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View Full Version : Discussion: Solar Minimum Doesn't Mean a Calm Sun



Fraser
2005-May-06, 03:40 PM
SUMMARY: Our star goes through an 11-year cycle of solar activity. At the recent height of the cycle, the Sun blasted off some of the most powerful flares and coronal mass ejections ever seen. And during the minimum, due in 2006, it's supposed to be calm, right? Well, not exactly. Even during the lowest point of solar activity, the Sun still blasts off a few of the most powerful X-class flares. Unprotected astronauts caught in the radiation would probably get pretty sick.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/solar_minimum_calm_sun.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

om@umr.edu
2005-May-06, 04:34 PM
It is great, Fraser, that old Sol is receiving more scrunity.

For too long it has been assumed that this is a collapsed interstellar cloud with a well-behaved hydrogen fusion reactor at its core.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

antoniseb
2005-May-06, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by om@umr.edu@May 6 2005, 04:34 PM
For too long it has been assumed that this is a collapsed interstellar cloud with a well-behaved hydrogen fusion reactor at its core.
There is nothing in this article which contradicts this view. No one claims that the Sun releases the energy developed by the fusion in its core simply by a uniform spray of photons calmly moving away from an unperturbed photosphere.

The sun is releasing 4x10^33 ergs per second. This is a huge amount of energy pushing out through highly ionized plasmas. Naturally there will be some chaotic magnetic phenomena, such as the ones we observe.

dave_f
2005-May-07, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by om@umr.edu@May 6 2005, 11:34 AM
It is great, Fraser, that old Sol is receiving more scrunity.

For too long it has been assumed that this is a collapsed interstellar cloud with a well-behaved hydrogen fusion reactor at its core.
I do agree that the Sun deserves more scrutiny. For example, knowing that the atmosphere is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen won't help you predict the weather on Earth. Knowing that hydrogen fuses together to form helium at the core of the Sun, releasing massive amounts of energy, won't help predict Solar minima and maxima or the properties of either. It takes a lot of observation and patience to get the right data together.

One nit I have to pick with Om's argument is that I don't think there's a solar expert out there who's ever called the interstellar core of the Sun "well-behaved" except when comparing this star to bigger stars (there are quite a few out there that are more energetic than the Sun, but the vast majority of them are less so). I think this is a type of oversimplication in the argument that was presented here and detracts from the scientific merits of this observation the article talks about.

There is no mitigating need to explain this as anything other than part of normal, everyday behavior for a stellar body radiating heat due to relatively constant fusion between hydrogen atoms to form helium atoms in its core.

om@umr.edu
2005-May-07, 10:29 PM
Originally posted by dave_f+May 7 2005, 07:15 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (dave_f @ May 7 2005, 07:15 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-om@umr.edu@May 6 2005, 11:34 AM
It is great, Fraser, that old Sol is receiving more scrunity.

For too long it has been assumed that this is a collapsed interstellar cloud with a well-behaved hydrogen fusion reactor at its core.
I do agree that the Sun deserves more scrutiny. For example, knowing that the atmosphere is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen won&#39;t help you predict the weather on Earth. [/b][/quote]
Right, dave_f.

Earth&#39;s atmosphere is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, but heavier gases like carbon-dioxide accumulate in low-lying places like Death Valley.

The Sun&#39;s atmosphere is 91% hydrogen and 9% helium, the two lightest elements.

Measurements show that heavier elements and the heavier isotopes of each element are more abundant in material released when magnetic fields penetrate through the surface of the sun.

Are these observations pertainent to the discussion?

See this quote from the article: "Sunspots are devilishly unpredictable. They&#39;re made of magnetic fields poking up through the surface of the sun. Electrical currents deep inside our star drag these fields around, causing them to twist and tangle until they become unstable and explode. Solar flares and CMEs are by-products of the blast. The process is hard to forecast because the underlying currents are hidden from view. Sometimes sunspots explode, sometimes they don&#39;t. Weather forecasting on Earth was about this good ... 50 years ago.

