnetic flux must add to zero [both polarities cancel], you are assuming that the 7633 pixels have the same total magnetic flux as the 8 small pores. This is clearly nonsense and shows why your measure is not a good measure of solar activity. 66. Geoff Sharp says: December 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm Measuring 1131 at 2:30 UTC 9th Dec the main spot has 7633 pixels (up around 300 pixels from yesterday). There are another 8 pixels representing extremely small pores that surround it. There is no need for a new and ‘improved’ measure. We have already the total magnetic flux going forward and two good proxies of that, the F10.7 and the Ca-index going back in time. The reasonable task is to figure out how we can extend those as far back as possible. Here, the sunspot number can be helpful, if we can figure out how it relates to those proxies. And here we must accept that that relationship could be changing with time [as it seems to do]. This includes not trying to prop up a measure designed to support a preconceived idea and agenda. 67. Leif Svalgaard says: December 8, 2010 at 9:57 pm Since the magnetic flux must add to zero [both polarities cancel], you are assuming that the 7633 pixels have the same total magnetic flux as the 8 small pores. This is clearly nonsense and shows why your measure is not a good measure of solar activity. I think you are still confused. I am not measuring the magnetogram. I am measuring the contrast ratio of visible spots via Continuum images, in this case a single alpha spot. 68. Geoff Sharp says: December 8, 2010 at 10:29 pm I think you are still confused. I am not measuring the magnetogram. I am measuring the contrast ratio of visible spots via Continuum images, in this case a single alpha spot. The contrast ratio of a single large spot is not interesting [we know it is large, and L&P are not concerned with that, but with the small spots], especially to someone not knowing the physics. You should be measuring the magnetogram. 69. Paul Vaughan says: vukcevic, you’ll find the same flip in SOI. Be sure to look at integrals & rates of change by month. Here’s some material to help sharpen thinking about seasonal NH temperature-precipitation correlation patterns (including sign reversals): 1) Figure 1c: Meehl, G.A.; Arblaster, J.M.; Branstator, G.; & van Loon, H. (2008). A coupled air-sea response mechanism to solar forcing in the Pacific Region. Journal of Climate 21, 2883-2897. http://www.cawcr.gov.au/staff/jma/meehl_solar_coldeventlike_2008.pdf 2) Figure 1: Roy, I; & Haigh, J.D. (2010). Solar cycle signals in sea level pressure and sea surface temperature. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 10, 3147-3153. http://www.atmos-chem-phys.org/10/3147/2010/acp-10-3147-2010.pdf Thanks to the mountain spine (including vertical temperature profile) & shape of the coast, you only need to bend the jet a small angle to introduce dramatic hydrologic variations downstream. The Aleutian Low can be a highly strategic deflector. Careful reconsideration of AMOC’s supposed dominance in multidecadal NH variations is warranted. Most of the North Pacific is warm during the cold phase of the PDO. PDO is related to SOI. SOI is related to LOD’ (which relates very tightly with GLAAM). LOD’ is related to solar cycling rate. Take a look at semi-annual contrasts of SOI integrals by month (on a color-contour plot) for a revelation about what coincided with the Chandler wobble phase reversal. (There was a 1/4 cycle [3 month] shift in seasonal persistence.) I suggest blinking between the upper & lower panels of figure 6 here: Trenberth, K.E. (2010). Changes in precipitation with climate change. http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/ClimateChangeWaterCycle-rev.pdf “Fig. 6 Correlations between monthly mean anomalies of surface temperature and precipitation, grouped into the 893 months of November to March and May to September, for 1979 to 2002, adapted from Trenberth and Shea (2005).” Bear in mind that these patterns are stationary in neither time nor space. Also note the use of anomalies even though temperature-precipitation relations are a function of absolutes. Regardless, the simple blend & contrast of these plain winter & summer summary maps illustrate a crucial point. When assumptions of randomness fail, Simpson’s Paradox has sharp teeth & a nasty bite. I should have included these links above: Perry’s hub: http://ks.water.usgs.gov/waterdata/climate/ More specifically: Perry, C.A. (2007). Evidence for a physical linkage between galactic cosmic rays and regional climate time series. Advances in Space Research 40, 353-364. doi:10.1016/j.asr2007.02.079. http://ks.water.usgs.gov/waterdata/climate/jasr8755.pdf Leif, what is the current mainstream conventional explanation of the effect of solar activity on length of day (LOD)? 70. Paul Vaughan says: December 9, 2010 at 7:36 am Leif, what is the current mainstream conventional explanation of the effect of solar activity on length of day (LOD)? No such effect is generally accepted. Possible effects could arise from the increase of moment of inertia of the atmosphere due to the expansion of the upper atmosphere [which does have a clear solar cycle variation]. But the upper atmosphere is VERY thin, so it is very doubtful that the influence would be detectable [simple calculation shows it is not]. I don’t know of any effect having been demonstrated. The FFT power spectrum of LOD does not show any solar-related peaks: http://www.leif.org/research/FFT%20of%20LOD.png so perhaps no explanation is needed. 