New discovery – 'magnetic cages' on the sun sometimes save us from massive solar eruptions

NASA’s SDO Reveals How Magnetic Cage on the Sun Stopped Solar Eruption A dramatic magnetic power struggle at the Sun’s surface lies at the heart of solar eruptions, new research using NASA data shows. The work highlights the role of the Sun’s magnetic landscape, or topology, in the development of solar eruptions that can trigger…

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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…

With solar storm in progress, regional impact forecasts set to begin

According to NASA’s Spaceweather.com, a G1-class geomagnetic storm is ringing Earth’s poles on Sept. 29th as a high-speed (600+ km/s) stream of solar wind continues to buffet our planet’s magnetic field. While this particular storm isn’t expected to do more than produce spectacular Auroras and perhaps cause some minor power grid fluctuations, knowing what impacts a…

A new method for predicting speed and motion of solar flares

A Montana State University physicist who has developed a new model that predicts the speed of solar plasma during solar flares, likening it to the path traveled by a thrown baseball, will present his findings at the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society conference being held this week in Boulder, Colorado. Sean Brannon,…