Shedding New Light on the Sun

parker-probe

This first data from Parker reveals our star, the Sun, in new and surprising ways.

On Dec. 4, 2019, four new papers in the journal Nature describe what scientists have learned from this unprecedented exploration of our star — and what they look forward to learning next.

These discoveries uncover new data about the behavior of the material and particles that dash away from the Sun, bringing scientists closer to answering crucial inquiries about the physics of our star. Moreover, the information Parker has uncovered about how the Sun constantly ejects material and energy will help scientists re-write the models we use to understand and predict the space weather around our planet and understand the process by which stars are created and evolve.

The Techexplorist summarizes the findings HERE .

 

Scientists Predict New Solar Cycle About to Begin

(MSN) The latest 11-year cycle of the sun is almost over and scientists have just released predictions for the next one.

Based on the number of sunspots that formed, scientists considered the last solar cycle, No. 24, “weak.” They predict that the upcoming cycle, No. 25, will be a little more intense but still in the weak category.

This consensus forecast was made public at the annual Space Weather Workshop last week, hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

Source

What do you think?  Do you agree with NOAA?  

The Sun’s Role in Climate Change

Dr. Nir Shaviv spoke at a Friends of Science event on June 2, 2015, on Solar Forcing. Dr. Shaviv explained and demonstrated that the sun is an important climate driver but it is missing from the standard climate analyses. As a consequence, the standard (i.e. IPCC) models have a much higher climate sensitivity than the real Earth has, such that future climate response to anthropogenic forcing will be “much more benign” than what alarmists claim.

A video of his talk is here:  https://youtu.be/YtCEW2shDSU

Dr. Nir Shaviv’s slides can be downloaded HERE.  Grand Minimums are mentioned on slide 27.

 

Everything That Happens on Earth Happens in Cycles

It’s a cycle, it’s a cycle, it’s a cycle says Peter Temple who warns we are entering a cooling phase. “[J]ust when we need more energy and warmth, we have politicians trying to tax it out of existence.”

Climate-and-advanced-civilizations
“The sun and the planets are the main driver of climate change on our tiny little planet,” says Temple, and presents his analysis in this video:  https://youtu.be/lZw4DdocxN0

Some Serious Space Weather at Play.

View at Medium.com

Popular Science has the details:

That Time a Bunch of Underwater Mines Exploded and the Sun Was the Only Suspect

Explosives going off without warning is bad news for… well, for everybody. So imagine the U.S. military’s alarm when, on August 4, 1972, it witnessed about two dozen or so spontaneous explosions in the waters off Hon La in North Vietnam. America’s Operation Pocket Money had dropped underwater mines there many weeks before to deter trade ships from venturing to North Vietnam ports. But the mines were only supposed to detonate when ships were around, and Americans surveilling the water from overhead were only seeing clear blue when the bombs went off.

Initially, the explosions were inexplicable. What could have possibly set the mines off? Big marine animals? Equipment malfunctions? Were the North Vietnamese using a secret strategy to blow up the mines remotely?

Over four-and-a-half decades later, we now know the culprit was the sun. According to findings recently published in the journal Space Weather, a powerful solar storm likely triggered the mines’ magnetic sensors and caused them to explode.

“It was a storm of magnificent proportions,” says Delores Knipp, a space weather researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the lead author of the new paper. “It was a big story back in the day, and continues to be a big story.” The storm occurred in between Apollo missions 16 and 17, but it’s generally accepted that the radiation dose would have incapacitated (if not outright killed) astronauts traveling to and from the moon. In addition, other studies on the solar storm found the resulting geomagnetic current created many different power fluctuations in North America. “It’s been a storm that has been known for different effects in different communities.”

Continue reading HERE.

The article concludes:

But Knipp says a general estimation, based on current knowledge, is that these sorts of solar storms hit Earth about once every 70 years — “often enough that we need to be thinking about what types of technologies are subject to harm in these kinds of environments.” The question isn’t really if a storm powerful enough to knock out the power grid and wreck our technological equipment will hit us — but when it will happen, and whether we’ll be ready in time to prepare and safeguard our infrastructure.