71. James F. Evans says: “I sincerely hope that the increased interest in the study of double layers — which is fatal to this pseudoscience [“magnetic reconnection”] — will change the situation. Whenever we find a double layer (or any other E [electric field] does not equal zero) we hammer a nail into the coffin of the ‘merging’ pseudo-science.” — Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner in physics Highlight: “(or any other E [electric field] does not equal zero) we hammer a nail into the coffin of the ‘merging’ pseudo-science.” Why is the, above, statement important? Because you have statements like this: Dr. Svalgaard: “It has also long been known that there are no electric fields in the rest frame of that plasma [it simply shorts out]. And that when plasma meets a magnetic field, transient electric currents are induced with all kinds of effects [e.g. aurorae].” It’s a less adamant varient of “electricity doesn’t do anything in space”. The papers presented and linked to, below, discuss electric fields and electrical currents, not as “transient” events, but as significant “large scale” and “driving” mechanisms in the solar flare phenomenon. It is the development and propagation of electric fields which in turn accelerate charged particles and result in electrical currents. This is accomplished via the interaction of magnetic fields and charged particles’ electric force, which results in arrays of oppositely charged particles, thus, an electric field which causes charged particle acceleration. Here is a recent peer-reviewed paper duscussing the electric circuit theory: 2009 peer-reviewed published paper: Central European Astrophysics Bulletin GENERATION OF LARGE SCALE ELECTRIC FIELDS IN CORONAL FLAIR CIRCUITS Abstract: “A large number of energetic electrons are generated during solar flares. They carry a substantial part of the flare released energy but how these electrons are created is not fully understood yet. This paper suggests that plasma motion in an active region in the photosphere is the source of large electric currents. These currents can be described by macroscopic circuits. Under special circumstances currents can establish in the corona along magnetic field lines. The energy released by these currents when moderate assumptions for the local conditions are made, is found be comparable to the flare energy.” This paper presents the electric circuit theory championed by Hannes Alfven. Quote from the above paper: “Currently several different electron acceleration mechanisms in the solar corona are known. All of these mechanisms have the principle of acceleration due to electric fields in common, but differ in the processes leading to the generation of the electric field. In the present paper the generation of a large scale DC electric field is discussed in terms of electric circuits, which is related to a current generated due to photopheric plasma motion (e.g., Alfven and Carlqvist, 1967 [exploding double layers hypothesis presented]; Sen and White, 1972; Martres et al., 1973; Heyvarts, 1974; Obayashi, 1975; Akasofu, 1979; Kan et al., 1983; Melrose, 1997; Zaitsev et al., 1998; Yang et al., 2004; Zaitsev, 2005). Motivated by these papers, the electric currents are investigated in order to obtain a mechanism for acceleration of electrons to high energies. The basic idea of this mechanism is to generate the flare energy by photopheric plasma motion in active regions. This is in contradiction to the reconnectioon model in which the magnetic field energy in the corona is taken for the flare.” http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0908/0908.0813v1.pdf To highlight: “This is in contradiction to the reconnectioon model in which the magnetic field energy in the corona is taken for the flare.” Another peer-reviewed paper, Astrophysical Letters, 2005, cited in the above paper: ELECTRON ACCELERATION BY ELECTRIC FIELDS NEAR THE FOOTPRINTS OF CURRENT-CARRYING CORONAL MAGNETIC LOOPS V. V. Zaitsev Institute of Applied Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences Abstract: “We analyze the electric fields that arise at the footpoints of a coronal magnetic loop from the interaction between a convective flow of partially ionized plasma and the magnetic field of the loop. Such a situation can take place when the loop footpoints are at the nodes of several supergranulation cells. In this case, the neutral component of the converging convective flows entrain electrons and ions in different ways, because these are magnetized differently. As a result, a charge separating electric field emerges at the loop footpoints, which can efficiently accelerate particles inside the magnetic loop under appropriate conditions. We consider two acceleration regimes: impulsive (as applied to simple loop flares) and pulsating (as applied to solar and stellar radio pulsations).We have calculated the fluxes of accelerated electrons and their characteristic energies. We discuss the role of the return current when dense beams of accelerated particles are injected into the corona. The results obtained are considered in light of the currently available data on the corpuscular radiation from solar flares.” http://www.springerlink.com/content/d32j212710843216/ “INTRODUCTION Much of the energy in solar and stellar flares is released in the form of energetic particles. The bulk of the electrons and ions in impulsive solar flares are accelerated to energies of 100 keV and 100 MeV, respectively (Miller et al. 1997) and produce hard X-ray and gamma-ray line emission.” Many of these “energetic particles” eventually interact with the Earth’s magnetosphere and potentially effect Earth’s energy balance, one expression of which is climate. Finally, here is another scientific paper: DRIVING CURRENTS FOR FLUX ROPE CORONAL MASS EJECTIONS (2008): Abstract: “We present a method for measuring electrical currents enclosed by flux rope structures that are ejected within solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Such currents are responsible for providing the Lorentz self-force that propels CMEs. Our estimates for the driving current are based on measurements of the propelling force obtained using data from the LASCO coronagraphs aboard the SOHO satellite. We find that upper limits on the currents enclosed by CMEs are typically around$10^{10}$Amperes. We estimate that the magnetic flux enclosed by the CMEs in the LASCO field of view is a few$\times 10^{21}\$ Mx.”
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0810/0810.4210v1.pdf
So, here, are several scientific papers which discuss electric fields, electrical current, and the acceleration of charged particles via electric fields (not via so-called “magnetic reconnection”).

