Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/8/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Astronomers are watching carefully for Earth directed flares.

The Sun is preparing to flip its north and south poles as evidenced by a surge in activity on its surface. On Thursday the Sun emitted the most powerful solar flare of the year and more such events appear to be imminent.

The Sun has been crackling with flares, emitting several each day over the past week.

The Sun has been crackling with flares, emitting several each day over the past week.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/8/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Sun, polarity, magentic field, Sun Fox, Sun Drudge, Sun NBC, news, space, doomsday


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Thursday, the Sun emitted an X3.3 class solar flare, a powerful discharge associated with heightened solar activity. The flare is a sign that the Sun is about to reverse its polarity, exchanging its south pole for its north, and vice-versa.

This is certainly a dramatic event, but it is also regular and predictable. The Sun has a cycle that repeats every 11 years. At the low point of the cycle, the Sun is quiet and the solar disk is largely featureless. As the Sun ramps up to its polar flip, sunspots begin to appear at the surface, created by cooling at the surface as the Sun's multitude of smaller magnetic fields twist and contort. Unlike the Earth, which is relatively solid, the Sun has thousands of smaller magnetic fields because it is made of seething hydrogen gas, plasma really, and other elements.

Eventually, these twisted field-lines contort so much, they snap and eject mass quantities of electrically charged particles into space. These eruptions are called coronal mass ejections.

Occasionally, these CMEs are directed towards Earth and when they eventually impact, a shower of charged particles will flow along planet Earth's magnetic field lines towards the North and South poles of the planet, striking and exciting molecules in the upper atmosphere. These excited molecules glow like neon lights, causing breathtaking auroras.

Occasionally, these storms are so powerful they cause auroras so powerful they become visible at lower latitudes. 

This week has been very active for the Sun, in a year which has been far below average overall. The sudden surge in activity has scientists suspicious that the polar flip is about to occur.

In the weeks and days before the flip, it is expected that the Sun will fire off more flares and more CMEs. It is possible that one or more of these CMEs could be directed at Earth, in which case we may see auroras at lower latitudes. However, chances of this happening are fairly slim, even under the most favorable of circumstances.

While the aurora is the best-known result of a CME, there are some minor dangers associated with them as well. A CME can cause power surges on both Earth-orbiting satellites at with the power grid on land. In both cases, engineers can make adjustments to protect infrastructure, so even now, with the Sun reaching the peak of its cycle, any danger to Earth remains quite low to virtually non-existent.

For now, it is astronomers who are most excited about happenings on the Sun. As for the rest of us, we have little to worry about as we continue to enjoy protection from the active Sun by our own magnetic field here on Earth.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Technology

Smartphones and Internet may be putting your child's mental health in jeopardy Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil

The number of young people being admitted for mental treatments since 2010 has rapidly increased. Julie Lynn Evans, a psychotherapist for over 25 years now, is grateful for the additional funding being sent into mental health services, but she believes the dilemma ... continue reading


Stealth fighter jets in U.S. set to get massive upgrades Watch

Image of Pentagon officials have stressed the importance of developing the new long-range strike bomber calling it critical to national security and nuclear deterrence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mainstay of United States military defense, stealth bombers have been around since the Seventies. The Air Force's aging fleet is now ready for an expensive makeover. The Pentagon intends to develop a high-priority, super-classified, next-generation bomber. ... continue reading


Will you say 'hello' to Barbie? Mattel's new Barbie doll is 'creeping out' parents, raising concerns of privacy Watch

Image of Hello Barbie will allow its owner to carry on a conversation through recorded audio and WiFi.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Classic toy doll, Barbie, has been reinvented after the makers, Mattel received numerous requests for a Barbie doll that kids can talk to, according to a spokesperson of the toy company. Mattel's response is WiFi connected "Hello Barbie" that comes with an installed ... continue reading


Scientists find way to eliminate inherited diseases with genetically modified human eggs Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New gene-editing techniques are being improved and could soon eliminate inherited diseases from future generations by modifying the DNA of human egg cells. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although the idea of editing chromosomes in human eggs or sperm is feared, ... continue reading


Hidden spy cameras discovered at United States post office, installation confirmed by USPIS Watch

Image of freerepublic.com

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A hidden camera disappeared just after an hour of being discovered at a Denver local post office, Fox31 Denver reported. People became alarmed that they are being watched as they drop-off their mails with the possibility of the camera collecting their facial features ... continue reading


Your selfie can now be seen by millions: Charity campaign puts selfies on billboards for donations Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

By participating in the Ultimate Selfie Campaign (#ultimateselfiecampaign), people can now have millions of people across the United States see their selfie or favorite photo on digital billboards, while helping charities with a $25 donation. The project was an ... continue reading


BIG, BIG things predicated on Apple's 'Smartwatch' Watch

Image of A solid gold version aimed at the very rich will tarnish a brand that promises

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Apple remains unusually successful, there are already naysayers lining up to predict that the company's forthcoming "Smartwatch" will be a flop. Many details about the new gadget remain under wraps. Questions remain about the watch's price, the battery ... continue reading


Let there be light: New urine-powered light bulbs bring light to refugee camps Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Pee Power" is what the people are calling this strange innovation. British students and researchers, from the University of the West of England and the OxFam global aid agency, have invented a mode in which light bulbs can be powered by urine. The University has ... continue reading


Zombie Apocalypse: Safest plan is to 'head for the hills,' according to experts Watch

Image of In the event of a zombie apocalypse, cities would fall quickly. However, it would take weeks for zombies to penetrate into less densely populated areas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the event the dead return to life and begin to cannibalize the living, turning them into hordes of the shuffling undead, theoretically - there would be few options. Researchers at Cornell University offer a practical bit of advice should this happen - head ... continue reading


12 billion times size of our sun; scientists spot massive black hole Watch

Image of Researchers led by teams from China's Peking University and the University of Arizona both say the newly discovered black hole is six times larger than its biggest known contemporaries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Chinese researchers have spotted a super massive black hole. Scientists say the heavenly body is 12 billion times the size of the sun. They theorize it formed around 900 million years after the Big Bang. The black hole, named SDSS J010013.02 is larger than any ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 17:3-9
3 And Abram bowed to the ground. God spoke to him as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
4 Seek Yahweh and his strength, tirelessly seek his ... Read More

Gospel, John 8:51-59
51 In all truth I tell you, whoever keeps my word ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 26th, 2015 Image

St. Margaret Clitherow
March 26: St. Margaret Clitherow was born in Middleton, England, in 1555, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter