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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured an image of a mid-level solar flare on March 11, 2015, seen as a bright flash of light on the left side of the sun. For more information about this particular solar flare and to examine the space forecast for yourself, you can visit NOAA's website.
For more great science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN). NASA hosted a media teleconference to tackle the current advances in the agency’s solar electric propulsion development or the SEP for a deep space exploration.
The researchers found out that a group of mice flown aboard the space shuttle returned back to Earth with liver damage. Researchers say that certain gene and a healthy environment are factors in achieving long life.
The CDC has reported that the number of suicide cases has skyrocketed in the country since 1999. Australian Rhino Project plans to relocate rhinos from South Africa to Australia to save them from poachers. Amazon River has a new treasure--a huge coral reef that spans 3,600 square miles along the ocean floor, according to scientists. Although there are more positive effects of going vegetarian, one can't help but think about how it will affect the people who make a living raising livestock. Britain's spy agencies like MI6 have gained popularity through the James Bond series of books and films. The sun may be an average star when compared to the menagerie of stars that exist in our galaxy, but to Earth and all life on our planet, the sun is the most important object in the Universe. The X4.9 flare was caught through the range of SDO fliters, including this dramatic view as seen through the 131A filter. Intense coronal activity is often associated with active regions -- the active lower corona is pictured here, left. In the case of AR1990, a large sunspot can be seen at the base of the coronal loops that erupted to generate the powerful flare. The HMI monitors magnetic activity across the disk of the sun and can also generate a picture on the direction of the magnetic field polarity.
Approximately an hour after the flare, the CME grew and continued to barrel into interplanetary space. ORIGINAL: There was already a high probability that active region (AR) 2192 was going to erupt with a powerful solar flare, so it came as little surprise when, yesterday, the huge sunspot fired a powerful X-class flare right at Earth. With the immediate effects of the X-class flare (which is the most powerful class of flare) subsiding, solar scientists monitored the region for any trace of a coronal mass ejection that may have been associated with the flare.
Although CMEs and flares are thought to be triggered by a common phenomenon (magnetic reconnection in the lower corona), they are not necessarily triggered at the same time. Needless to say, space weather forecasters will be studying this large sunspot a€” the largest sunspot seen on the sun for 24 years a€” until it rotates out of view to understand what is going on. An extraordinarily powerful solar storm narrowly missed Earth in 2012, and new research details the causes of the storm and highlights a need for space weather preparedness on Earth.
A powerful 2012 solar storm sent a huge magnetic cloud speeding through space at 2,000 kilometers per second, some four times the speed of a typical burst of solar energy known as a coronal mass ejection (CME). Writing in the journal Nature Communications, a team of US and Chinese researchers report that this CME, had it hit Earth, would have been equivalent to the Carrington Event of 1859 - the largest magnetic storm ever reported on Earth. The July 22, 2012 solar storm was so powerful, the researchers report, because it was triggered by two individual CMEs that occurred only 10 or 15 minutes apart - nearly simultaneous in terms of solar storms. The tremendous speed at which the dual CME hurled through space was made possible because of another CME four days earlier, which cleared the path of material that would have slowed it down.
The storm narrowly missed Earth, but had the eruption occurred just nine days earlier, when the ignition spot on the solar surface was aimed at Earth, it would have hit the planet. Luhmann said that one reason the storm was so dangerous, aside from its speed, was that it produced a pronounced and southward-oriented magnetic field. Although storms like this are rare, the narrow miss underscores the importance of understanding solar weather events and being prepared for them. Satellites such as NASA's STEREO project enable scientists to understand solar storms, and data gathered from them may one day enable scientists to accurately predict solar storms. The flare (seen in different wavelengths on the left and right) has already caused radio blackouts on Earth and a minor geomagnetic storm could occur tomorrow.
Nasaa€™s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), illustration shown, was launched on 11 February 2010 and has observed the sun ever since.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. A significant X-class solar flare unfurled from the Sun early Tuesday morning, causing a strong radio blackout and an associated coronal mass ejection (CME). Tuesday's flare adds to a series of notable solar activity that has taken place throughout October and November.
