Forecasters keep eye on looming 'Solar Max'

Dec 29, 2010 by Annie Hautefeuille and Richard Ingham
A NASA image of an eruption on the Sun. The coming year will be an important one for space weather as the Sun pulls out of a trough of low activity and heads into a long-awaited and possibly destructive period of turbulence.

The coming year will be an important one for space weather as the Sun pulls out of a trough of low activity and heads into a long-awaited and possibly destructive period of turbulence.

Many people may be surprised to learn that the Sun, rather than burn with faultless consistency, goes through moments of calm and tempest.

But two centuries of observing sunspots -- dark, relatively cool marks on the solar face linked to mighty magnetic forces -- have revealed that our star follows a roughly 11-year cycle of behaviour.

The latest cycle began in 1996 and for reasons which are unclear has taken longer than expected to end.

Now, though, there are more and more signs that the Sun is shaking off its torpor and building towards "Solar Max," or the cycle's climax, say experts.

"The latest prediction looks at around midway 2013 as being the maximum phase of the ," said Joe Kunches of NASA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

But there is a prolonged period of high activity, "more like a season, lasting about two and a half years," either side of the peak, he cautioned.

At its angriest, the Sun can vomit forth tides of electromagnetic radiation and charged matter known as coronal mass ejections, or CMEs.

This shock wave may take several days to reach Earth. When it arrives, it compresses the planet's protective magnetic field, releasing energy visible in high latitudes as shimmering auroras -- the famous Northern Lights and Southern Lights.

But CMEs are not just pretty events.

They can unleash static discharges and that can disrupt or even knock out the electronics on which our urbanised, Internet-obsessed, data-saturated society depends.

Less feared, but also a problem, are , or eruptions of super-charged protons that can reach Earth in just minutes.

In the front line are telecommunications satellites in geostationary orbit, at an altitude of 36,000 kilometres (22,500 miles) and (GPS) satellites, on which modern airliners and ships depend for navigation, which orbit at 20,000 kms (12,000 miles).

In January 1994, discharges of static electricity inflicted a five-month, 50-million-dollar outage of a Canadian telecoms satellite, Anik-E2.

In April 2010, Intelsat lost Galaxy 15, providing communications over North America, after the link to ground control was knocked out apparently by solar activity.

"These are the two outright breakdowns that we all think about," said Philippe Calvel, an engineer with the French firm Thales. "Both were caused by CMEs."

In 2005, X-rays from a solar storm disrupted satellite-to-ground communications and GPS signals for about 10 minutes.

To cope with solar fury, satellite designers opt for robust, tried-and-tested components and shielding, even if this makes the equipment heavier and bulkier and thus costlier to launch, said Thierry Duhamel of satellite maker Astrium.

Another precaution is redundancy -- to have backup systems in case one malfunctions.

On Earth, power lines, data connections and even oil and gas pipelines are potentially vulnerable.

An early warning of the risk came in 1859, when the biggest CME ever observed unleashed red, purple and green auroras even in tropical latitudes.

The new-fangled technology of the telegraph went crazy. Geomagnetically-induced currents in the wires shocked telegraph operators and even set the telegraph paper on fire.

In 1989, a far smaller flare knocked out power from Canada's Hydro Quebec generator, inflicting a nine-hour blackout for six million people.

A workshop in 2008 by US space weather experts, hosted by the National Academy of Sciences, heard that a major geomagnetic storm would dwarf the 2005 Hurricane Katrina for costs.

Recurrence of a 1921 event today would fry 350 major transformers, leaving more than 130 million people without power, it heard. A bigger storm could cost between a trillion and two trillion dollars in the first year, and full recovery could take between four and 10 years.

"I think there is some hyperbole about the draconian effects," said Kunches.

"On the other hand, there's a lot we don't know about the Sun. Even in the supposedly declining, or quiet phase, you can have magnetic fields on the Sun that get very concentrated and energised for a time, and you can get, out of the blue, eruptive activity that is atypical. In short, we have a variable star."

Explore further: Quest for extraterrestrial life not over, experts say

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sneak Attacks from the Sun

Dec 08, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Our Sun can be a menace when it sends out powerful solar blasts of radiation towards the Earth. Astronomers keenly watch the Sun to learn more about what powers these solar eruptions, in hopes ...

