Thursday, March 3, 2011

Missing Sun Spots

From NASA March 2, 2011 excerpts include: In 2008-2009 sunspots almost completely disappeared for two years. Solar activity dropped to hundred-year lows; Earth's upper atmosphere cooled and collapsed; the sun’s magnetic field weakened, allowing cosmic rays to penetrate the Solar System in record numbers. It was a big event, and solar physicists openly wondered, where have all the sunspots gone?

While Solar Max is relatively brief, lasting a few years punctuated by episodes of violent flaring, over and done in days, Solar Minimum can grind on for many years. The famous Maunder Minimum of the 17th century lasted 70 years and coincided with the deepest part of Europe's Little Ice Age.

One thing is clear: During long minima, strange things happen. In 2008-2009, the sun’s global magnetic field weakened and the solar wind subsided. Cosmic rays normally held at bay by the sun’s windy magnetism surged into the inner solar system.

At the same time, the heating action of UV rays normally provided by sunspots was absent, so Earth’s upper atmosphere began to cool and collapse.

Missing Sun Spots

From NASA March 2, 2011 excerpts include: In 2008http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif-2009, sunspots almost completely disappeared for two years. Solar activity dropped to hundred-year lows; Earth's upper atmosphere cooled and collapsed; the sun’s magnetic field weakened, allowing cosmic rays to penetrate the Solar System in record numbers. It was a big event, and solar physicists openly wondered, where have all the sunspots gone?

While Solar Max is relatively brief, lasting a few years punctuated by episodes of violent flaring, over and done in days, Solar Minimum can grind on for many years. The famous Maunder Minimum of the 17th century lasted 70 years and coincided with the deepest part of Europe's Little Ice Age.

One thing is clear: During long minima, strange things happen. In 2008-2009, the sun’s global magnetic field weakened and the solar wind subsided. Cosmic rays normally held at bay by the sun’s windy magnetism surged into the inner solar system.

At the same time, the heating action of UV rays normally provided by sunspots was absent, so Earth’s upper atmosphere began to cool and collapse.

Missing Sunspots

From NASA March 2, 2011 excerpts include: In 2008-2009, sunspots almost completely disappeared for two years. Solar activity dropped to hundred-year lows; Earth's upper atmosphere cooled and collapsed; the sun’s magnetic field weakened, allowing cosmic rays to penetrate the Solar System in record numbers. It was a big event, and solar physicists openly wondered, where have all the sunspots gone?

While Solar Max is relatively brief, lasting a few years punctuated by episodes of violent flaring, over and done in days, Solar Minimum can grind on for many years. The famous Maunder Minimum of the 17th century lasted 70 years and coincided with the deepest part of Europe's Little Ice Age.

One thing is clear: During long minima, strange things happen. In 2008-2009, the sun’s global magnetic field weakened and the solar wind subsided. Cosmic rays normally held at bay by the sun’s windy magnetism surged into the inner solar system.

At the same time, the heating action of UV rays normally provided by sunspots was absent, so Earth’s upper atmosphere began to cool and collapse.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Solar geomagnetic index reaches unprecedented low

From Watts Up With That Jan 7, 2009
Solar geomagnetic index reaches unprecedented low

...sunspots are just one proxy.. for magnetic activity of the sun. It is the magnetic activity of the sun which is central to Svensmark’s theory of galactic cosmic ray modulation, which may affect cloud cover formation on earth, thus affecting global temperatures.
Lower magnetic activity of the sun lets more GCR’s into our solar system, which produce microscopic cloud seed trails ... in our atmosphere, resulting in more cloud cover, resulting in a cooler planet.

With the Ap index dwindling to a wisp of magnetism, it bolsters the argument made by Livingston and Penn that sunspots may disappear altogether by 2015.

The theory goes that once the magnetic strength falls below 1500 gauss, sunspots will become invisible to us.

AP INDEX
For ap index see NOAA
Daily regular magnetic field variation arise from current systems caused by regular solar radiation changes. Other irregular current systems produce magnetic field changes caused by the interaction of the solar wind with the magnetosphere, by the magnetosphere itself, by the interactions between the magnetosphere and ionosphere, and by the ionosphere itself.

Magnetic activity indices were designed to describe variation in the geomagnetic field caused by these irregular current systems.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December Solar Activity

Seems like we've heard this before? Say it enough times, some day they will be right. Let's wait and see.
Interesting definition of "flurry".

From Space Weather.com for Dec 27
SOLAR ACTIVITY INTENSIFIES: 2009 is ending with a flurry of sunspots. The latest is sunspot 1039, which formed yesterday and is now crackling with low-level solar flares.
So far, 65% of the days in December have brought sunspots--a sharp increase in percentages compared to earlier months of 2009 when sunspots were surpassingly rare. All six of December's sunspot groups have been members of new Solar Cycle 24. These numbers could herald the sun's awakening from the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century and a livelier sun in 2010. Stay tuned.

A few of many reminders
From SpaceWeather.com June 23, 2009
"No one knows exactly how the sun's deep jet streams boost the sunspot count, but they do. As a result, this week's sunspot activity might herald more to come. Stay tuned for updates".

June 17, 2009
The jet stream is now, finally, reaching the critical latitude, heralding a return of solar activity in the months and years ahead."

July 5
The most active sunspot of the year so far is emerging in the sun's southern hemisphere.

We could keep going:
NASA May 20, 2003
Hathaway predicts cycle 24 to begin Dec 2006

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cosmic Ray Inflow and Climate Change

Interesting video of Jasper Kirby CERN lecture on research to study the impact of comsic radiation on climate.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/175641-climategate-revolt-of-the-physicists

Physicists have discovered that changes in the rate of cosmic ray inflow cause climate change and that solar activity shields the earth from cosmic rays. They haven't completely worked out the mechanism yet, but they think it has to do with cosmic rays causing cloud formation and clouds reflecting sunlight back into space.

Sunspots may vanish by 2015.

This prediction was originally submitted and rejected for publication in 2005

Sunspots may vanish by 2015.
William Livingston,1 Matthew Penn1