The flare generated a 10cm radio burst that lasted for seven minutes, according to NASA's Space Weather Prediction Center. November has seen a number of notable solar flares, including the most powerful one of the year. There are several classes of solar flares, but M-class and X-class are most noteworthy because they can cause geomagnetic storms on Earth. The numbers following the flare's letter class provide more information about the flare's strength. I would chop up my laptop and use it as firewood, eat wild berries and grass, and write my blog posts in the sand with a stick. Travelling with the internet is like the autobahn, it’s appealing, but the real treats are off the slip road. I don’t earn a living or finance my travels from blogging, or own a smart phone, so perhaps it’s easier for me to take this point of view, and to be honest I like it that way. It would reveal something about us, it would make people more raw and alive, and so we could see a part of them that the age of communication keeps hidden in the dark. In the strange world of traveling outside of tourist destinations, I’ve come across this on many an occasion. In this day and age whereby I have to keep resending emails because the person reading them doesn’t have an attention span over 140 characters. Okay, first off, I would put on sunglasses with extra special UV protection and sunscreen with the highest SPF I can find (must protect the alabaster skin). In all seriousness, the above reaction wouldn’t initially be far off for me if a solar flare bereft me of my ability to stay in touch and earn an income from the road.
On the other hand, however, technology not only allows me to share my stories with others, it also provides me with support. As much fun as tooling around the developing world can be, it is not without its challenges. I would drop dramatically to the floor and weep all day and all night at the awful reality of not being able to reach my family, friends, and the 80 devoted readers of my travel blog. But, once I’m done wallowing in my sorrow, as I lay in bed on the morning of the third day, half conscious, half asleep, a faint tingle of relief and exhilaration will slowly start to wiggle its way through the dread.
Out of communication with the rest of the world… gee, sounds more like an opportunity than a hindrance.

I would go back to making up my bean money as I did before I began this web publishing fiasco. Subscribe Subscribe for more inspiring stories, advice and insight from the internet's best travel bloggers. Although harmful radiation from these bursts can't pass through Earth's atmosphere, there is the chance for the particles to disturb our planet's atmosphere enough so that they interfere with GPS and communications signals. When it comes to solar flares, researchers assign them a strength, much like they do with hurricanes.
In addition, the NOAA has issued a forecast watch for a minor geomagnetic storm for March 13. However, regardless of its importance and close proximity, our nearest star holds many mysteries that continue to fox solar physicists after decades of modern studies with cutting-edge observatories.
Space weather forecasters don't expect that this CME will interact with the Earth's atmosphere as it is not Earth-directed. When a flare erupts in the lower solar corona, the radiation generated can cause extreme ionization in the upper atmosphere, interfering with the propagation of high-frequency radio waves, meddling with global communications. Coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, are magnetic bubbles of highly-energetic particles that are hurled into space from the suna€™s lower corona. In fact, none of the dozens of flares (all of lesser energies than yesterdaya€™s event) AR2192 has produced have generated a CME, which is interesting.
This image combines data from two coronagraphs and an extreme ultra-violet imager (green) on NASA's STEREO spacecraft. New research has revealed details of the powerful storm and provides a stark warning: Had the storm occurred just days earlier, it would have hit Earth directly, causing a severe magnetic storm that would have wrecked Earth's electrical grid, disabled satellites and GPS, and caused untold electronic disruptions.
The energy of each CME is equivalent to about 1 billion hydrogen bombs, the researchers said.
Ita€™s goal is to understand how exactly the sun interacts with the environment around Earth. The flare is visible on right side of the sun in this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Nov. Although they cannot pass through the Earth's atmosphere and harm humans on the ground, the radiation can disturb GPS systems and other radio equipment.
M-class flares are the weakest type of solar flare that can cause some space weather effects near Earth, while X-class flares are the most powerful class of solar flare.
Others of you earn enough to finance your travels while a few more (such as myself) work for online businesses. Numerous communication satellites are blinded or taken out completely which in turn causes a major, if not a total breakdown in the communication systems. The day I depend on the internet to travel — or even sustain my travels — will be a really sad day. I am currently living in an apartment in Colombia and would continue to do so following my regular routine with the same activities such as tennis and salsa lessons. We live in an age of six billion people, in a global society that has chosen to connect itself together through technology.