I follow space weather on YouTube daily on the Suspicious Observer channel and weekly on space physicist Tamitha Skov’s channel. We should all pay close attention to our unstable star.

View at Medium.com

Scientists: Climate Records ‘Correlate Well’ With Solar Modulation…A Grand Solar Minimum Expected By 2030

International and NASA solar scientists find their Total Solar Irradiance reconstruction extending to 1700 can “correlate well” with Earth’s global temperature records, including a positive net TSI trend during 1986-2008. A new Grand Solar Minimum is expected to commence during the 2030s.

Kennith Richard has the details at the NoTricksZone

Grand Solar Minimums Marked by Violent Volcanic Activity

Re-blogged from Ice Age Now

J.H. Walker

Under normal orbital rules I would disagree with a descent in a glaciation period this century and possibly several hundred years without a major geological-driver. But this time it could come from man’s own hubris that he is the master of the universe and his attempts at geoengineering cooling in the midst of a known and predicted Grand Solar Minimum (GSM) cooling period.

The problem with GSM isn’t the reduced energy radiating the earth, but the variation in atmospheric circulation and cooling which is variable, unpredictable, and drives warmist liars silly because it’s so inconvenient.

The real problem with GSMs is the angular momentum changes of the largest mass object in the solar system – the Sun -as it attempts to stay within the gravitation laws of the Solar System Gravity well and orbit the moving Solar System BarryCentre. Some orbits changes are so abrupt they perform zero crossings of the BarryCentre itself.

Not only does this have profound implications for the moderation of the Sun’s energy output, it also has profound implications for the smaller rocky inner planets such as Venus and Earth by simulating volcanic – and in Earth’s case – tectonic activity as well.

The Holocene is segmented by abrupt sequences of cooling following geological events such as the Younger Dryas, the 8.5K event, and massive volcanic eruption either during, or lagging a GSM periods.

This modern GSM has increased levels of volcanism either on the rift zones (underwater volcanoes) or from the various volcanic hot spots, and those time-line incidences are increasing with a shortening time span between them.

The Late Antique Little Ice Age (LALIA) experienced 3 massive T6/T7 eruptions. Each named Grand Solar Minimum since has been marked with similar violent eruptive periods. Dalton, the last GSM, was marked by Tambora.

I fear this Modern GSM will be no different.

This graphic was not part of the original post, however it shows major volcano eruptions during and after the LIA.

Volcanic activity

Heliosphere Protects Earth From More Than 70% of Cosmic Rays.

If cosmic rays influence the formation of low clouds this is an important finding. During a quiet Sun, the heliosphere shrinks, providing less cosmic ray protection and more clouds. During grand minimum the quiet period lasts for more than a decade, allowing the oceans to cool. Your thoughts on this new finding?

NASA post:

One year ago, on Nov. 5, 2018, NASA’s Voyager 2 became only the second spacecraft in history to leave the heliosphere – the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by our Sun. At a distance of about 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from Earth – well beyond the orbit of Pluto – Voyager 2 had entered interstellar space, or the region between stars. Today, five new research papers in the journal Nature Astronomy describe what scientists observed during and since Voyager 2’s historic crossing.

Each paper details the findings from one of Voyager 2’s five operating science instruments: a magnetic field sensor, two instruments to detect energetic particles in different energy ranges and two instruments for studying plasma (a gas composed of charged particles). Taken together, the findings help paint a picture of this cosmic shoreline, where the environment created by our Sun ends and the vast ocean of interstellar space begins.

The Sun’s heliosphere is like a ship sailing through interstellar space. Both the heliosphere and interstellar space are filled with plasma, a gas that has had some of its atoms stripped of their electrons. The plasma inside the heliosphere is hot and sparse, while the plasma in interstellar space is colder and denser. The space between stars also contains cosmic rays, or particles accelerated by exploding stars. Voyager 1 discovered that the heliosphere protects Earth and the other planets from more than 70% of that radiation.

