Solar Cycle 25 is here, and that means – in the years ahead – more solar flares and more coronal mass ejections, or CMEs. People sometimes use the words interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. Here’s the difference.
A study of oppositely charged magnetic field bands, moving in the sun’s northern and southern hemispheres, suggests the coming sunspot cycle – Cycle 25 – will be a particularly strong one. This result contradicts an earlier expert forecast, suggesting a weak Cycle 25.
The sun is becoming active again as it enters Solar Cycle 25. This week, scientists’ predictions of sunspots were proven via photos from astronomers around the world. Giant sunspot AR2786 can be viewed with proper filters and may create strong flares that reach Earth.
Posted by Graham Jones in Human World | Space | Sun|4 months ago
Solar storms pose risks for society, but more accurate space weather forecasts appear to be coming soon. A team of researchers in Japan has developed a physics-based method for predicting large solar flares, including powerful and potentially dangerous X-flares.
Posted by Deborah Byrd in Human World | Space | Sun|7 months ago
Solar Orbiter swept as close as 50 million miles (77 million km) to our sun’s surface. Now scientists are at work testing the spacecraft’s 10 science instruments, including the 6 telescopes on-board. New images, to be released in mid-July, will be the closest of the sun ever captured.
Posted by Deborah Byrd in Human World | Space | Sun|11 months ago
Solar Orbiter – aka SolO – will take the first direct images of the sun’s poles. Following Sunday’s launch, the spacecraft will take a loopy path through the inner solar system, borrowing thrust from the powerful gravitational fields of Earth and Venus.
The clarity of these images from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii is thanks to the telescope’s 4-meter mirror, the world’s largest for a solar telescope. “It’s the biggest jump in our ability to study the sun since Galileo’s time,” a scientist said.
Parker Solar Probe – now in its 4th orbit around the sun – can endure heat and radiation like no previous mission. This week, 4 new studies in Nature reveal new insights about the sun’s mysterious corona and solar wind.
Why should we care about the new findings – released this week – from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe? This new NASA video explains how the solar wind – a stream of charged particles from the sun – affects earthly astronauts and technologies.