The Sun Loses its Spots

Jul 24, 2007

While sidewalks crackle in the summer heat, NASA scientists are keeping a close eye on the sun. It is almost spotless, a sign that the Sun may have reached solar minimum. Scientists are now watching for the ...

A Super Solar Flare

May 07, 2008

At 11:18 AM on the cloudless morning of Thursday, September 1, 1859, 33-year-old Richard Carrington—widely acknowledged to be one of England's foremost solar astronomers—was in his well-appointed private ...

Warning: Sunspot cycle beginning to rise

May 08, 2009

(AP) -- When the sun sneezes it's Earth that gets sick. It's time for the sun to move into a busier period for sunspots, and while forecasters expect a relatively mild outbreak by historical standards, one ...

Recommended for you

Quest for extraterrestrial life not over, experts say

Apr 18, 2014

The discovery of an Earth-sized planet in the "habitable" zone of a distant star, though exciting, is still a long way from pointing to the existence of extraterrestrial life, experts said Friday. ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Apr 18, 2014

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Exoplanets soon to gleam in the eye of NESSI

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —The New Mexico Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI) will soon get its first "taste" of exoplanets, helping astronomers decipher their chemical composition. Exoplanets are planets ...

User comments : 57

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Doug_Huffman
2.3 / 5 (12) Dec 29, 2010
Hysterical hyperbole presented as news to the ignorant demos.

The impending solar maximum will be a mini-max by sunspot number, solar flux and solar wind. Climate change will continue unabated.
Aliensarethere
2.5 / 5 (6) Dec 29, 2010
Destructive period of turbulence ? Actually the next solar cycle seems to be quieter than normal.
Bog_Mire
3 / 5 (8) Dec 29, 2010
nice to have such certainty about such matters. would you care to place a wager?
Doug_Huffman
2.4 / 5 (13) Dec 29, 2010
Sure. Let's bet the credibility of the lamestream media. Oh, sorry, that is already valueless.

Read, understand and practice falsificationism as presented in Karl Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery. It may not be a perfect demarcation of sense from nonsense but I'm not smart enough to quibble.
LariAnn
3.6 / 5 (14) Dec 29, 2010
Well, the year that hurricane Andrew struck was a relatively quiet year for hurricanes, and Andrew was the first storm of that season. So by analogy, a quiet solar max doesn't guarantee that one really major CME will not occur. One really big one is all it takes, and that can happen even in a quiet season.

As for the lamestream media, IMO any rational person knows that their business is sensationalism, not accurate reporting of news and events. Professional newspeople are practically extinct, leaving us with a horde of wannabe celebrities posing as journalists.
Doug_Huffman
1.3 / 5 (12) Dec 29, 2010
"By analogy" from hurricanes to CME? That beggars the meaning of analogy!

Analogy is a weak syllogism. First the auxiliary argument must be evaluated and then its parallelism.
Quantum_Conundrum
1.4 / 5 (16) Dec 29, 2010
Professional newspeople are practically extinct, leaving us with a horde of wannabe celebrities posing as journalists.


They mostly don't report on anything except politics and disasters anyway. And then all politics amounts to is all sides tell as many lies about the others as they can possibly get away with.

Then when they have a topic you might actually be interested in, it gets like 30 seconds worth of sound byte coverage, and even that is spun.

I don't know why I care, honestly. This site is a perfect example. Virtually everything is either a lie in itself, or in some way spun via ommission or mis-representation to make people believe the lies the author wants them to believe.

Unlike FOX news and CNN, I don't believe we live in a "good and decent society". Any society based on the degree of deception at every level of existence prevalent in the U.S. is not "good and decent," and I haven't even considered the murder and majority approved abortion...
DamienS
4.6 / 5 (11) Dec 29, 2010
This site is a perfect example. Virtually everything is either a lie in itself, or in some way spun via ommission or mis-representation to make people believe the lies the author wants them to believe.

Tad hypocritical.
LariAnn
3.8 / 5 (13) Dec 29, 2010
@Doug Huffman -
I was comparing "solar storms" to "earth storms" and comparing an actual quiet storm season on Earth, during which one catastrophic storm still occurred, to a projected quiet storm season on the Sun being presented as indicating little danger of catastrophic events to come. Yes, different celestial bodies and different processes involved, but both have cycles of calm and storms, and in both cases, IMO, a quiet season brings with it no guarantees of freedom from one catastrophic event. That's my whole point. Solar storms DO occur, and the danger, great or small, to our 21st century electronic world is real, so IMO the best approach would be for those responsible to "harden" the infrastructure so any storm may become just a momentary blip, not a catastrophe.
Sancho
4.4 / 5 (7) Dec 29, 2010
Bring it on, Solar Max!

