23 September 2011
"Nature" - G-d's "Disguise"
24 Elul 5771
(Tehillim 19.2) "The heavens recite the glory of God, and the sky tells of the work of His hands."
MAJOR X-FLARE + CME UPDATE: Earth-orbiting satellites have detected a long-duration X1.4-class solar flare coming from a new sunspot on the sun's eastern limb. The blast, which peaked at 1100 UT, produced a significant coronal mass ejection (CME). Using data from the SOHO-STEREO fleet of spacecraft, analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab have modeled the trajectory of the CME and concluded that the body of the cloud will not hit Earth. A minor glancing encounter with the outskirts of the CME is, however, possible on Sept. 25th.
AURORAS UNDERFOOT: Solar activity is picking up, and no one has a better view of its effect on Earth than the crew of the International Space Station. During a geomagnetic storm on Sept. 17th, astronauts recorded a must-see movie of auroras dancing underfoot:
MOVIE - Simply amazing!
...Note how the underbelly of the space station glows green from the reflected light of the auroras below. Also, in the distance, Sirius the dog star and Orion the Hunter can be seen rising feet-first into the night sky.
The storm, which registered a moderate 6 on the 0-to-9 K-index scale of geomagnetic disturbances, was caused by a coronal mass ejection (CME) hitting Earth's magnetic field. It was just a glancing blow, but with CMEs that is often enough to spark bright auroras over both ends of Earth. The space station was flying over the southern hemisphere at the time of the display. Observers in the northern hemisphere saw it too.
More recent news on solar flares...
Solar Flare Eruptions Hotting Up
...This increased activity arrives as scientists announce that the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has spotted a new pattern in solar flares in the last 15 months.
..."We're starting to see all sorts of new things," said SDO scientist Phil Chamberlin at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in a press release. "We see a large increase in emissions a half-hour to several hours later, that is sometimes even larger than the original, traditional phases of the flare.
"In one case on November 3, 2010, measuring only the effects of the main flare would mean underestimating the amount of energy shooting into Earth's atmosphere by 70 percent."