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Posts Tagged ‘auroras’

New Evidence Indicates Auroras Occur Outside Our Solar System

January 25, 2013 Leave a comment

University of Leicester planetary scientists have found new evidence suggesting auroras – similar to Earth’s Aurora Borealis – occur on bodies outside our solar system.

Auroras occur on several planets within our solar system, and the brightest – on Jupiter – are 100 times brighter than those on Earth. However, no auroras have yet been observed beyond Neptune.

A new study led by University of Leicester lecturer Dr Jonathan Nichols has shown that processes strikingly similar to those which power Jupiter’s auroras could be responsible for radio emissions detected from a number of objects outside our solar system.

In addition, the radio emissions are powerful enough to be detectable across interstellar distances – meaning that auroras could provide an effective way of observing new objects outside our solar system.

Full Story: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/press-releases/2013/january/new-evidence-indicates-auroras-occur-outside-our-solar-system

Big Sunspot Unleashes X-flare & CME


Solar activity is now high. Big sunspot AR1429, which emerged on March 2nd, is crackling with strong flares. The strongest so far, an X1-class eruption, occured just ths morning, March 5th at 0413 UT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash:

The explosion also hurled a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) into space: SOHO movie. The expanding cloud will probably deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field on March 6th or 7th. (Stay tuned for updates on this possibility as more data arrive.) High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras in the nights ahead.

Auroras alerts: textphone.

Full Story: http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=05&month=03&year=2012

New Observations & Details on Heliosphere & Aurora

November 1, 2011 Leave a comment

OBSERVATIONS IMPROVE UNDERSTANDING OF THE HELIOSPHERE

The outer regions of the heliosphere, a giant bubble around the solar system created by solar wind, are difficult to study directly. The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission, which maps emission of energetic neutral atoms from the boundary between the heliosphere and the interstellar medium, has greatly contributed to understanding of the heliosphere and even discovered some unexpected features. In particular, IBEX maps show a strange “ribbon” of enhanced energetic neutral atom emission that was not predicted by any theory. The origins of this ribbon, which stretches more than 300 degrees across the sky, remain unknown. McComas et al. review IBEX observations, current understanding of the heliosphere, hypotheses that have been proposed to explain the ribbon, and directions for future research.

NEW DETAIL ON AURORAS

High-resolution imaging from spacecraft is revealing new detail on structures in bright, dynamic auroras. In the auroral regions where particles are accelerated to high energies, dynamic structures evolve on time scales of seconds or less, though the processes that drive particle acceleration and transfer of energy to small scales are not fully understood. Chaston et al. show how new spaceborne auroral imagery combined with simultaneous particle measurements can help improve understanding of the physical processes involved in the aurora. In particular, they show how magnetic reconnection (in which magnetic field lines break and reconnect, releasing energy), tearing, and sheared flows can transfer energy from larger to smaller scales and help form the auroral structures observed.

Full Story: http://www.agu.org/news/press/jhighlight_archives/2011/2011-10-31.shtml

Strong Solar Activity Could Spark Auroras

September 7, 2011 Leave a comment

On Sept. 6th, active sunspot 1283 produced two major eruptions including an impulsive X2-class solar flare.  The blasts hurled a pair of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) toward Earth, which could spark geomagnetic activity when they arrive on Sept. 8-10.  High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras in the nights ahead.  Checkhttp://spaceweather.com for images and updates.

Full Story: http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=07&month=09&year=2011