With the sun spotless – cracks are forming in Earth's magnetic field

While the sun is completely blank today, and has been for 8 days, some new things are happening in space in the electromagnetic relationship between the sun and the Earth – cracks are forming in Earth’s magnetic field that are allowing solar wind particles into Earth’s upper atmosphere. The sunspot number keeps decreasing, as would…

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Giant 'space hurricanes' may affect satellites

Solar wind impacts on giant ‘space hurricanes’ may affect satellite safety From EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY Could the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Costa Rica set off a hurricane in California? The question has been scrutinized by chaos theorists, stock-market analysts and weather forecasters for decades. For most people, this hypothetical scenario may be difficult…

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…

NASA: Human activities now affecting space

From the “worse than we thought” department and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center comes this: Space weather events linked to human activity Our Cold War history is now offering scientists a chance to better understand the complex space system that surrounds us. Space weather — which can include changes in Earth’s magnetic environment — are…

Spaceweather protection bill passes the Senate

From the “a single Carrington event can ruin your whole day, er, life” department: WASHINGTON — The Senate unanimously passed a bill May 2 intended to support space weather research and planning to protect critical infrastructure from solar storms. The Senate passed, via unanimous consent, the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act. The bill cleared…