7 Stories

Scientists Puzzled by Huge Sunspot

Magnetic burst deemed 'too complicated for us' to grasp

(Newser) - Scientists scratched their heads this week over a massive sunspot, partly because it posed no threat to human civilization. The burst of solar magnetic activity, one of the biggest on record, whipped up powerful flares but didn't spew coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that can bring down Earth's power... More »

Solar Storm No Biggie, but Brace Yourself...

...because more are expected as sun nears peak of 11-year cycle

(Newser) - Turns out space weather forecasts can be as unreliable as terrestrial ones. The solar storm that hit us yesterday was much weaker than expected, and the world's power grids, satellites, and telecommunication systems did not experience problems. "I think we just lucked out," the director of Boston... More »

Solar Flare May Trigger Light Show Tonight

Expect some nice views of the northern lights in higher latitudes

(Newser) - It might pay to glance up at the sky late tonight. A solar flare that erupted from the sun on Thursday is sending a blob of charged gas toward Earth that could make for some dazzling displays of the northern lights, reports . (The higher latitudes, such as Alaska,... More »

Solar Storm Boosting Northern Lights

Display could be visible as far south as Colorado

(Newser) - Bad news for telecommunications, good news for skywatchers: The sun is entering a busy period of its 11-year cycle, and solar flares are expect to affect the earth for the next several years, making the Northern Lights more spectacular and visible further south. A geomagnetic storm currently in progress is... More »

Scientists Discover Way to Predict Sunspots

Researchers say they can provide 48 hours warning

(Newser) - Maybe we'll eventually be able to cross off solar flares as a possible way the world ends. Scientists at Stanford say they've developed a system to predict dangerous sunspots two days before they erupt, reports the San Francisco Chronicle . Using satellite data, they can detect the rumblings of... More »

Sun May Soon Enter Long Quiet Phase

Sunspot activity looks to be petering out for a while

(Newser) - If we make it past 2012 , we might not be totally out of the woods when it comes to the sun. The next 11-year cycle of increased sunspot activity—expected around 2020—may be a few years late, be less powerful than anticipated, or might not happen at all, according... More »

Dim Sun Is Cold Comfort to Scientists

(Newser) - The sun may be heading for one of its dimmest periods in history, but that doesn't mean the big star is joining the battle against global warming, according to scientists. The sun hit a 100-year low in sunspot activity last year, reports the Telegraph. More »

7 Stories