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Fraser
2005-Aug-18, 04:59 PM
SUMMARY: When astronauts will be spending more time in space, it'll be helpful to know when there'll be clear "space weather", to minimize their exposure to dangerous amounts of radiation. NASA scientists have developed a better understanding of the underlying causes of solar flares, and think they can now predict times for "clear skies". Areas likely to explode as flares happen when magnetic fields of different alignments merge together on the Sun's surface. Electrical currents must then build up for several hours before a flare erupts.

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

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

om@umr.edu
2005-Aug-18, 05:07 PM
That's great news, Fraser.

The results of careful observations on the Sun will prove useful to many of mankind's endeavors.

I may be biased, but I expect that this new emphasis on solar studies by NASA-funded scientists will yield many surprising new findings!

NASA is to be congratulated for paying more attention to the star next door.

With kind regards,

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

cran
2005-Aug-20, 03:22 AM
Instead of 'bon voyage!', we may well be wishing our space travellers 'clear ether!' ... the expression used frequently in E E 'Doc' Smith's classic Lensman series... :)

Guest
2005-Aug-21, 10:44 AM
One of the important insights expressed in this article is that solar flares are powered by "large electric currents". The cause of these currents is unclear, does anyone know why this is still unclear?
I always thought that flares were powered by magnetic reconnection, a poorly understood process that never included electric currents as cause.

Cheers.