SUNSPOT EXPLODES, HURLS GIANT SOLAR FLARE AT EARTH

We first reported on this possibility a few days ago. On Feb. 12th, the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2699 exploded–for more than 6 hours. The slow-motion blast produced a C1-class solar flare and hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) almost directly toward Earth. This movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observtory (SOHO) shows the CME leaving the sun: The…

Solar storms linked to mass strandings of whales

Mass strandings of whales have often been documented, but their causes remain unclear. Researchers from Europe have just published a study in the International Journal of Astrobiology suggesting that some strandings are triggered by strong geomagnetic storms such as the one headed for Earth now. On Sept. 4th, active sunspot AR2673 hurled a CME toward Earth. Estimated…