72. Paul Vaughan says:

Re: Leif Svalgaard
I wouldn’t necessarily expect simple coherence at the 1st harmonic. Thanks for the valuable notes.

73. Paul Vaughan says:
December 9, 2010 at 10:36 am
I wouldn’t necessarily expect simple coherence at the 1st harmonic. Thanks for the valuable notes.
We go by what we observe, not by what we expect. There is no solar cycle effect at any harmonic and no need for any explanation.
James F. Evans says:
December 9, 2010 at 9:47 am
So, here, are several scientific papers which discuss electric fields, electrical current, and the acceleration of charged particles via electric fields (not via so-called “magnetic reconnection”).
All acceleration of charged particles happens via electric fields and not magnetic fields. This has been known for more than a hundred years. The important part is what creates the electric field. The papers cited [as all modern ones do] agree that the electric fields are created by plasma moving across existing magnetic fields, as I have explained to you more times than I care to remember [but which apparently has not yet sunk in]. This has nothing to do with reconnection. Here is another peer-reviewed paper that demonstrates the creation of electric fields [by the distorting solar magnetic fields] in the corona: http://www.leif.org/research/Sun's%20Poloidal%20and%20Toroidal%20Magnetic%20Field.pdf
Reconnection is the universal, fundamental process by which energy stored in a structured magnetic field can be released, causing currents to flow if there are charges to carry them. In general, currents can be created by any changes in the magnetic field.

