The dramatic uptick in the number of solar flares over the past few weeks, especially the powerful X-class flares, is a good sign that the impending change in the sun’s magnetic field is drawing nearer.
Our sun is a variable star. While some variable stars swing through active and quiet periods very quickly or very haphazardly, our sun works on a fairly regular schedule lasting about 11 years or so. At times like now, when it’s reaching solar maximum, its surface is typically dotted with a multitude of sunspots and it’s throwing off solar flares and coronal mass ejections on nearly a daily basis, and at solar minimum its surface is very quiet.
This cycle is closely tied to the sun’s magnetic field, which changes polarity on roughly the same schedule. At solar minimums, the magnetic fields running through the sun are roughly lined up, with a strong, well-defined magnetic north pole and south pole. At solar maximums, like now, everything devolves into chaos as the overall magnetic polarity virtually disappears, causing the increase in solar flares and eruptions. The polarity doesn’t just go back to the same direction at each solar minimum though, it flips back and forth between one direction and the other.
When the sun reached its last maximum, in a twin-peak from 2001-2003, the magnetic field flipped so that it pointed ’downward’ — with the magnetic north pointing towards the sun’s physical south pole — and it apparently touched off a period of unusual activity. By the next solar minimum, around 2008, the magnetic field strength only grew to about half of what it was during the previous two minimums. Also, the latest ’ramp-up’ towards solar maximum started late, the number of sunspots and flares is roughly half of what it usually is, and we have an even more dramatic twin-peak maximum going on.
According to what Dr. Ken Tapping, from the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Penticton, BC, told CBC News, this is causing some concern — not that any of this poses any particular danger to us here on Earth, but simply because it would be nice for the sun to settle back into its typical rhythms.
"Obviously, we would feel happier if we saw the sun doing business as usual, rather than heading off into some territory where we basically are not sure we understand what’s going to happen," he said in the CBC News interview.
Facebook completes first drone flight above UK, Mark Zuckerberg confirms 2015-03-28 3:15
Solar powered drones which provide internet access to rural and remote areas have been trialled in UK for first time by Facebook.
They â€śhave a wingspan greater than a Boeing 737 but will weigh less than a carâ€ť, according to the social network's chief Mark Zuckerberg.
The drones, developed by Somerset-based company Ascenta which Facebook bought last March, will beam down laser-guided ...
British POW describes the horror of the bombing of Dresden 2015-03-28 0:33
Partial Transcript of Interview with Victor Gregg, WW2 British solder and POW:
Interviewer: "Tell us how it was that you were in Dresden at that time."
Victor Gregg: "It was evil....thousands of firebombs dropping all over the place, heat, fire, people screaming, people burning, people alight. After about half an hour it started developing into something that was really bad....It was ...
Rape of 285,000 German Women at the End of WWII Trigger Damage Control by Mainstream Media 2015-03-27 20:25
Is Exposing Allied War Crimes an honorable act? No, itâ€™s slandering heroes according to Daily Mail
A recent article from the Daily Mail that pretends to look at the post WWII crimes and rapes of the Allies against the German people is actually damage control. Itâ€™s really an attempt to divert away from the true horrors that was visited upon Germany ...
Minister of Migration attacked by asylum seeker with fire extinguisher 2015-03-27 2:12
Swedenâ€™s Minister of Justice & Migration also known as Morgan â€śonly 1%â€ť Johansson, has been attacked with a fire extinguisher when he visited an asylum home for future Swedes.
Regional newspaper, Kristiandstadsbladet reported that a man who had been living at the home for a couple of weeks grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed foam all over the minister who didnâ€™t ...