---- G.W. Bush

Quantum_Conundrum
1.7 / 5 (15) Dec 29, 2010
Tad hypocritical.


In what way?

If I said I thought the networks were sweet, innocent, and honest, then I'd be a liar. How am I a hypocrite for admitting and pointing out how twisted this civilization really is?

You just about can't do anything at all in this country without in some fashion supporting some manner of corruption and deception, even by default, even when you do evertyhing in your power NOT to participate in it.
fmfbrestel
4.9 / 5 (14) Dec 29, 2010
of course you don't think you're being hypocritical, you believe all the veiled creationism that you post here.

Every article on here is intentionally deceptive. Every news piece is intentionally deceptive. Every level of our society is intentionally deceptive. But you, well of course we can trust you. I dont know what i would have done if you hadn't let me know that you are the only trustworthy source. At least I have one opinion to keep me grounded. Thanks!
Parsec
3.1 / 5 (10) Dec 29, 2010
of course you don't think you're being hypocritical, you believe all the veiled creationism that you post here.

Every article on here is intentionally deceptive. Every news piece is intentionally deceptive. Every level of our society is intentionally deceptive. But you, well of course we can trust you. I dont know what i would have done if you hadn't let me know that you are the only trustworthy source. At least I have one opinion to keep me grounded. Thanks!

There are medications you can take that will help you. You should see someone before you blow a gasket.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (6) Dec 29, 2010
What is wrong with this article anyway? that they used a hurricanes damage cost to compare to a solar storms damage cost? Why is that so bad again? Yeah, they are totally separate phenomenons, but they would both cause infrastructure damage to our society -- which is what they are comparing.

They aren't trying to tell us that the worst case WILL happen, just what could happen based on past events. Why is that deceptive again? Or are CME's just a cover story for a man made calamity? Could be, evidently Nasa just constantly intentionally deceives us anyway. Anything to keep that budget line from falling, right?

But your pastor, he isn't under any pressure to keep donations up to support the church organization, is he? He would never support anything just to maintain his social status. And you, you would never accuse "virtually everything" on this site of 'bearing false witness' to the truth, merely because you disagree with the conclusions.
Doug_Huffman
2.7 / 5 (7) Dec 29, 2010
My daughter the doctor asked a wonderful question some years ago, "What is the appropriate cost of halving the already small likelihood of an incurable disease, to an individual or to society?"

If you can't handle the cost-benefit relation of living on a hurricane coast then move off the coast. If you can't handle the risk-expense of a wired life then move off the grid. I doubt my diesel powered incandescent lamps will be affected aladdinlamps.com.
fmfbrestel
2.2 / 5 (5) Dec 29, 2010
Well the only way to protect ourselves from a CME would be to orbit sunshades that could be activated (think venetian blinds) after a CME. But the United Nations passed a resolution forbidding them.
fmfbrestel
4 / 5 (4) Dec 29, 2010
If it happens it happens, and we dont have any way to set up any sort of decent defense. But worring about it is like worrying about a micrometeorite comming through your roof and killing you while you sleep. Yup, could happen. But you have to accept that there are countless ways you could die, or be greatly inconvenienced that are entirely out of your control. Worry about what you can control, and go on living your life.
Modernmystic
2.8 / 5 (14) Dec 29, 2010
""The latest prediction looks at around midway 2013 as being the maximum phase of the solar cycle," said Joe Kunches of NASA's Space Weather Prediction Center."

If they'd have said 2012 they could have made the front page of every major newspaper....
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (10) Dec 29, 2010
LariAnn has made a good point by relating a severe hurricane in a slow season to an enormous CME at almost any time. If anyone had done some research on this they would see that the 1859 CME came at a time of normal or sub-normal activity:

Look up solar cycle on wikipedia since this site is not taking URLs.

