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    Sunspot 1302 - Big, Bad And Today
    By News Staff | September 26th 2011 03:14 AM | 16 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    In Doomsday Comet Elenin Goes Out With A Whimper we dismissed concerns from prophets of doom that a tiny comet 22 million miles away would make any difference in our lives - but we never said anything at all about a sunspot and what it might due to your wireless PS3 connection at a crucial moment in "Gears of War".

    Behemoth sunspot 1302 unleashed another strong flare on Saturday morning, an X1.9-category blast at 5:40 am EDT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash.

     The movie below shows a shadowy shock wave racing away from the blast site. This is a sign that the blast produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) that could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field today.



    Active Region 1302 unleashes an X1.9-category solar flare at 5:40 am EDT on Sept. 24, 2011. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash in composite wavelengths (211, 193, 171 angstrom). Note: The sun has been rotated 90 degrees clock-wise for better video presentation. Credit: NASA/SDO/GOES

    Since the X1.9-flare, active region (AR) 1302 has unleashed M8.6 and M7.4 flares on Sept. 24 and an M8.8 flare early on Sept. 25. None of the blasts have been squarely Earth-directed, but this could change as the sunspot turns toward our planet in the days ahead. AR1302 is growing and shows no immediate signs of quieting down.


    What is a solar flare?

    A solar flare is a burst of radiation coming from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots. Flares are the largest explosive events in our solar system and are seen as bright areas on the sun that can last from minutes to hours. We typically see a solar flare by the light it releases, at most every wavelength of the spectrum. The primary ways we monitor flares are in x-rays and optical light. Flares are also sites where particles (electrons, protons, and heavier particles) are accelerated.

    What is a coronal mass ejection (CME)?

    The sun's outer atmosphere, the corona, is shaped by strong magnetic fields and when those fields are closed, often above sunspot groups, the confined solar atmosphere can release bubbles of gas and magnetic fields called coronal mass ejections. A large CME can contain a billion tons of matter that can be accelerated to several million miles per hour. Solar material streams out through the interplanetary medium, impacting any planet or spacecraft in its path. CMEs are sometimes associated with flares but can occur independently.

    Sunspot 1302 X-flares X1.4 and X1.9
    Sunspot 1302 has already produced two X-flares (X1.4 on Sept. 22nd and X1.9 on Sept. 24th). Each of the dark cores in this image from SDO is larger than Earth, and the entire active region stretches more than 100,000 km from end to end. The sunspot's magnetic field is currently crackling with sub-X-class flares that could grow into larger eruptions as the sunspot continues to turn toward Earth. Credit: NASA/SDO/HMI

    Comments

    gears of war is an xbox360 exclusive.

    Hank
    Maybe not now.  Sunspots can do anything.
    Quentin Rowe
    Note: The sun has been rotated 90 degrees clock-wise for better video presentation.
    Those pesky humans... always adjusting the environment to suit their petty needs!

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I don't understand how rotating the Sun 90 degrees would improve the video presentation, surely it completely detracts from reality? If you mentally rotate it back 90 degrees the flare is then vertical instead of horizontal and is what it really looked like from the Earth's perspective. Why change it to a falsehood just because videos roll from left to right maybe?
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    MikeCrow
    How about they turned the display so the image is wide instead of tall, because every ones monitors are wide and not tall?
    Never is a long time.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I'm sure you are right I just think it was a stupid thing to do. For example, which photo here (by Bertrand Kulik) of the Eiffel Tower being hit by lightening creates the best and most realistic impression for you?


    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    MikeCrow
    Well, at least with the spots, you can't tell which orientation is wrong, your picture not so much.
    Never is a long time.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Exactly. BTW never is an infinite time with no length.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    "BTW never is an infinite time with no length"

    I bet your a blast to hang out with at a party.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    That probably also depends on whether my blast is vertical or horizontal.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    I take that back. You made me smile. And horizontal blasting only please, think of the children! lol

    MikeCrow
    lol, That would still classify as a long time, right?
    Never is a long time.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Maybe, I guess it depends on which reference frame you are in.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    The northern lights were seen last night as far south as Michigan, New York, South Dakota and Maine in the United States, and also from Europe and New Zealand. It was the strongest geomagnetic storm since October 2003/
    A HD video of what the northern lights look like during a strong geomagnetic storm as we had yesterday can be seen at http://www.vimeo.com/27315234

    I guess the sunspots correlate with Elenins alignment. It must' be to blame for this interesting occurence. lol

    Hank
    No, the conspiracy kooks changed their date.  It was mid-October and now it is late September and if any earthquake (there are dozens per days) happens anywhere in the next 5 years, they will attribute it to a comet 22 million miles away.   Can the gravity of a tiny comet change the magnetic field of the sun?  Of course not.  Does it matter to zealots hoping for the apocalypse?  Of course not.