Friday, March 15, 2013

Solar Activity Alert

WILL THE SKY TURN GREEN ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY? A magnetic filament snaking around sunspot AR1692 erupted on March 15th at about 0600 UT. The slow explosion, which took hours to unfold, produced an M1-class solar flare and a bright CME. SOHO (the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) photographed the expanding cloud, which is heading directly toward Earth:

The CME left the sun traveling some 900 km/s (2 million mph). Three-dimensional computer models based on observations from SOHO and NASA's twin STEREO probes predict the CME will cross the void between sun and Earth in two days or less. NOAA forecasters estimate a 70% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives on March 17th. This means the sky could turn green on St. Patrick's Day! High latitude (and possibly even middle latitude) sky watchers should be alert for auroras this weekend. 

Solar wind
speed: 447.1 km/sec
density: 1.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more dataUpdated: Today at 0117 UT


Meeting on Solar Wind Turbulence in Kennebunkport, Maine, USA

06/04/2013 - 00:00
06/07/2013 - 23:59
Our goal is somewhat different from more familiar conferences and is designed with the SHINE model in mind. We are inviting very few speakers who we are asking to give review and introductory talks for each topic we hope to discuss. Those invited review talks will be largely non-controversial and focus upon agreed-upon results. They are also likely to contain challenges for the participants to explain. Then, the bulk of the time is left unscheduled and we ask the participants to give short, focused talks that lead to discussion and debate on the fundamental aspects of the subject at hand.
We expect that everyone who attends will have ample opportunity to enter into the debate and we hope to stimulate a lively discussion of fundamental physics.
We hope you will join us. Bring multiple 5-minute talks that attempt to make specific points so you can enter into the debate clearly and propel the discussion forward. No one is expected to be given a large block of time to speak. The goal is meaningful and focused debate. Remember, you may not convince everyone, but there will be many participants who want to understand your point of view. Our goal is to debate and illuminate, providing inspiration to all.

THE first Solar Probe Plus Workshop will take place at the Beckman Institute auditorium, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, from March 26th to 29th, 2013. SPP1 will introduce the Heliophysics community to the mission and prepare for the exciting discoveries that the Solar Probe Plus mission will make. The Workshop will explore the scientific objectives of the Solar Probe Mission and how the direct exploration of the corona and inner heliosphere will lead to advances in our understanding of coronal heating and solar wind acceleration, the magnetic and plasma structure of the heliosphere, and the acceleration of energetic particles at shocks and flares. The workshop will inspire research that will make use of the SPP observations within the context of the NASA Heliophysics Observatory System and identify key areas for preparatory research. Synergistic observations from other ground based and space based assets will also be addressed.

The meeting is composed of 4 sessions:
  1. Heating and acceleration of the solar corona and solar wind.
  2. Structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields at the sources of the solar wind.
  3. Particle acceleration and transport from the corona into the inner heliosphere
  4. Solar Probe Plus Synergies: maximizing scientific return in conjunction with the Heliophysics Observatory System and ground based assets.

SH11: Solar Wind Structure and Its Coronal Origins

The recent solar cycle 23-24 transition, together with the availability of multiperspective, multipoint in-situ observations and sophisticated 3D coronal and heliospheric models, has opened our eyes to the complex origins of the solar wind, even at solar minima. In particular we now see that a weak field solar cycle may in fact add complexity because of the existence of many low-to-mid latitude coronal holes and coronal pseudostreamers. Indeed the corona through most of the recent minimum had the appearance of a high solar activity phase even though sunspot number remained low. This session will focus on the many aspects of this condition, and consequences for past and future cycles during which the solar dynamo produces weak fields.


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