If anyone has any doubts about what might happen to our electronic civilization if something of this magnitude happened now they should look up the effects that one had:

"science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2003/23oct_superstorm/"

As for not being able to do anything about it, that is not true. If electrical devices are disconnected and shut down the damage is localized. The change of flux through a loop determines the voltage and if the loops are small the voltage spike is low. In like manner satellites can be hardened. This is actually going on now by those who understand the problem and could be in place within 25 years.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (2) Dec 29, 2010
Just a comment on the site. It seems to be rejecting web sites. So for the one I did put in above you will have to add the "http://" to get there.
Yogsothoth
1 / 5 (6) Dec 29, 2010
@thermodynamics

" If electrical devices are disconnected and shut down the damage is localized."

Hmmmmm I dont know if that makes much sense. So 'midway into 2013' we should all turn off and unplug our electronics? What date? For how long?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Dec 29, 2010
As for not being able to do anything about it, that is not true. If electrical devices are disconnected and shut down the damage is localized. The change of flux through a loop determines the voltage and if the loops are small the voltage spike is low. In like manner satellites can be hardened. This is actually going on now by those who understand the problem and could be in place within 25 years.
Just a minor correction. This is going on now and will be in place on the majority of infrastructure in 5 years. The printable metamaterials breakthroughs have been utterly astounding and gave us an excellent, cheap, and fast mass producable tool to harden existing infrastructure.
Shootist
2 / 5 (8) Dec 29, 2010
of course you don't think you're being hypocritical, you believe all the veiled creationism that you post here.

Every article on here is intentionally deceptive. Every news piece is intentionally deceptive. Every level of our society is intentionally deceptive. But you, well of course we can trust you. I dont know what i would have done if you hadn't let me know that you are the only trustworthy source. At least I have one opinion to keep me grounded. Thanks!

There are medications you can take that will help you. You should see someone before you blow a gasket.


Or not . . .
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (7) Dec 30, 2010
Yogsothoth: You said: "Hmmmmm I dont know if that makes much sense. So 'midway into 2013' we should all turn off and unplug our electronics? What date? For how long?"

You must not understand that the sun is being watched 24/7 from multiple satellites. If you go to "Spaceweather.com" you can see that they make daily observations of possible events - and NASA and every other space observatory is watching for this kind of event. If it happens the alarms will go off within minutes and things will start shutting down. When SH mentioned 5 years for the protection to be in place I was surprised. The 25 years I had used was based on a study I saw a few years ago that said that coordinating the shut-down might take days (too long) until the grids world wide are able to react automatically. My guess is that most of the world won't be there for at least 25 years but SH is probably right about the G7.
apex01
5 / 5 (3) Dec 30, 2010
Just a minor correction. This is going on now and will be in place on the majority of infrastructure in 5 years. The printable metamaterials breakthroughs have been utterly astounding and gave us an excellent, cheap, and fast mass producable tool to harden existing infrastructure.


Could you give any online links to information on these new meta-materials?
Egnite
3 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2010
Pardon me for being a noob but if this solar max does occur and unleases the static discharges and geomagnetic storms, couldn't lifeforms be in danger as well as our beloved electricals?
fmfbrestel
4.7 / 5 (6) Dec 30, 2010
unlikely, 1859 scared some telegraph operators, but thats about it. Might scare some birds and other animals that use magnetic field lines for navigation. Of course this time there would be many more people then just a few telegraph operators sitting next to electronics, so you would likely see some electrocution deaths. However the biggest threat to public safety would come from side effects of the prolonged blackouts.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2010
And also, the solar max WILL occur, but the odds of an 1859 scale CME scoring a direct hit on earth are not very high. It is a little like playing the lottery with the same number every week, probably wont win, but it could happen at any time with no (significant) warning.
fmfbrestel
4.7 / 5 (6) Dec 30, 2010
maybe Russian roulette with a million chamber gun would be a better analogy since winning the lotto is a good thing.
omatumr
1.2 / 5 (17) Dec 30, 2010
WUWT and Tallbloke's Talkshop posted a long list of NASA news reports from 2003 to 2010. The reports illustrate NASA's quandary:

a.) Nov 12, 2003: “The Sun Goes Haywire – Solar maximum is years past, yet the sun has been remarkably active lately. Is the sunspot cycle broken?” . . .

z.) Dec. 13, 2010: “Global Eruption Rocks the Sun – A global eruption on the sun has shattered old ideas about solar activity.”

