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Fraser
2003-Nov-04, 07:11 PM
SUMMARY: It looks like the Sun isn't done with us yet. Over the last 24-hours, the Sun has hurled three more giant flares towards the Earth. None of these were as large as the flares that struck the Earth last week, but they're still fairly strong. This should give people in the Northern and Southern latitudes another chance to see an aurora. The sunspots which have been generating all the storms are now rotating over to the side of the Sun and then they'll go behind it, but they could return again in a few weeks to batter the Earth again.


Comments or questions about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts.

The Meal
2003-Nov-04, 10:04 PM
So when should we be turning our eyes to the skies for the auroras? Tonight, or tomorrow night?

And what are the odds of us getting a nice combo aurora borealis/lunar eclipse this Saturday evening?

~The Meal

Augustin
2003-Nov-05, 01:52 AM
What is the cause of theses solar flares and what are the effects that they have on our planets atmosphere?

Daryl
2003-Nov-05, 04:11 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3242353.stm

Another flare is reported, says it was "well above X20" in size. Here's hoping for amazing aurora whenever this one hits. Speaking of, when will this one hit us?

all_isone
2003-Nov-05, 09:40 AM
thats the biggest solar flair ever its scary ...

some more article extracts that I posted yesterday in a different thread:


What is happening to the Sun?

By Dr David Whitehouse BBC News Online science editor

The Sun's intense activity in the past week will go into the record books.
Scientists say they have been amazed by the ferocity of the gigantic flares exploding on the solar surface.
The past 24 hours have seen three major events erupt over our star, hurling billions of tonnes of superhot gas into space - some of it directed at Earth.

...On Monday, there was an X3 flare followed by smaller ones.
Last week there were X7 and X10 events that took place back-to-back. Flares with an X rating are unusual and, if the gas cloud from them reaches the Earth, are capable of causing a geomagnetic storm.
The Earth's changing magnetic field in such a storm can cause power grid and satellite problems. Japanese engineers believe that one of their satellites failed last week because of one such storm.

Huge energy
Last week's flares came from giant Sunspot 486, as did the first flare on Sunday. Subsequent flares have emanated from Sunspot 488 which appears to be growing in activity. Some experts are saying that the Sun is more active than it has been in living memory.

Dr Paal Brekke, deputy project scientist for the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (Soho) Sun-monitoring satellite, told BBC News Online: "It is quite amazing that the flaring regions continue releasing such strong flares.
"I think the last week will go into the history books as one of the most dramatic solar activity periods we have seen in modern times. "As far as I know there has been nothing like this before."

what could all this mean???

here the 'diary' of the recent solar activity, from Space.com


Sun on Fire, Unleashes 3 More Major Flares
By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
03 November 2003
.....
By the numbers

The flares this week began with an X8 event at 12:25 p.m. ET Sunday. On this scale, all X-storms are severe, and the number indicates the degree of severity. An X3 flare erupted at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
Reports of the third flare are preliminary. It left the Sun at 4:55 a.m. Monday and is estimated to be an X4. The trio of outbursts comes within a week of the unprecedented, back-to-back severe flares rated X17 and X10.
The first four flares in this long, amazing series date back to Oct. 22 and were ranked less than X2.
All flares of this magnitude are capable of disrupting communications systems and power grids and harming satellites. Two Japanese satellite failures and a power outage in Sweden were blamed on the first six storms.
The new flares were accompanied by coronal mass ejections of charged particles that take anywhere from 18 hours to two or three days to reach Earth. These CMEs represent the brunt of the storm unleashed by a flare.
A storm's precise strength, however, cannot be known until about 30 minutes before it strikes and depends on the orientation of its magnetic field. If that field is southward -- opposite the direction of Earth's north-pointing magnetic field -- then the potential is greatest for accelerating the local particles that can then damage satellites and fuel aurora.

Ray Bingham
2003-Nov-05, 04:35 PM
Can someone explain why all these solar flares seem to head directly for earth. Don't any of them ever go off to the side or north or south of the earth. Are there only sunspost directly in what appears to be the center of the sun. Of course there are because I see the presentations of the sun just like everyone else does. The earth is so small in relation to the sun that only one tiny part of the suns surface could be pointed directly at the earth. What gives here

Fraser
2003-Nov-05, 04:50 PM
They usually head away from the Earth, it just isn't in the news. I'll have a story today about a new solar flare, though that just might be the largest ever observed, and it's headed off to the side of the Sun.

It's like watching the news and wondering why all the stories are about people who had interesting things happen to them. Of all the people in the world, what were the chances that these people were interviewed? :-)

Don't worry, it's not a conspiracy.

dasob
2003-Nov-05, 05:55 PM
I noticed last week that I was experiencing difficulty with my cell phone, and I had surmised that solar flares might be the cause. Is this a possibility? Or am I fanasizing? Anybody....??

Matthew
2003-Nov-05, 08:12 PM
Its one effect of solar flares, to disrupt mobile phones. It could have been, or maybe it was something else though.