Half of the Earth would be shielded and most internet communications do not rely on satellites. Cell phone providers would overload and the internet was satellite based, and often go out. If there was a great failure in communications (and Uncle Sam didn’t pull me out), I would likely be able to focus more on this local community, and in that way, such an event might prove a boon to my time here.
Whenever I have been ill or suffered other setbacks, it is often people from home, the ones who know me best, who are a major source of inspiration to keep chugging along.
While this work does not necessarily require access to modern communication technologies (after all, Peace Corps has been around since 1961), the simple act of keeping in touch sure makes it easier.
If I were in a city with access to my country’s embassy or consulate, I would check in with them regularly for any news or updates they could share with me, and any options for assistance.
Well, that is simple: I would go back to making up my bean money as I did before I began this web publishing fiasco. Maybe I will begin working leather, start making boots, or engage upon learning another trade where the skills that I learn will be timeless and not end up being obsolete in a couple of years (as they are in the world of web publishing haha).
Most everyone agreed, though such a situation would cramp their style, they would look upon it as an opportunity as well. Technology has changed lives completely making something that we do really easy and fun to do. A very useful part of the anatomy, especially when you decide to head out into the world, hitchhike and use other modes of transportation.
Though both successful, David didn’t want his children to view him as the dad who was always working. While geomagnetic storms can interfere with communications, strong ones can also supercharge the Northern Lights. One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the sun is the underlying mechanisms that drive solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). 25) -- pictured here on the far left -- the active region (AR) 1990 was crackling with activity. This observation was captured by SOHO's LASCO C3 instrument -- an occulting disk covers the sun to block out any glaring effect. EDT) today (Saturday), active region (AR) 2192 erupted with another X-class flare directed at Earth.
Signals from global positioning satellites (GPS) can be interrupted, air traffic communications can get patchy and the interference can even be measured by amateur radio operators.
Like looking down the barrel of a solar gun, the region crackled with X-ray and extreme-utraviolet (EUV) radiation that immediately washed over the Eartha€™s ionosphere.
They may take hours or days to reach Earth orbit, but their impact on our planeta€™s magnetosphere can be dramatic. But for an active region not to generate any significant CMEs, and yet still generate a large number of flares, is rare. This noise is generally short-lived but can cause interference for sensitive receivers including radar, GPS, and satellite communications," the agency wrote online. It wouldn’t phase me at all; when I travel, I often find myself in places that don’t have internet (although this is getting harder) for long stretches. I think I would ride out the disaster for years while I continue my life abroad and travels. The point is, that as travelers, we would by definition have no problem circumnavigating the blackout. You’d also have to balance this with no electricity for random periods of 10 minutes to 10 hours to several days without.
People actually take the time and effort in business or online to actually care about their product or service.
Sorry – I just hit the floor from the palpitations and dizziness that accompany such a thought as losing all connectivity on the road. But until it happens, I don’t think there’s much we can do, save for having enough money in the bank to get through an emergency that could leave us “stranded” – in the physical or cyber world. If I were at a hotel, I would ask to be updated on the situation as soon as the ability to communicate returned.

Technology makes putting my work out into the world easier, but for me it also makes writing harder because I am constantly bombarded with outside opinions and judgments. Too often bloggers and the new age of media production makes for short and often useless content. Not too many bamboo rockets out there, so that would be tough, even with a supply of liquid oxygen.
Given that the global social and municipal infrastructure is still standing (probably doubtful in reality) I would return to my old traveling trades of doing farm work, gardening, teaching, archaeology, and return to publishing in print.
What I found most interesting were the references to money which brought up a very large question in my mind… “How will you access your funds?
The responses have been numerous, enlightening and much more than I anticipated when I accepted this position.
