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January 8, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Massive sunspot AR 1944 is getting feisty, and doing some damage. Several Earth-lengths across, it is one of the largest sunspots seen in a decade. It is also complex, with dozens of dark cores. "Sometimes you see a nice, big simple brown sunspot, and even though it's big, it's boring," said Alex Young of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "But as soon as they start getting twisted and breaking apart and merging with each other, you know something exciting is going to happen.
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SCIENCE
March 31, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard, This post has been updated. See below for details.
An immense solar flare burst from the sun Saturday, and as of Monday there were "several coronal mass ejections in play," according to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center. A coronal mass ejection is a huge release --billions of tons -- of solar material and magnetic fields that, if it reaches Earth, can create beautiful auroras as well as cause problems with the power grid. [Updated 4 p.m. March 30: Heliophysicist Alex Young told the Los Angeles Times this flare was unique in that it was "impulsive" -- providing a strong, quick burst of radiation.
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SCIENCE
April 24, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
Thanks to NASA, you can now stare at the sun for three minutes straight. No, don't run outside and look up. Instead, check out the clip above that condenses three years of sun images into a hypnotic three-minute video that shows our closest star rotating on its axis, radiating energy and light. The images in the video were taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, a NASA satellite that launched three years ago in 2010, with the express purpose of helping scientists better understand the sun and how its magnetic fields shift and change.  To that end, the Solar Dynamics Observatory is constantly monitoring the sun, including snapping an image of it every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths.
SCIENCE
January 8, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Massive sunspot AR 1944 is getting feisty, and doing some damage. Several Earth-lengths across, it is one of the largest sunspots seen in a decade. It is also complex, with dozens of dark cores. "Sometimes you see a nice, big simple brown sunspot, and even though it's big, it's boring," said Alex Young of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "But as soon as they start getting twisted and breaking apart and merging with each other, you know something exciting is going to happen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 1989 | Compiled from staff and wire reports
The sharpest pictures ever of flares on the surface of the sun have been obtained by astrophysicist Leo Golub of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Laboratory using an X-ray telescope fired by rocket to a height of 150 miles above the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico. The telescope took 40 pictures of the sun during a five-minute period of intense solar disturbances before being parachuted to the ground.
NEWS
November 22, 1995 | LEO W. BANKS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Richard Head doesn't look like a weather wizard, a seer of sun and storms. He has never gazed into a crystal ball, except for a tongue-in-cheek magazine photograph. But this unassuming 76-year-old has millions of devoted followers, some of whom plan the most intimate events of their lives around the predictions he makes in the Old Farmer's Almanac. One devotee recently asked how the weather would be on her wedding day, nearly six months off. He told her to expect showers.
OPINION
January 31, 1988
I was happy to see your extensive description of current advances in solar research in (Metro, Jan. 11). Unfortunately, the media are often more fascinated by distant galaxies and the birth of the universe than by our own star, which we can learn so much about. So we were glad to see some attention paid to it. However, the article neglected to point out that Southern California is the world's greatest center of solar research, and there are several other centers besides Mt. Wilson.
SCIENCE
March 31, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard, This post has been updated. See below for details.
An immense solar flare burst from the sun Saturday, and as of Monday there were "several coronal mass ejections in play," according to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center. A coronal mass ejection is a huge release --billions of tons -- of solar material and magnetic fields that, if it reaches Earth, can create beautiful auroras as well as cause problems with the power grid. [Updated 4 p.m. March 30: Heliophysicist Alex Young told the Los Angeles Times this flare was unique in that it was "impulsive" -- providing a strong, quick burst of radiation.
SCIENCE
January 9, 2010 | By Mark K. Matthews
NASA heads into 2010 with the bittersweet assignment of retiring the space shuttle after nearly three decades. But the agency also plans to launch three new satellites aimed at better understanding the sun and Earth's climate and oceans. Two satellites will examine Earth -- specifically, the concentration of salt in the world's oceans and the presence of aerosols, or minute particles, such as dust or ash, in the atmosphere. A third satellite mission will study the sun and its effect on space weather, including solar flares that can disrupt communication on Earth.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 1987
A computer model of activity on the surface of the sun has been made by physicists at UC Irvine. University officials said the result may be a better understanding of such things as solar flares, which disrupt radio communications on earth. The computer model provides insight into solar filaments, university officials said. Solar filaments are huge, looping ribbons of matter, cooler and denser than the surrounding atmospheric plasma of the sun.