Why? NASA was "Caught with its pants down" by the global climate scandal, after having "Painted itself into a corner" by misrepresenting or ignoring reliable, quantitative, space-age data since 1969 on:

a.) The Sun's origin,
b.) The Sun's chemical composition,
c.) The Sun's source of nuclear energy, and
d.) The Sun's dominant influence on Earth's climate.

See: "Earth's Heat Source - The Sun," Energy & Environment 20 (2009) 131-144
arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704

Oliver K. Manuel
fmfbrestel
3.1 / 5 (7) Dec 30, 2010
and omatumr strikes again. :-) it is an interesting read, but the problem i have with it is that it requires me to believe that solar scientists around the world are either intentionally deceiving the public in a HUGE conspiracy (huge and conspiracy never go well together) Or that these scientists are really really bad at being scientists. Both of those conclusions seem very unlikely to me.

On the other hand, it would make sense for there to be an incredibly dense core of heavier elements fusing at the center of stellar cores. It wouldn't take much heavy element fusion to create a good deal of energy.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (10) Dec 30, 2010
On the other hand, it would make sense for there to be an incredibly dense core of heavier elements fusing at the center of stellar cores. It wouldn't take much heavy element fusion to create a good deal of energy.
Well we know that some of that is occuring, we also know that there isn't a ball of neutronium larger than the earth at the core fo the sun, which is Mr. Manuel's hypothesis.
fmfbrestel
4 / 5 (5) Dec 30, 2010
Agreed, but most literature i see claims that heavy element fusion stops earlier then I would expect. It might not happen on a large scale, but i would think that would keep going, just at slower and slower pace as the elements increase in mass.

But yeah, I don't think the ultimate conclusion in Mr. Manuel's paper is possible.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (3) Dec 30, 2010
But worring about it is like worrying about a micrometeorite comming through your roof and killing you while you sleep


Yeah, that's why I sleep with my feet at the top of the bed and my head at the bottom! :)

that was a joke, btw.

On the serious side, I am wondering about the comment at the end of the article, where they say "Recurrence of a 1921 event today", but there's no mention of a 1921 event in prior paragraphs. Should I assume the above article is using a quote from another context, and the original 1921 reference has been omitted in this summary? Either that or it's a typo I guess.

GSwift7
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 30, 2010
I looked up solar events and found a web page that summarizes headlines from various events. I was surprised to see that there are several instances where fire departments were called in response to people seeing aurora, because they assumed they were seeing the glow of a large fire. That's hillarious.
GSwift7
3.2 / 5 (9) Dec 30, 2010
Pardon me for being a noob but if this solar max does occur and unleases the static discharges and geomagnetic storms, couldn't lifeforms be in danger as well as our beloved electricals


As far as we know, it's not a danger to living things on the Earth's surface. Our magnetic field and atmosphere protect us from the worst of it. Of course, that has to be said with the understanding that even 'normal' solar radiation is somewhat harmful to living things. Astronauts can get a lot more than the usual dose of radiation during a storm though. They can even sometimes see optical effects in their eyes. Space walks are canceled and astronauts on the ISS are told to go to the center of the station when storms happen.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Dec 30, 2010
Agreed, but most literature i see claims that heavy element fusion stops earlier then I would expect. It might not happen on a large scale, but i would think that would keep going, just at slower and slower pace as the elements increase in mass.

But yeah, I don't think the ultimate conclusion in Mr. Manuel's paper is possible.

Well the problem is the stability of Iron. Iron is the first element where the energy required for fusion jumps exponentially. As stellar fusion and nucleosynthesis are effectively driven by gravity, in lower mass stars like our sun, the calculations do not show that enough energy is present to fuse iron in any significant quantity.
fmfbrestel
1.5 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2010
in lower mass stars like our sun, the calculations do not show that enough energy is present to fuse iron in any significant quantity.


I agree, but I just don't think that it is realistic to expect that NO iron fusion occurs whatsoever. It would of course be extremely rare compared to the other fusion occuring, but gravity should be doing a nice job sorting all the elements. I would expect that if someone could freeze a star, cut it in half and look at the very center, you would find a lot of heavy elements. -- alot meaning on a human scale, like 10lbs of cobalt or something
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2010
I agree, but I just don't think that it is realistic to expect that NO iron fusion occurs whatsoever.
Which would be why I said, "in no significant quatity". The nucleosynthesis energy difference between iron and pre-iron is the fact that once you get to iron, the decay energy is lower than the binding energy.
GSwift7
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 30, 2010
I have a question rather than a comment in this regard:

If Oliver's theory is assumed to be true, then what does that say about the composition of mass in solar systems, and how does that relate to the observed composition of our solar system? Should there be more or less iron than what we see? Should there be more or less hydrogen? I don't have any idea what the actual answers to those questions are, so please don't think that I'm suggesting one view over another. My point is that we should be able to caclulate the expected values and compare them to observations.

