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Thursday, 26 January 2012
Big Solar Strom On January 24, 2012.
The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Tromsoe, northern Norway, on Jan. 24. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed by a spectacular showing of northern lights after the most powerful solar storm in six years.
According to C.Alex.Young (NASA Solar physicist), Tuesday's CME impact was northward and not all of its mass was directed at Earth -- so its impact was moderate when compared with the weekend's fireworks (pictured top).
Although seeing an aurora snake across the sky is a very visible result of the magnetic storm erupting overhead, there are invisible, yet very powerful, impacts on our atmosphere.
As Young describes:
"If fluctuations in Earth's magnetic field are strong enough we get the aurora and often ground induced currents. So the changing magnetic field induces currents on long conductors such as long transmission lines and pipe lines. If the currents are large enough they can overload power substations. Companies prepare for these but it could produce brown outs and black outs. But only the largest (and rarest) events would probably do that kind of damage. When currents are induced in pipelines they can corrode. High latitude (radio) communications can be impacted. I have heard from colleagues that airlines have already had to reroute polar flights for up to 2 days because of communication blackouts at the poles."
The magnetotail is the component of the Earth's magnetosphere that is swept back by the pressure of the solar wind. During periods of strong geomagnetic activity, regions of the magnetotail may be forced together, causing the solar plasma that is trapped inside the onion skin-like layers of the magnetosphere to be blasted into the polar atmosphere on the night-side of Earth (illustrated below). Once again, bright aurorae result.
BIG PIC: Spectacular Aurorae Erupt Over Norway.
Over the weekend, to generate some of the bright aurorae observed within the "auroral oval" -- an oval crowning the north and south poles where auroral activity will be most prevalent.
A satellite view of a handle-shaped prominence on the sun. A prominence is an eruption of gases above the Sun`s Visible surface (Known as photosphere) seen as bright arcs of gas at the edge of the Sun`s disk.
Sun is composed of Hydrogen (74% mass) and Helium (25%) with small amounts of of some other elements.Its internal structure is broken into 3 zones
1) The Core (Hydrogen squashed or fused into Helium and produce large amount of energy. 56.3 million 0 F , 13.5 Million 0 C.
2) The thick radiation zone.being continually absorbed and re-emitted.
3) Convection Zone : Here gases form into huge currents that flow unto the Sun`s surface where the energy is finally released into space as electromagnetic radiation,for example Light, Infrared Ultraviolet.
Occasionally There are violent explosions on the Sun, for example Solar Flares and Coronal Mass Ejection (C M Es). If earth happens to get in the way,The effects can range from disruption to radio communications to the formation of the Northern and Southern Lights.
The Sun played a central role in ancient religions.Here Nut, the Egyptian goddess of the sky and all heavenly bodies, raises the Sun. Dated back c.378-341 BCE.
Another Egyptian deity associated with the Sun and the planets is Hathor, often shown wearing a Sun disk and horns on her head .C 125 BCE--60 CE