Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/12/2013 (10 months 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. Last week, the Sun emitted the most powerful solar flare of the year and more such events appear to be imminent.

Solar flares are much bigger than Earth, but they pose little danger thanks to our magnetic field.

Solar flares are much bigger than Earth, but they pose little danger thanks to our magnetic field.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/12/2013 (10 months ago)

Published in Technology

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


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Last 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.

A minor geomagnetic storm is also predicted within the next day or so, following a weekend eruption from the surface of the Sun. The storm will be minor, but more could occur in the coming weeks.

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. 

The past week was 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 big solar 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'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Technology

Inventor of World Wide Web warns of encroaching government control Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The British inventor of the World Wide Web, 59-year-old Tim Berners-Lee has issued a dire warning concerning the freedom of the Internet. Berners-Lee says that freedom of expression on the Web is under threat by governments and corporations interested in ... continue reading


Vast new oil field discovered by Russia - with assist from U.S. oil company Exxon Watch

Image of According to the agreement, Rosneft and Exxon won't be able to do more drilling, putting the exploration and development of the area on hold despite the find announced.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Relations between the United States and Russia have been strained, what with ongoing hostilities in Ukraine and the threat that Russian incursions have made to the rest of the European continent. However, the recent discovery by Russian oil interests - with the ... continue reading


Why has the government erected fake cell phone towers across Washignton D.C.? Watch

Image of The U.S. federal government will neither confirm -- nor deny that they use such towers for law enforcement purposes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fake cell phone towers have been discovered throughout the Washington D.C. area. Their existence boggles the mind. Who would take the time to erect these structures that are of no use to anyone? The towers are located near the White House, the United States ... continue reading


Have $100 million burning a hole in your pocket? Then you can shave 3 hours off your flight time Watch

Image of The AS2 is a revolutionary new jet that will be ready for test flights in 2019.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nevada-based Aerion Corporation has partnered with Airbus in order to produce the Aerion AS2, a supersonic business jet which could potentially shave hours off current flight time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The two companies announced their collaboration, ... continue reading


Apple takes a stand: They say they won't unlock iPhones, iPads for police Watch

Image of With their new policy -- not even Apple will be able to unlock the secrets held on their iPhones and iPads that the user does not wish to share --

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Electronic industry leader Apple has taken a remarkable stand that will make them somewhat unpopular with law enforcement. The company declared this week that they will make it impossible for data from iPhones or iPads handed over to the police. This ... continue reading


This goofy looking jet is the key to Europe's airplane market Watch

Image of Airbus currently operates five Beluga airbuses, which are the primary way in which the company transports airplane parts.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Airbus A300-600ST, more popularly known as the "Beluga" due to its resemblance to the Arctic whale, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first flight this month. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Beluga performs critical transportation roles in ... continue reading


New fossils may prove that mammals existed alongside dinosaurs Watch

Image of New fossils of early, squirrel-like mammals, found in China, have shown that mammals may have existed early then previously thought.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fossils of three early mammalian species from over 200 million years ago suggests that dinosaurs and mammals did coexist on the Earth earlier than previously thought. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The fossils of the squirrel-like creatures were discovered in ... continue reading


Make way for the 'Phablet:' Apple hopes to recapture trendsetters with world's first 'smartwatch' Watch

Image of Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about the Apple Watch during a special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts this week.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The way of the future...is "phablets," which combines both features of smartphones and tablets. Apple, hoping to usurp the high tech throne from Asian rival Samsung will announce their first ever "smartwatch" along with two large-screen versions of the iPhone ... continue reading


British researchers may have just found the cure for multiple sclerosis! Watch

Image of A new study by researchers from Bristol University may have found a way to stop autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis or Type 1 diabetes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study published in the journal Nature Communications shows that scientists may have discovered a way to stop autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis or Type 1 diabetes by retraining the immune system. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study was ... continue reading


Futuristic, super-fast sports car runs on saltwater Watch

Image of A four-seater, the car's 22-inch wheels sit just beneath impressive double gull-wing doors, in the manner of the classic DeLorean, that feature

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Imagine, if you will - in the words of the late, great Rod Serling of "Twilight Zone" fame - a futuristic sports car that can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds - that runs entirely on saltwater. While sports cars are not known for ... 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, Job 9:1-12, 14-16
1 Job spoke next. He said:2 Indeed, I know ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:10-11, 12-13, 14-15
10 Do you work wonders for the dead, can shadows rise ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:57-62
57 As they travelled along they met a man on the road ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 1st, 2014 Image

St. Therese of Lisieux
October 1: Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called ... 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