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SCIENCE
May 4, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Time
A stream of highly charged particles from the sun is headed straight toward Earth, threatening to plunge cities around the world into darkness and bring the global economy screeching to a halt. This isn't the premise of the latest doomsday thriller. Massive solar storms have happened before - and another one is likely to occur soon, according to Mike Hapgood, a space weather scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, England. Much of the planet's electronic equipment, as well as orbiting satellites, have been built to withstand these periodic geomagnetic storms.
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SCIENCE
May 14, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
The sun put on another fireworks display Monday evening, releasing a dramatic flash of ultraviolet radiation and sending solar matter hurtling through space. It was the third major solar flare in 24 hours and the most powerful of 2013. The solar flare triple threat started Sunday evening when the left flank of the sun exploded with an X1.7 solar flare -- the first X class solar flare of 2013. That was followed by an X2.8 solar flare Monday morning, and an X3.2 solar flare Monday just after 6 p.m. PDT.  All three solar flares originated from sun spots in an area of the sun known as AR 11748.
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SCIENCE
August 15, 2012 | By Monte Morin
A  panel of science experts has called for the creation of a larger and better equipped National Space Weather Program, citing the potentially catastrophic effects of extreme solar eruptions. On Wednesday, members of the National Research Council released a report on solar and space physics that outlined a series of program recommendations for the next 10 years. Among their suggestions was rechartering the nation's space weather program at a “higher, more important level,” according to report chairman Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado.
SCIENCE
May 10, 2013 | By Amy Hubbard
The sun is ramping up toward solar maximum -- the white-hot peak of activity in an 11-year cycle -- and NASA has been snapping images of the phenomenon every 12 seconds for three years. The space agency put together a three-minute video showing images taken by the Solar Dynamic Observatory since spring 2010. As the Los Angeles Times' Deborah Netburn reported last month, the NASA video stitches together two SDO images per day over the three-year period. Alex Young, a heliophysicist at Goddard Space Flight Center, narrates the video to point up some of the sun's best-of moments in that time frame.
SCIENCE
August 20, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Sunspots, those dark regions on the surface of the sun whose high magnetic activity has ripple effects for Earthlings, seem to emerge and fade without warning. But now, by listening to the sounds the sun makes, scientists have managed to predict when a sunspot will appear up to two days beforehand. The findings, published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, could help solar physicists understand how to better predict solar flares and other space weather events that can harm astronauts and damage power and electronics systems on Earth.
SCIENCE
May 1, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A new mineral formed on the moon by repeated bombardments from meteorites and other space debris has been found in a meteorite that fell to Earth in 2000, researchers reported Monday. The finding shows that "space weather" can help create materials not seen on Earth, they reported in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
SCIENCE
May 10, 2013 | By Amy Hubbard
The sun is ramping up toward solar maximum -- the white-hot peak of activity in an 11-year cycle -- and NASA has been snapping images of the phenomenon every 12 seconds for three years. The space agency put together a three-minute video showing images taken by the Solar Dynamic Observatory since spring 2010. As the Los Angeles Times' Deborah Netburn reported last month, the NASA video stitches together two SDO images per day over the three-year period. Alex Young, a heliophysicist at Goddard Space Flight Center, narrates the video to point up some of the sun's best-of moments in that time frame.
SCIENCE
May 14, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
The sun put on another fireworks display Monday evening, releasing a dramatic flash of ultraviolet radiation and sending solar matter hurtling through space. It was the third major solar flare in 24 hours and the most powerful of 2013. The solar flare triple threat started Sunday evening when the left flank of the sun exploded with an X1.7 solar flare -- the first X class solar flare of 2013. That was followed by an X2.8 solar flare Monday morning, and an X3.2 solar flare Monday just after 6 p.m. PDT.  All three solar flares originated from sun spots in an area of the sun known as AR 11748.