It would seem to me that fusion of heavy elements would lead to the eventual conversion of most light elements into heavy ones. I guess the rate and magnitues are the questions.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (7) Dec 30, 2010
If Oliver's theory is assumed to be true, then what does that say about the composition of mass in solar systems, and how does that relate to the observed composition of our solar system? Should there be more or less iron than what we see? Should there be more or less hydrogen? I don't have any idea what the actual answers to those questions are, so please don't think that I'm suggesting one view over another. My point is that we should be able to caclulate the expected values and compare them to observations.
If Mr. Manuel's theory was accurate we would have stellar evolution completely backwards. We would expect to see plutonium, or a heavier element as the fundamental building block of reality and hydrogen would be the least likely, or prominent element in the universe. We know this is false, therefore his hypothesis is false.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (3) Dec 31, 2010
I'm not sure it's that simple due to enthropy though, is it? We may think we understand more than we do again.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Dec 31, 2010
I'm not sure it's that simple due to enthropy though, is it? We may think we understand more than we do again.

According to his statements within his body of work, and the mathematical rammifications that is exactly what he suggests.

He is suggesting that alpha decay is a primary driver of fusion or that fission is what provides stellar energy.
Daan
not rated yet Dec 31, 2010
the radiation portion of one of these events will reach us at the same time or before any warning signal we could send ourselves, and it will go in every direction except through the sun (so ones on the back of the sun from our perspective will not be seen). that portion will "hit" us every time. but those are photons. i believe it is actually massive charged particles, traveling significantly slower than light, that could potentially cause distortions in our magnetic field. the upside is that those ejections are not going in every direction. i used some basic rounded number data on the earth and sun to figure what portion of the surface area of the sphere at r=93M miles is occupied by the earth. it is pretty small. it gets a little bigger when you consider the magnetic field, but its still a small ratio. the CME of massive charged particles is actually something we could warn ourselves about, if it was coming our way.
Egnite
not rated yet Dec 31, 2010
As far as we know, it's not a danger to living things on the Earth's surface. Our magnetic field and atmosphere protect us from the worst of it. Of course, that has to be said with the understanding that even 'normal' solar radiation is somewhat harmful to living things. Astronauts can get a lot more than the usual dose of radiation during a storm though. They can even sometimes see optical effects in their eyes. Space walks are canceled and astronauts on the ISS are told to go to the center of the station when storms happen.


Ah ofcourse, the fact the aurora is visible during the storms would mean our magnetic field was doing its job. Suppose it could be dangerous if a storm coincided with a magnetic pole flip but the chances of that must be pretty slim lol.
omatumr
1 / 5 (11) Dec 31, 2010
If Mr. Manuel's theory was accurate we would have stellar evolution completely backwards.

No. We have nuclear evolution completely backwards.

We assumed that nuclear matter was fusing together:

H => He => C => . . . Fe => Neutron Star.

Instead, nuclear matter is fragmenting:

Neutron Stars =(emit neutrons=> n =(neutron-decay)=> H

The Sun and other stars release H in the solar wind as a waste product!

My fragmented New Years Greeting to all of you:

http://
db.tt
/iVUcMRp
KBK
1 / 5 (2) Dec 31, 2010
We're all gonna die!

Well, yeah..... It's to be expected.

No exceptions.

Sigh.

However ...it seems this article is trying to stir us up over the idea of 'Giant Star Farts.'

