Big Sunspot Sends Blast Our Way, Storm Expected Sunday

After a few days of all show and no action, that big, scenic sunspot group let loose a powerful M-class flare early yesterday evening. The blast sent a giant cloud of solar plasma — electrons and protons bundled with magnetic energy — in Earth’s direction that’s expected to arrive Sunday (July 16) around lunch time and…
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Try Out Your Eclipse Glasses On This Big Sunspot

A rapidly growing sunspot that rotated around the Sun’s limb several days ago has now expanded to about 78,000 miles (125,000 km) across, only 10,000 miles shy of Jupiter’s girth. It was easy to see with the naked eye as a small, dark imperfection on the sun’s otherwise spotless face through my #14 welder’s glass…
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Iridium Satellites Keep The Fireworks Coming … But Not Forever

The crackle of firecrackers and thump of cannons echoed through the neighborhood last night, the fourth of July. But a whole different kind of fireworks was happening 483 miles overhead — silent but showy flares from Iridium satellites. The Iridium extravaganza’s been going on every night somewhere on Earth since the mid-1990s. A quick check of what…
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A Mighty Solar Wind May Kindle Auroras Next 3 Nights

  This week has real aurora potential. Tonight through Wednesday night, the NOAA space weather forecast calls for minor to moderate geomagnetic storms during overnight hours. Sometimes solar storms called flares are responsible for aurora; they blast bits and pieces of the sun (electrons and protons) toward Earth at extremely high speed. During the biggest solar…
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Ride The Roller Coaster To Solar Minimum

Most of us live on a 24-hour cycle beginning with waking up, going about our jobs or other activities and then sleeping before waking up again. We call it the circadian rhythm from the Latin circa dia or “about a day.” The sun has a rhythm too, called the 11-year solar cycle. During that time, we…
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