NASA’s solar cycle primer packs a wealth of information about the sun — along with stunning imagery — into a three-minute video. Understanding solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and flipping poles within the big picture of sunspot cycles and solar cycles makes a daunting subject easier to understand. The NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Scientific Visualization Studio released this video in 2011, but it’s still great.
By overlaying and fading between a surface image (in filtered white light) of the Sun to an image that reveals the magnetic structures (taken at almost the same time), we can reveal the magnetic nature of sunspots (Jan. 4, 2013). The initial still image shows quite a few sunspots scattered across the Sun's surface.
These are the sites of intense magnetic fields emerging from the Sun's interior. The black and white magnetogram image reveals the sunspots to be clusters of magnetic activity, with the paired black and white areas (dipoles) indicating intense areas of north and south magnetic polarity. Note the correlation of the two kinds of images. These magnetically active regions are often the sources of solar storms. Both the white light continuum images and the magnetogram images were taken by the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) instrument on SOHO.
The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 69 in the Fall of 2013. The smoothed sunspot number has already reached 67 (in February 2012)due to the strong peak in late 2011 so the official maximum will be at least this high and this late. We are currently over four years into Cycle 24. The current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906....click source to read FULL report (Note: This forecast will change each month)
CLICK to see ALL forecasts on Solar Cycle 24 from David Hathaway and NASA made so far, they all point to a very low average Sunspot number and the peak being in the fall of this year, time will tell if this forecast is correct....more to follow
The New Year brings dreams of solar cycles of old, so distant now, sweetly remembered for their profusion of sunspots. We hear many times from operators who became licensed as teenagers at the peak of Solar Cycle 19, in the late 1950s, when a few watts and a modest radiator on 10 meters could span the globe every day and night.
Solar Cycle 21 peaked around 1980, and was quite an improvement over the last cycle, as was Solar Cycle 22, which looked a lot like Solar Cycle 21. Cycle 22 peaked around 1991-1992, with a more pronounced double peak. The formerly teenaged ham was now solidly into middle age, and still wondering if sunspot activity would ever roar back to the levels of the late 1950s.
Solar Cycle 23 was another double peak, but significantly lower in 2000, 2001 and 2002 than the previous cycle, perhaps disappointing the middle-aged ham, who then sees solar activity slide into a long and low minimum over the next decade, in a way that was impossible to imagine as a teenaged ham enjoying Solar Cycle 19. The 160 meter operators -- quite happy in this situation with a much quieter Sun -- have no such longing for the active Sun of yesteryear.
CLICK this link for articles about this years Transit of Venus.
1 – Venus transits the sun
As the planets careen around the sun, there is occasionally a fortuitous alignment. In June of 2012 the planet Venus transited the sun, which means it passed in front of Sol from Earth’s perspective. As the planet began its transit, the NASA/JAXA Hinode spacecraft was on hand to take some pictures. This amazing image [featured at the top] shows the sphere of Venus passing into the sun’s corona, silhouetted by the boiling backdrop of glowing plasma.
Enjoy it — Venus won’t transit the sun again until 2117!
Click source to read and see NASA’s 10 most incredible images of 2012 by Ryan Whitwam
It’s known as the Great Arctic Cyclone, and when it roared out of Siberia last August, storm watchers knew it was unusual. Hurricane-like storms are very common in the Arctic, but the most powerful of them (which are still far less powerful than tropical hurricanes) tend to come in winter.
It wasn’t clear at the time, however, whether the August storm was truly unprecedented.
Now it is.
A study published in Geophysical Research Letters looks at no fewer than 19,625 Arctic storms and concludes that in terms of size, duration and several other of what the authors call “key cyclone properties,” the Great Cyclone was the most extreme summer storm, and the 13th most powerful storm -- summer or winter -- since modern satellite observations began in 1979.
Click source to read FULL report from Michael D. Lemonick (this is a GREEN site, but Michael has put the article together well:)
NASA is so sure the world won't come to an end on Dec. 21, 2012, they have already released this news item for the day after.
Dec. 22, 2012: If you're reading this story, it means one thing: The World Didn't End Yesterday.
According to media reports of an ancient Maya prophecy, the world was supposed to be destroyed on Dec. 21, 2012.
"The whole thing was a misconception from the very beginning," says Dr. John Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy. "The Maya calendar did not end on Dec. 21, 2012, and there were no Maya prophecies foretelling the end of the world on that date."
The truth, says Carlson, is more interesting than fiction.
On the 22nd September I put forward a prediction that this years Arctic sea ice extent would return to anormal level by December. It was never meant to be a prediction that would set the world on fire:) but as you will see from the above image taken today at ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice the Arctic sea ice extent HAS returned to NORMAL! However this result has given more questions then answers, and that is......how can the 2006 Arctic sea ice extent, that had peaked in September 2006 as one of the most covered ice areas end up with having one of the worst results for the recent November and December periods.
What was it about the level of CO2 in November/December of 2006? Why did the media not pick up on this in the same way they did for September 2012? Sadly we will never know the answer to these questions.
I could be wrong on this but I think the clue is in the temperature of the Ocean currents and from what NASA has gone onto say it's also to do with Arctic storm force winds, this then, points to CO2 as having NOTHING to do with Arctic sea ice melt!
Meanwhile....although this years Arctic sea ice extent HAS returned to normal, as predicted, will the MSM make a point of mentioning this happy event...sadly I think not! The Arctic sea ice extent returning back to normal is not a news worthy event, it would mean that the Main Stream Media would have to say CO2 does not melt ice afterall
Until about ten years ago, NASA showed the US on an 80 year long cooling trend, with the three hottest years being in the 1920s and 1930s. They have deleted the raw data from their website and blocked archiving, but John Daly captured it. It was originally located at this link :