When Voyager 2 exited the heliosphere last year, scientists announced that its two energetic particle detectors noticed dramatic changes: The rate of heliospheric particles detected by the instruments plummeted, while the rate of cosmic rays (which typically have higher energies than the heliospheric particles) increased dramatically and remained high. The changes confirmed that the probe had entered a new region of space.

Before Voyager 1 reached the edge of the heliosphere in 2012, scientists didn’t know exactly how far this boundary was from the Sun. The two probes exited the heliosphere at different locations and also at different times in the constantly repeating, approximately 11-year solar cycle, over the course of which the Sun goes through a period of high and low activity. Scientists expected that the edge of the heliosphere, called the heliopause, can move as the Sun’s activity changes, sort of like a lung expanding and contracting with breath. This was consistent with the fact that the two probes encountered the heliopause at different distances from the Sun.

Continue reading HERE.

Quiet sun sets new record for spotless days – Evidence of SC-25

Reblogged from Watts Up With That

 

As of November 1st, the current stretch of days without any observable sunspots in solar cycle 24 has reached a total of 228 spotless days in 2019 so far That’s 75% of the year so far. During the 2008 solar minimum, there were 268 days without sunspots, or 73% of the year.

The sun as seen by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on Oct 31 2019

Here’s a tally of spotless days for the last solar cycle:

2019 total: 228 days (75%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)
2007 total: 152 days (42%)
2006 total: 70 days (19%)

Meanwhile, a new cycle 25 sunspot was observed today. From Spaceweather.com :

Breaking a string of 28 spotless days, a new sunspot is emerging in the sun’s southern hemisphere–and it’s a member of the next solar cycle. A picture of the sunspot is inset in this magnetic map of the sun’s surface from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:

How do we know this sunspot belongs to the next solar cycle? Its magnetic polarity tells us so. Southern sunspots from old Solar Cycle 24 have a -/+ polarity. This sunspot is the opposite: +/-. According to Hale’s Law, sunspots switch polarities from one solar cycle to the next. Today’s emerging sunspot is therefore a member of Solar Cycle 25.

This development does not mean Solar Minimum is finished. On the contrary, low solar activity will probably continue for at least another year as Solar Cycle 24 decays and Solar Cycle 25 slowly sputters to life. If forecasters are correct, Solar Cycle 25 sunspots will eventually dominate the solar disk, bringing a new Solar Maximum as early as 2023.


Back in April 2019, an confab of solar scientists said:

Experts Predict a Long, Deep Solar Minimum

“We expect Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to Cycle 24: another fairly weak maximum, preceded by a long, deep minimum,” says panel co-chair Lisa Upton, a solar physicist with Space Systems Research Corp.

solar-forecast

Potential role of low solar activity this winter as solar minimum deepens and the wide-ranging impacts of increasing cosmic rays

Reblogged from Watts Up With That

Guest post by Paul Dorian

*Potential role of low solar activity this winter as solar minimum deepens and the wide-ranging impacts of increasing cosmic rays*

clip_image002

The sun is blank again today and for the 200th day in 2019 as the solar minimum deepens; image courtesy NASA

Overview
The sun continues to be very quiet and it has been without sunspots on 200 days during 2019 or 72% of the time which is the highest percentage since 2009. We have entered into a solar minimum phase of the solar cycle and sunspot counts suggest this could turn out to be the deepest of the past century. Low solar activity has been well correlated with an atmospheric phenomenon known as “high-latitude blocking” and this could play an important role in the upcoming winter season; especially, across the eastern US. In addition, one of the natural impacts of decreasing solar activity is the weakening of the ambient solar wind and its magnetic field which, in turn, allows more cosmic rays to penetrate the solar system. The intensification of cosmic rays can have important consequences on such things as Earth’s cloud cover and climate, the safety of air travelers, and as a possible trigger mechanism for lightning.

clip_image004

Daily observations of the number of sunspots since 1 January 1900 according to Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC). The thin blue line indicates the daily sunspot number, while the dark blue line indicates the running annual average. The recent low sunspot activity is clearly reflected in the recent low values for the total solar irradiance. Data source: WDC-SILSO, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels. Last day shown: 30 September 2019. Plot courtesy “climate4you.com”.