SCIENCE
April 24, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
Thanks to NASA, you can now stare at the sun for three minutes straight. No, don't run outside and look up. Instead, check out the clip above that condenses three years of sun images into a hypnotic three-minute video that shows our closest star rotating on its axis, radiating energy and light. The images in the video were taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, a NASA satellite that launched three years ago in 2010, with the express purpose of helping scientists better understand the sun and how its magnetic fields shift and change.  To that end, the Solar Dynamics Observatory is constantly monitoring the sun, including snapping an image of it every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths.
SCIENCE
June 15, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
The next 11-year cycle of increased sunspot activity, scheduled to begin around 2020, may be delayed for a couple of years and have a reduced magnitude — or it may not occur at all, researchers said Tuesday. Three different lines of evidence suggest that the sun, which is expected to reach its maximum sunspot and magnetic activity in the current cycle sometime in 2013, might even enter a prolonged quiet period similar to the so-called Maunder Minimum, a 70-year stretch from 1645 to 1715 in which virtually no sunspots were observed.
SCIENCE
January 9, 2010 | By Mark K. Matthews
NASA heads into 2010 with the bittersweet assignment of retiring the space shuttle after nearly three decades. But the agency also plans to launch three new satellites aimed at better understanding the sun and Earth's climate and oceans. Two satellites will examine Earth -- specifically, the concentration of salt in the world's oceans and the presence of aerosols, or minute particles, such as dust or ash, in the atmosphere. A third satellite mission will study the sun and its effect on space weather, including solar flares that can disrupt communication on Earth.
SCIENCE
September 16, 2006 | Robert Lee Hotz, Times Staff Writer
Seeking another cause of global warming, some climate experts long suspected that the sun itself could be at fault. Changes in the sun's luminosity might be more to blame for the world's rising temperatures than industrial greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, they speculated. Not so, scientists reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.
NEWS
November 22, 1995 | LEO W. BANKS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Richard Head doesn't look like a weather wizard, a seer of sun and storms. He has never gazed into a crystal ball, except for a tongue-in-cheek magazine photograph. But this unassuming 76-year-old has millions of devoted followers, some of whom plan the most intimate events of their lives around the predictions he makes in the Old Farmer's Almanac. One devotee recently asked how the weather would be on her wedding day, nearly six months off. He told her to expect showers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 1989 | Compiled from staff and wire reports
The sharpest pictures ever of flares on the surface of the sun have been obtained by astrophysicist Leo Golub of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Laboratory using an X-ray telescope fired by rocket to a height of 150 miles above the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico. The telescope took 40 pictures of the sun during a five-minute period of intense solar disturbances before being parachuted to the ground.
SCIENCE
September 16, 2006 | Robert Lee Hotz, Times Staff Writer
Seeking another cause of global warming, some climate experts long suspected that the sun itself could be at fault. Changes in the sun's luminosity might be more to blame for the world's rising temperatures than industrial greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, they speculated. Not so, scientists reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.
SCIENCE
June 15, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
The next 11-year cycle of increased sunspot activity, scheduled to begin around 2020, may be delayed for a couple of years and have a reduced magnitude — or it may not occur at all, researchers said Tuesday. Three different lines of evidence suggest that the sun, which is expected to reach its maximum sunspot and magnetic activity in the current cycle sometime in 2013, might even enter a prolonged quiet period similar to the so-called Maunder Minimum, a 70-year stretch from 1645 to 1715 in which virtually no sunspots were observed.
OPINION
January 31, 1988
I was happy to see your extensive description of current advances in solar research in (Metro, Jan. 11). Unfortunately, the media are often more fascinated by distant galaxies and the birth of the universe than by our own star, which we can learn so much about. So we were glad to see some attention paid to it. However, the article neglected to point out that Southern California is the world's greatest center of solar research, and there are several other centers besides Mt. Wilson.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 1987
A computer model of activity on the surface of the sun has been made by physicists at UC Irvine. University officials said the result may be a better understanding of such things as solar flares, which disrupt radio communications on earth. The computer model provides insight into solar filaments, university officials said. Solar filaments are huge, looping ribbons of matter, cooler and denser than the surrounding atmospheric plasma of the sun.
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