Researchers like Hathaway study sunspots and their magnetic fields, hoping to improve the woeful situation."

Efforts to understand solar events that influence our climate will, in my opinion, not succeed so long as we limit the discussion to the model of a hydrogen-filled sun.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Planetwatcher
2005-May-08, 12:40 AM
I just realized we have two different discussions going having to do with the Sun&#39;s output. This string has to do with sunspots, and the other has to do with more sunlight.
Guest_Michael apparently meant to reply to the other thread and it showed up in this one, and we all (including me) reacted as a group of dominos.

I&#39;m considering copying everything from where the topic break off began and adding it to the proper forum. And the more I think about it, the more I think I will do it. But I&#39;ll also leave these postings here to keep the contenunity, becasue many aspects overlap into both discussions.

Then I&#39;ll put my own replies in the proper forums.

dave_f
2005-May-08, 01:16 AM
Originally posted by om@umr.edu@May 7 2005, 05:29 PM
Are these observations pertainent to the discussion?

See this quote from the article:

"Sunspots are devilishly unpredictable. They&#39;re made of magnetic fields poking up through the surface of the sun. Electrical currents deep inside our star drag these fields around, causing them to twist and tangle until they become unstable and explode. Solar flares and CMEs are by-products of the blast. The process is hard to forecast because the underlying currents are hidden from view. Sometimes sunspots explode, sometimes they don&#39;t. Weather forecasting on Earth was about this good ... 50 years ago.

Researchers like Hathaway study sunspots and their magnetic fields, hoping to improve the woeful situation."

Efforts to understand solar events that influence our climate will, in my opinion, not succeed so long as we limit the discussion to the model of a hydrogen-filled sun.

A hydrogen-filled Sun neither proves nor negates the existance of these oddities. The act of assuming that some other arbitrary element of the periodic table is somehow responsible for producing chaotic patterns is just that: an assumption.

How does, say, iron, explain this phenomenon better than, say, hydrogen? Or titanium? Or eisteinium? Or boron? Any element you throw into the mix, there is going to be chaos (after all there is plenty of chaos in our nitrogen atmosphere... no iron there ya know).

If the hydrogen-filled Sun is wrong, how does this explain the obvious orbital motions of the planets observed by astronomers for centuries (if either had been wrong then how did NASA expertly get 75% of its probes to their targets as planned despite occasional human-created glitches, all while assuming the Sun&#39;s mass was exactly as it was). How can there be an explantion for the obvious violation of the laws of physics that any other alternative?

Om, if you want to step up to the plate and tell me how these things work in your model, I&#39;m all ears.

Seriously. The moderators may have "ultimate authority" on this forum, but I do not. I do not have any formal affiliation with any of the authorities here.

You have my ear:

dave.finton@gmail.com

You can talk to me.

Planetwatcher
2005-May-08, 03:23 AM
Hello Dr. Manual;

I can&#39;t seem to find the postings I split off, (Hopefully Fraser can fix it) but I did read your reply before I split them off.
Please do not compare religion to your Iron Sun theory, and especially not Christianity.
Religion is based on beliefs in some sort of superior intellegent spiritual being which is worshiped as a deity. Depending on the religion, such a being may be called God, Allah, Jehovia, or any of a number of other names.

Although I&#39;ve not read your Iron Sun theory, and have no intentions to, I&#39;m sure you have no such charactor in your thesis, let alone such a supreame being&#39;s reason&#39;s for our existance, and/or a given means to achieve some sort of salvation from mankind&#39;s shortcomings, and/or a method of achieving some sort of higher plane of existance at some future time.

Religion deals exclusively with spiritual aspects of biological life forms known as humans. Their lives, deaths, and everything in between.