SCIENCE
March 1, 2013 | By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
A pair of NASA probes has discovered a previously unknown ring of radiation blanketing the Earth, upending a long-standing scientific theory about how charged particles coalesce around the planet, scientists reported Thursday. Just four days after the twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes were launched in August, NASA scientists looked on in amazement as instruments revealed a third belt of high-energy particles between the planet's inner and outer radiation belts, known as the Van Allen belts.
NATIONAL
July 12, 2012 | By Amy Hubbard
A heavy-duty solar flare erupted on the surface of the sun midmorning Thursday, and it appeared from early data that a solar storm from the X-class eruption was headed toward Earth. "It looks to be headed in the Earth's direction," Alex Young of Maryland's Goddard Space Flight Center told the Los Angeles Times in an interview Thursday. But, he noted, that's based on a view from just one of two spacecraft monitoring the sun.  The so-called coronal mass ejection -- a violently released bubble of gas and magnetic fields -- could veer off. Scientists are waiting on more data from spacecraft within the next few hours to pinpoint the speed and severity of the storm.  PHOTOS: Solar flare close-ups Mike Hapgood, a space weather scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, England, explained coronal mass ejections in a recent interview with The Times: "Coronal mass ejections are caused when the magnetic field in the sun's atmosphere gets disrupted and then the plasma, the sun's hot ionized gas, erupts and send charged particles into space.
SCIENCE
March 1, 2013 | By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
A pair of NASA probes has discovered a previously unknown ring of radiation blanketing the Earth, upending a long-standing scientific theory about how charged particles coalesce around the planet, scientists reported Thursday. Just four days after the twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes were launched in August, NASA scientists looked on in amazement as instruments revealed a third belt of high-energy particles between the planet's inner and outer radiation belts, known as the Van Allen belts.
SCIENCE
August 15, 2012 | By Monte Morin
A  panel of science experts has called for the creation of a larger and better equipped National Space Weather Program, citing the potentially catastrophic effects of extreme solar eruptions. On Wednesday, members of the National Research Council released a report on solar and space physics that outlined a series of program recommendations for the next 10 years. Among their suggestions was rechartering the nation's space weather program at a “higher, more important level,” according to report chairman Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado.
SCIENCE
May 4, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Time
A stream of highly charged particles from the sun is headed straight toward Earth, threatening to plunge cities around the world into darkness and bring the global economy screeching to a halt. This isn't the premise of the latest doomsday thriller. Massive solar storms have happened before - and another one is likely to occur soon, according to Mike Hapgood, a space weather scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, England. Much of the planet's electronic equipment, as well as orbiting satellites, have been built to withstand these periodic geomagnetic storms.
SCIENCE
August 20, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Sunspots, those dark regions on the surface of the sun whose high magnetic activity has ripple effects for Earthlings, seem to emerge and fade without warning. But now, by listening to the sounds the sun makes, scientists have managed to predict when a sunspot will appear up to two days beforehand. The findings, published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, could help solar physicists understand how to better predict solar flares and other space weather events that can harm astronauts and damage power and electronics systems on Earth.
SCIENCE
May 1, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A new mineral formed on the moon by repeated bombardments from meteorites and other space debris has been found in a meteorite that fell to Earth in 2000, researchers reported Monday. The finding shows that "space weather" can help create materials not seen on Earth, they reported in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
NEWS
February 15, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard
A storm warning has been issued for space, where a "cannibal" coronal mass ejection grabbed the attention of space-weather watchers. The sun -- at a peak of activity in the 11-year solar cycle -- hurled a pair of CMEs that reached Earth early Saturday morning, Pacific time. The ejections, as NASA's Alex Young says, "are a huge release of solar material, billions of tons, and magnetic field. "  Upon reaching Earth, they can wreak havoc with our power grid --  and, on the bright side, create gorgeous auroras.
NEWS
March 31, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Four solar flares and a pair of powerful magnetic gas clouds spawned in a monster sunspot were headed for Earth and could affect power systems, satellites and some radio transmissions this weekend, a top space weather forecaster said. They might also provide a dazzling display of the northern lights if they arrive at night, said Gary Heckman, senior forecaster for the U.S. Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colo.
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