I wonders what it et.... to give it such gas?
Burnerjack
1 / 5 (1) Jan 01, 2011
I agree If this Solar Maximum were to occur in 2012 it would be front page news.
Nostradamus may or may not have been a prophet, but the ability of the media to turn hysterical prophetics into bankable profits is well documented (Y2K anyone?).
Juat remember "There are two kinds of people who try to predict the future... those who don't know and those who don't know they don't know."
Its too bad the "lamestream news" has supplanted news for Heard Management.
Burnerjack
1 / 5 (1) Jan 01, 2011
I agree If this Solar Maximum were to occur in 2012 it would be front page news.
Nostradamus may or may not have been a prophet, but the ability of the media to turn hysterical prophetics into bankable profits is well documented (Y2K anyone?).
Just remember "There are two kinds of people who try to predict the future... those who don't know and those who don't know they don't know."
Its too bad the "lamestream news" has supplanted news for Heard Management.
dhake_telus_net
3 / 5 (2) Jan 02, 2011
WOW!!! Talk about your 'Conspirency Theory'!! How on Earth did we get this far, with so many evil, lying, reporters and teachers LYING to us about nearly everything!!PLEASE, if you think this site is lying to you, why not just stay away??? Why ruin a truthful account about our star with your paranoid ramblings? I am very glad to have someone of your stature keeping the airways free of the devil trying to confuse us. When the next flare burns your eyes out, and boils your brain, we will have YOU to thank for the truth! ........NOT!!!!!
omatumr
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 02, 2011
Take it easy.

Theories will not control the Sun.

If the Sun sneezes or the Earth quakes, that's it.

Oliver K. Manuel
Ethelred
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 03, 2011
He is suggesting that alpha decay is a primary driver of fusion
He is a BETA decay guy. The beta decay of neutrons. NOT fusion nor fission of elements just the fission of neutrons into protons electrons and neutrinos.

He keeps switching back and forth on Neutron star vs iron core. Won't even acknowledge the question WHICH is it he means. Oliver does not like inconvenient questions. He ignores them hoping they will go away. Not going to happen. I am pretty sure I will outlive him. He looks to be in LOUSY condition.

I suspect that when he says neutron star he really means an iron star. He insist that black holes are impossible and ignores the math showing that they must occur if you pack in enough mass. So my guess is that he doesn't believe in actual neutron stars just an iron equivalent. That avoids the problem that the sun is too small for a neutron star. Why he doesn't just say so is just more of his Crank peculiarities. Which is his good side.

Ethelred
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 03, 2011
We assumed that nuclear matter was fusing together:

H => He => C => . . . Fe => Neutron Star.
No. H to He to carbon but not all the way to FE and then neutron star. Fusion into iron is endothermic due to high neutrino production that sends the energy out of the star. That drops the core temperature of the star in which it occurs thus triggering a collapse. This results in a supernova or a black hole or both. If there is no black hole then you get a neutron or maybe even quark star.

There are no iron stars out there. Just stars with some iron such as ours.

Neutron Stars =(emit neutrons=> n =(neutron-decay)=> H
Neutron Stars =(emit neutrons=> n =(neutron-decay)=> H
Which is wrong since bound neutrons don't decay. No one has seen it happen. EVER.

It doesn't help that you can't seem to decide whether its a neutron star or iron in our own Sun. You switch wildly on that.

Ethelred
Titto
1 / 5 (11) Jan 03, 2011
This site more an more points to me on the side of: AGW,PEAK-OIL;OZONE LAYER;CO2: and all that shite!!!!
common guys explore the truth?????
omatumr
1 / 5 (4) Jan 05, 2011
I have a question rather than a comment in this regard:

If Oliver's theory is assumed to be true, then what does that say about the composition of mass in solar systems, and how does that relate to the observed composition of our solar system?


Please watch this brief introductory video
youtube.com/watch?v=AQZe_Qk-q7M

Then google "Musings from the Chiefio"
Iron Sun
January 3, 2011 by E.M.Smith

Best wishes,
Oliver
Ethelred
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 05, 2011
Past discussion session with Oliver when he was SLIGHTLY more willing to discuss things. He still mostly just reposted the same stuff he still posts.

June 9, 2009
ttp://www.physorg.com/news163768550.html

July 29, 2009
ttp://www.physorg.com/news168073732.html

Copy paste add an 'h' to the start.

Ethelred
Parmanello
5 / 5 (1) Jan 05, 2011
Is it just me or is QC the most over-opinionated, pseudoscientific, technically illiterate tool on this entire site? The hugely exaggerated opinion he has of his capabilities gives him the confidence to give his view on a wide array of subjects, despite clearly having an extremely poor grasp of the subject material. The fact that he has obviously not been educated in any field of science beyond college level is not a barrier to him questioning the validity of strongly held scientific claims backed with mountains of evidence. What a moron.

More news stories

Easter morning delivery for space station

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.