Background

Solar cycle 24 was the weakest sunspot cycle with the fewest sunspots since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906. Solar cycle 24 continued a recent trend of weakening solar cycles which began with solar cycle 21 that peaked around 1980. The sun is blank again today for the 200th day this year and the last time the sun was this spotless in a given year on a percentage basis was 2009 during the last solar minimum when 71% of the days were without visible sunspots.  That last solar minimum actually reached a nadir in 2008 when an astounding 73% of the year featured a spotless sun – the most spotless days in a given year since 1913 – and this year has a chance to match or exceed that quietest of years in more than a century.

clip_image006

Low solar activity years are well correlated with abnormally high geopotential height anomalies at 500 millibars over high-latitude regions such as Greenland and Iceland (shown in red, orange, yellow); data courtesy NOAA/NCAR

Low solar activity and “high-latitude blocking”

As any snow lover and weather enthusiast knows living in the I-95 corridor, it takes many ingredients to fall into place for a snowstorm to actually take place; especially, in the urban areas of DC, Philly, New York City and Boston. One requirement for accumulating snow is, of course, cold air near or below freezing, but it can be a little more complicated than that. It is one thing to have cold air around at the beginning of a potential storm, but the best chance for significant snow comes when there is sustained cold air; otherwise, you could end up with a snow-changing-to-rain type of event; especially, in the big cities and areas closer to the coast. One of the ways to sustain a cold air mass in the Mid-Atlantic/NE US is to have “high-latitude blocking” and that type of weather phenomenon is well correlated with low solar activity.

“High-latitude blocking” during the winter season is characterized by persistent high pressure in northern latitude areas such as Greenland, northeastern Canada, and Iceland. If you look back at years with low solar activity, the upper-level geopotential height anomaly pattern is dominated by high pressure over these high-latitude regions during the winter season (December-to-February). Without this type of blocking pattern in the upper atmosphere, it is more difficult to get sustained cold air masses in the eastern US during the winter season.

In addition to the increased chance of sustained cold air during low solar activity years, “high-latitude blocking” in the upper atmosphere tends to slow down the movement and departure of storms along the Mid-Atlantic/NE US coastlines and this too increases the chances for significant snowfall as long as there is entrenched cold air. In fact, some of the greatest snowstorms in the Mid-Atlantic/NE US regions took place in low solar activity winters including, for example, those in February 2010, December 2009, and January 1996. There are, of course, other important factors in addition to solar activity to consider in the prediction of accumulating snow along the I-95 corridor including sea surface temperatures in the western Atlantic and the positioning of polar and sub-tropical jet streaks. The 2019-2020 “Winter Outlook” by Perspecta Weather will be released shortly and low solar activity will certainly be one key factor among several.

clip_image008

Data source: The Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland. Plot courtesy Spaceweather.com

Low solar activity and cosmic rays
Galactic cosmic rays are high-energy particles originating from outside the solar system that can impact the Earth’s atmosphere. Our first line of defense from cosmic rays comes from the sun as its magnetic field and the solar wind combine to create a ‘shield’ that fends off cosmic rays attempting to enter the solar system. The shielding action of the sun is strongest during Solar Maximum and weakest during Solar Minimum with the weakening magnetic field and solar wind.  The intensity of cosmic rays varies naturally during the typical 11-year solar cycle with about a 15% variation because of the changes in the strength of the solar wind.