For Jo Magpie, it (both actually) have served her well in her travels – always heading east. So, with the business and house sold, possessions relocated – the four set off to explore. Though the cats stay home to help the elder son with the yard work and house, the remainder of the family (including the dogs) traverse the open roads of Kiwidom, searching for hidden treasures. Monday evening (EST), the sun reminded us that it hasn't quite finished with the current solar maximum (of solar cycle 24), unleashing a powerful X4.9 solar flare -- the biggest of 2014.
Then, as magnetic field lines from the sun's interior forced together and through the solar photosphere, large-scale reconnection events occurred.
This is the second powerful eruption in less than 24 hours to be triggered from the large sunspot that occupies the region.
A a€?radio blackouta€? was reported across the sun-facing side of our planet, including much of the US. A coronagraph is a telescope that uses a disk to block the sun's bright surface revealing the solar corona.
The flare erupted from a region that produced many flares in its two-week journey across the face of the sun, and is shown here just before rotating out of view. The sunspot is not directly facing Earth and is beginning to rotate out of sight over the Sun's right side, according to NASA. I would appreciate the opportunity to live abroad and travel without work obligations for the first time in my life. It is this world that is so fascinating to write about as a travel writer, because all of that success puts us teetering uncomfortably on the edge of Dystopia.
As travelers, we know how to adapt, saving our accounts until the moment we can broadcast again. You can probably keep taking photos and writing, as personal electronics would probably be ok. Likewise in Pakistan a few years ago (I hear it’s better now), Nepal during dry season, and in the south of The Philippines or more remote areas.
Being shut off from the rest of the world would have the same effect on me as putting blinders onto a horse running a race; I would finally be able to fully concentrate on running my own race to the best of my ability without being distracted by the screaming fans in the stands or the other runners.
Instead of being able to post every day or multiple times per day, perhaps this would bring us back to a time when people sat down and wrote something really thoughtful and compelling, worrying more about quality instead of quantity.
If I had no money, or access to it, I suppose there’s always male prostitution or fan dancing at the local bar. An armada of space telescopes witnessed the event, including NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory that can spy the sun's temper tantrums in astounding high definition.
Today's flare registered at X1 on the solar flare Richter Scale, the most powerful class of flare, but weaker than Friday's X3-class flare. The latter is purely a way of communicating the former to a mass audience, much like a phone call or even a text message. As long as I was to keep myself occupied with friends and activities I don’t see myself doing much differently.
As travel writers, we often get a glimpse into this nearby future – we see hurricane damage, melting icebergs, fallen economies, polluted towns. And if the solar flare even affects our cameras, our video-recorders, our voice-capture machines, we can always pick up a pencil and write, or even sketch, our account.
Everyone could then be proud of themselves for the one article they actually took more time than an afternoon to write…then it would all get turned back on and ADHD would carry on as usual. Further radio black-outs have been recorded on the daytime side of the Earth, but, once again, today's flare did not generate a significant coronal mass ejection (CME). If things don’t get back to normal, then you need to either find new work or stop traveling. With a communication black out, we might suddenly see less generic 300 word rehashes, and begin to see some quality, original content emerge again. Maybe barter my skills with the locals for food and shelter, at least until communications come back. For example, a X2-class flare is twice as intense as a X1-class flare, and a X3-class flare is three times as intense. EST (00:44 UT) -- second frame from the right -- a kinked coronal loop can be seen rising into the corona. Once I wake up, well rested and even paler than when I started, I will get down to business.
Since you are on the road, how does that bank communicate with the one housing your money to verify you even have funds?
Being disconnected from technology would not be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m not sure why I would feel the need to save the batteries – for what, exactly? The old standby of paper and pencil could be handy, as I could still chronicle what’s going on around me and eventually relay those writings into an electronic form. My biggest worry would be about the potential chaos and panic amongst the people around me. Then I would get out a pad of paper, a number two pencil, some postcards and my camera and carry on as normal as I could. I think I would wind up trying to be a calming voice for those that are lost, helping people to come to grips with being out of touch with the rest of the world.
But I wouldn’t mind living the old fashioned way for a little bit, as long as I can still eat paella. Information technology doesn’t plant crops (in the general sense), or cook, or light a fire to keep warm. You can’t eat your laptop or smart phone, so the basics of human survival are the most necessary.

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