September 8, 2009
Re "Maybe it's the sunspots," Opinion, Sept. 1 It's possible, of course, to prove just about any belief if one carefully cherry-picks the evidence and one's experts. But what if, while we're awaiting perfect evidence that humans are the principal cause of the current warming trend, we pass the tipping point and begin the irreversible slide toward a Venusian climate? The money we will have saved won't be much help. Carroll Slemaker Mission Viejo :: Kudos to Jonah Goldberg for having the courage to question the media and politicians on "global warming" -- or now, "climate change" because the Earth is not getting warmer.
May 9, 2009 |
When the sun sneezes, Earth gets sick. It's time for the sun to move into a busier period for sunspots, and though forecasters expect a mild outbreak by historical standards, one major solar storm can cause havoc with satellites and electrical systems. Like hurricanes, a weak cycle refers to the number of storms, but it takes only one powerful storm to create chaos, warned scientist Doug Biesecker of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's space weather prediction center.
September 27, 2008 |
The solar wind -- a stream of charged particles ejected from the sun's upper atmosphere at 1 million mph -- is significantly weaker, cooler and less dense than it has been in 50 years, according to new data from the solar probe Ulysses. The cause seems to be a change in its magnetic flux, said Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute. Why it's happening is a mystery, but it has fluctuated like this in the past. Normally the sun goes through an 11-year cycle of more, then fewer, sunspots and a similar solar wind cycle.
October 28, 2006 |
Twin spacecraft blasted off on a mission to study huge eruptions from the sun that can damage satellites, disrupt electrical and communications systems on Earth, and endanger spacewalking astronauts. The two NASA spacecraft, known as STEREO, for Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, lifted off Wednesday from Cape Canaveral in Florida, aboard a Delta II rocket.
March 7, 2006 |
The next sunspot cycle will be a year late and as much as 50% stronger than the last one, according to a forecast released Monday by scientists from NASA and the National Science Foundation. Such predictions are vital because the solar storms associated with the sunspots not only endanger humans in space, but can slow satellites in orbit, disrupt communications, interfere with Global Positioning Systems and bring down power grids.
November 8, 2003 |
A solar flare that burst out of the sun Tuesday was the largest on record. The two previous most powerful flares, from 1989 and 2001, were rated at X-20 on the scale used by solar astronomers. Tuesday's event was at least an X-28 and could be revised upward. The flare was so powerful it "blinded" the satellite used to measure it for 11 minutes. The flare caused few problems on Earth because it was directed away from the planet and hit only with a glancing blow.