Whereas your Iron Sun theory, like all theories, fact or fiction; truth or herosey;
deal only with the physical aspects of that which it tries to explain.
Theories use scientificly known, or hypothosiesed laws and principles, perhaps with real evidence, or perhaps with total imagination to reasonably explain that which is otherwise not understandable.

Religion requires the faith to simply accept that which is as it is without question or examination.
Once the faith is aquired, the faithful follower is given by spiritual means that which is needed to continue to grow in the religion.

This process is not understood by those without faith, because they want to examine it, but there is nothing to examine. The only proof religion can present concerning faith is the end result. Even the most skeptical will admitt there must be something to it to achieve the end result, but the process can not be examined by scientific means, so it can not be understood, and is therefore labeled as superstitions because there is no scientific basis.

Now that is the only way in which your Iron Sun theory is simular to religion. There is no scientific basis for the belief. But that is where it ends. Religion gives people something, even though it is unseen. Your theory gives nothing but arguement and contention. But you believe it so we respect it that far at least.

Here now Dave F. is willing to consider your thesis and will persue it off site and outside our forums which is totally fine with us moderators.
As long as Iron Sun stays that way we will all get along fine.
You are still welcome to participate in our forum discussions as long as you keep Iron Sun out of it.

I too must keep my beliefs out of the forums, which I do. But I started out trying to argue my points as well.
At the forums beginning, I had not one string but six to eight going to propound my beliefs. I proved them so far beyond any reasonable doubt that they would have stood up in an American court of law. But it made no difference, and became only a wasted effort, for my words fell on deaf ears.
Once I realized they would not be considered, I simply began to leave them out.

I didn&#39;t abandon my beliefs, and still use the principles I learned from them, even here. But I don&#39;t announce them, I just use them.
Before long Fraser reconized my contributions, fairness and diversity and asked me to join the moderators, which I have never regretted.

I don&#39;t make a big deal of it and enforce the no religion rule just as any other.
Sometimes someone sees that something distinguishes me from others, and will ask. I&#39;m always willing to share it via PM or off site, and while your thesis is a quarter century old, I&#39;ve practiced mine for nearly half a century; and the beliefs themselves date back thousands of years, not a mere 25.

If I can do it so can you. I&#39;ve seen you make good contributions in other discussions without having to refer to the Iron Sun.
You are otherwise an intellengent, thoughtfull, polite, frequent, and valuable contributer to our forums, and I&#39;d like to see that continue.

But let&#39;s keep the Iron Sun out of it, Okay?

Planetwatcher
2005-May-08, 10:00 AM
Okay folks, I found the postings I split off earlier and have merged them without losing anything. One response by me to Dr. Manual which should proabley be in the More Sunlight string is still in the Solar Minimum string but I&#39;m going to leave it alone. If another mod moves it I won&#39;t complain, but I&#39;ll leave well enough alone

flashgordon1952
2005-May-09, 03:24 PM
Being a licensed Amateur radio enthusist solar activity is very important in the HF bands ie 1mhz to 30 mhz. Higher bands are not affected or very little &#33; Ahigh solar activity means great distances from skip conditions especially in the 25 to 30 mhz. that includes the 10 metre and 11 metra cb band. Even in very low circle of flares conditions can be good but are rare. VHF and uhf bands act differently and are closely connected to interfernce of uhf tv channels here in the uk. So if your tv is acting up with weird french transmissions. The uhf amateur bands are also open for dx long distance transmissions. My current long distance QSOon 70cms (433mhz) FM is with a mobile in jutland denmark . normally communitions have a maximum range of 50 miles.
chris

is with a mobile operater in jutland denmark ? normally qso have a maximum range of

Greg
2005-May-11, 05:22 AM
Logically speaking, it makes sense that if there are far fewer outbursts, then the fewer outbursts would be larger in caliber, assuming that whatever process that is generating the outbursts is trying to maintain a constant output against some kind of interference that waxes during the solar minimum.