Evidence of an increase in stratospheric radiation
One way to monitor cosmic ray penetration into the Earth’s upper atmosphere is to measure stratospheric radiation over an extended period of time.  “Spaceweather.com” has led an effort for nearly four years to monitor radiation levels in the stratosphere over California with frequent high-altitude helium balloon flights.  These balloons contain sensors which detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV and are produced by the crash of primary cosmic rays into Earth’s atmosphere. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.  The findings confirm the notion that indeed cosmic rays have been steadily increasing over California as we climb into the solar minimum.

During the last solar minimum in 2009, radiation peppering Earth from deep space reached a 50-year high at levels never before seen during the satellite era – and we’re getting very close to those same levels and a new record is certainly on the table in the near future. Ground-based neutron monitors and high-altitude cosmic ray balloons are registering the increase in cosmic rays. Neutron monitors at the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland show that cosmic rays are just percentages away from a new record in the satellite era which was set in 2009. Data has been measured at this observatory in Finland since 1964. When cosmic rays hit Earth’s atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that rain down on Earth’s surface. Among these particles are neutrons and the detectors at the observatory in Oulu count them as a proxy for cosmic rays.

Consequences of increasing cosmic rays

1) Cloud cover/climate
The correlation between cosmic rays and cloud cover over a solar cycle was first reported by Svensmark and Friis-Christensen in 1997. A more recent study by Svensmark published in the August 2016 issue of Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics continues to support the idea of an important connection between cosmic rays and clouds.

In this publication, the authors found that “the observed variation of 3–4% of the global cloud cover during the recent solar cycle is strongly correlated with the cosmic ray flux. This, in turn, is inversely correlated with the solar activity. The effect is larger at higher latitudes in agreement with the shielding effect of the Earth’s magnetic field on high-energy charged particles. The above relation between cosmic ray flux and cloud cover should also be of importance in an explanation of the correlation between solar cycle length and global temperature that has been found”.

2) Threat to air travelers
Not only can an increase of cosmic rays have an impact on Earth’s cloud cover and climate, it is of special interest to air travelers.  Cosmic radiation at aviation altitudes is typically 50 times that of natural sources at sea level. Cosmic rays cause “air showers” of secondary particles when they hit Earth’s atmosphere. Indeed, this is what neutron monitors and cosmic ray balloons are measuring–the secondary spray of cosmic rays that rains down on Earth. Secondary cosmic rays penetrate the hulls of commercial aircraft, dosing passengers with the whole body equivalent of a dental X-ray even on ordinary mid-latitude flights across the USA. International travelers receive even greater doses (source). The International Commission on Radiological Protection has classified pilots as occupational radiation workers because of accumulated cosmic ray doses they receive while flying. Moreover, a recent study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health shows that flight attendants face an elevated risk of cancer compared to members of the general population. They listed cosmic rays as one of several risk factors.

3) Possible lightning trigger
Finally, there has been some research suggesting there is a connection between cosmic rays and lightning (paper 1paper 2).  When cosmic rays smash into molecules in our atmosphere, the collisions create showers of subatomic particles, including electrons, positrons, and other electrically charged particles. This shower of electrons would collide into still more air molecules, generating more electrons. All in all, cosmic rays could each set off an avalanche of electrons and trigger lightning.

clip_image010

Circled areas on plot indicate locations that experienced the northern lights during the Carrington Event of 1859.

Final Thoughts
While the frequency of solar storm activity generally lessens during periods of low solar activity (e.g., during solar minimum phases), there is actually some evidence that suggests the severity does not diminish.  In fact, the most famous solar storm of all now known as The Carrington Event took place in 1859 during an overall weak solar cycle (#10).  In addition, other solar activity, such as coronal holes that unleash streams of solar material out into space, can amplify the auroras at Earth’s poles.  The bottom line, a lack of sunspots does not mean the sun’s activity stops altogether and it needs to be constantly monitored – even during periods of a blank sun.

Meteorologist Paul Dorian
Perspecta, Inc.
perspectaweather.com