74. Paul thanks for the links.
Need to find out how Archibald calculated the cumulative SOI.
Peak in the LOD’s FFT at around 50 yr is consistent with 50 yr in SSN’s FFT and also green line’s fundamental in my CETng.htm graph

75. James F. Evans says:
December 9, 2010 at 9:47 am
So, here, are several scientific papers which discuss electric fields, electrical current, and the acceleration of charged particles via electric fields (not via so-called “magnetic reconnection”).
If you would care to actually read the paper you cite, you would find: “In such a plasma the charged particles propagate along the magnetic field lines corresponding to electric wires. If there is a magnetic connection between to oppositely charged areas through the corona, possibly as a result of magnetic reconnection, an electric current can close the electric circuit through the corona”

76. Paul Vaughan says:

Leif Svalgaard wrote, “We go by what we observe, not by what we expect.”
Agree. Thanks for the notes.

77. James F. Evans says:

Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “The important part is what creates the electric field. The papers cited [as all modern ones do] agree that the electric fields are created by plasma moving across existing magnetic fields…”
Agreed.
I, long ago, actually brought to your attention statements to that effect on this website:
“The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
“An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Rather, the issue is correctly identifying this process as an electromagnetic — i.e., plasma, free electrons & ions — process, and then resolving these processes by identifying & mapping the magnetic fields, electric fields, and charged particles’ location, direction, velocity (electrical currents) and location of charged particle acceleration.
Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “Large persistent electric currents need a persistent electromotive force to be maintained.”
Agreed.
And since persistent electrical currents and their prerequisite electric fields have been observed & measured, it would appear persistent electromotive force is present in astrophysical systems.
So, an electromagnetic analysis & interpretation of plasma systems is warranted, so as to understand various astrophysical processes and objects.
So-called “magnetic reconnection” is a dead end mode of analysis & interpretation, which hasn’t been quantified and never will be.

78. vukcevic says:
December 9, 2010 at 11:15 am
Peak in the LOD’s FFT at around 50 yr is consistent with 50 yr in SSN’s FFT
There is no significant peak anywhere, and in particular not at 50 yr.

79. James F. Evans says:
December 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm
And since persistent electrical currents and their prerequisite electric fields have been observed & measured, it would appear persistent electromotive force is present in astrophysical systems.
Indeed, the emf is caused by neutral plasma moving across magnetic fields as I have explained to you so many times. The causes of the movements are thermal and/or gravitational. No mystery, and no need for any other ‘explanation’.

80. James F. Evans says:

Dr. Svalgaard: “Here is another peer-reviewed paper [from 1978] that demonstrates the creation of electric fields [by the distorting solar magnetic fields] in the corona:”
Reviewing the paper, the term “electric field” is never used in the paper, “electric current” and “magnetic field”, yes, but not “electric field” or symbols denoting electric field such as “E”.

81. James F. Evans says:
December 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm
Reviewing the paper, the term “electric field” is never used in the paper, “electric current” and “magnetic field”, yes, but not “electric field” or symbols denoting electric field such as “E”.
Sorry, I should have said ‘current’ as that is what is flowing. No electric fields are needed for this, in spite of your assertion “And since persistent electrical currents and their prerequisite electric fields […]”. Anyway, your main interest seems to be the currents, so the paper caters nicely to that.

82. Paul Vaughan says:

vukcevic, it’s just the series (x1), (x1+x2), (x1+x2+x3), …
[If the series is not already centered about zero, subtract the mean first.]
I’ll address your other point elsewhere another time. My attention to this thread has expired. Best Regards.