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Recent Sunspot Activity

[Summary] | Solar Cycle 24 | Space Weather and Amateur Radio Website SolarHam is routinely updated with breaking news, sometimes hours before other Space News websites. You can trust for the most up to date and accurate solar informat

Advertisement | Solar Cycle 24 | Space Weather and Amateur Radio Website

SolarHam is routinely updated with breaking news, sometimes hours before other Space News websites. You can trust for the most up to date and accurate solar information on the internet. launched on March 15, 2006. The purpose of the website is to provide real time solar news, as well as data from various sources, all located in one spot for easy navigation. Sources include,

Sunspots and climate

Sunspots and climate

B. Geerts and E. Linacre

Sunspot cycle

Sunspots have a diameter of about 37,000 km and appear as dark spots within the photosphere, the outermost layer of the Sun. The photosphere is about 400 km deep, and provides most of our solar radiation. The layer is about 6,000 degrees Kelvin at the inner boundary and 4,200 K on the outside. The temperature within sunspots is about 4,600 K. The number of sunspots peaks every 11.1 years.

Diminishing solar activity may bring new Ice Age by 2030 – Astronomy Now

The arrival of intense cold similar to the one that raged during the “Little Ice Age”, which froze the world during the 17th century and in the beginning of the 18th century, is expected in the years 2030—2040. These conclusions were presented by Professor V. Zharkova (Northumbria University) during the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno in Wales by the international group of scientists, which also includes Dr Helen Popova of the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics and of the Faculty of Physics of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Professor Simon Shepherd of Bradford University and Dr Sergei Zharkov of Hull University.

NASA/Marshall Solar Physics

Predicting the behavior of a sunspot cycle is fairly reliable once the cycle is well underway (about 3 years after the minimum in sunspot number occurs [see Hathaway, Wilson, and Reichmann Solar Physics; 151, 177 (1994)]). Prior to that time the predictions are less reliable but nonetheless equally as important. Planning for satellite orbits and space missions often require knowledge of solar activity levels years in advance.

Solar activity is declining—what to expect?

(—Is Earth slowly heading for a new ice age? Looking at the decreasing number of sunspots, it may seem that we are entering a nearly spotless solar cycle which could result in lower temperatures for decades. "The solar cycle is starting to decline. Now we have less active regions visible on the sun's disk," Yaireska M. Collado-Vega, a space weather forecaster at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, told



Significant Class X3.8 Solar Flare Alert

17 January 2005

Active Region 10720 continues to produce extremely energetic solar flare activity. The largest flare from this region to date occurred at 09:52 UTC on 17 January when the region spawned an impressive and very long duration (over 3 hours) X3.8 solar x-ray flare. The solar flare produced intense radio emissions across the spectrum. The emissions at 10 cm wavelengths were more than 80 times louder than the normal background noise of the Sun, measuring 12,000 sfu! Near-relativistic (travelling near the speed of light) energetic protons from this event began arriving at the Earth near 10:00 UTC and will further increase space radiation levels at orbital altitudes. There is a risk of a category S3 space radiation storm that could (if it materializes) result in increased charging related anomalies on orbiting spacecraft. It may also enhance the ambient radiation environment for passengers and crew of commercial airlines operating in high latitude regions. If S3 levels are achieved, a low-level radiation enhancement equivalent to approximately one chest x-ray may be observed for these personell.

Terms and Definitions

If a planet and a moon have identical densities, then the Roche Limit is 2.446 times the radius of the planet. The Roche Limits for the ringed planets are:

Jupiter - 175,000 km (108,000 miles)

Saturn - 147,000 km ( 92,000 miles)

Uranus - 62,000 km ( 39,000 miles)

Neptune - 59,000 km ( 37,000 miles)

This limit represents the rough boundary between each planet's ring system and its innermost moons.

What are the northern lights?(Everyday Mysteries: Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress)

What are the northern lights?

The northern lights, one of several astronomical phenomena called polar lights (aurora polaris), are shafts or curtains of colored light visible on occasion in the night sky.

Polar lights (aurora polaris) are a natural phenomenon found in both the northern and southern hemispheres that can be truly awe inspiring. Northern lights are also called by their scientific name, aurora borealis, and southern lights are called aurora australis.

Sun & climate: moving in opposite directions

Sun & climate: moving in opposite directions

What the science says...

The sun's energy has decreased since the 1980s but the Earth keeps warming faster than before.

Climate Myth...

It's the sun
"Over the past few hundred years, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of sunspots, at the time when the Earth has been getting warmer. The data suggests solar activity is influencing the global climate causing the world to get warmer." (BBC)

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