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Thursday, September 27, 2012

27:09:2012

Dear Friends,

 http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528843.700-solar-maximum-oh-you-just-missed-it.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=space

Be Well.

David

 Storm before the calm <i>(Image: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)</i>

 

Solar maximum? Oh, you just missed it

WAITING for solar fireworks to reach a grand finale next year? Um, sorry, looks like you already missed them. Structures in the sun's corona indicate that the peak in our star's latest cycle of activity has been and gone, at least in its northern hemisphere.

The southern hemisphere, meanwhile, is on a sluggish rise to solar maximum and may not hit its peak until 2014.

This bizarre asymmetry strengthens a theory that has been bubbling among sun watchers for the past few years: our star is headed for hibernation. Having the sun's outbursts turned off for a while would provide a better baseline for studying how they influence Earth's climate.

Observations of magnetic footprints called sunspots revealed in the 1800s that the sun moves through a roughly 11-year cycle of activity. Around a solar maximum, the star ramps up production of sunspots, flares and ejections of plasma. During a solar minimum, things quieten down.

Following an unexpectedly deep minimum from 2008 to 2010, solar physicists predicted a weak maximum for 2013. These days, though, sunspots aren't the only tools for charting the solar cycle. Richard Altrock of the US Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico has been studying coronal structures called polar crown prominences, which stem from magnetic rumblings on the sun's surface.
These gaseous filaments form at mid-latitudes at the beginning of a solar cycle. As it progresses they drift polewards, and when they reach 76 degrees latitude, a solar maximum has arrived. Soon afterwards the prominences disappear, only to form again during the next cycle.

Based on the movements of this cycle's prominences, Altrock says that an especially weak solar maximum took place in the sun's northern hemisphere around July last year (arxiv.org/abs/1209.2969).

Bernhard Fleck, project scientist for NASA's and the European Space Agency's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, calls the paper solid work, but adds that even if we missed the northern maximum, the southern hemisphere is still expected to put on a show.

According to Altrock, the southern prominences are still on the move, but slowly. If they continue at the current rate, he says, the south will not reach its maximum until February 2014.

Such a large asymmetry between hemispheres could be a sign of big changes ahead, says Steven Tobias, a mathematician at the University of Leeds, UK, who models what drives the sun's magnetic field. According to his models, such a situation precedes an extended quiet phase called a grand minimum. "Changes in symmetry are more indicative of going into a grand minimum than the strength of the cycle," he says.

Grand minima can last for decades. The previous one took place between 1645 and 1715, and has been linked to the little ice age in Europe. A new one might also cause localised cold periods, but many climate scientists see a silver lining to such a turn of events: a grand minimum offers ideal conditions for testing the effects of solar variability on Earth's climate (see "Our star's subtle influence").

But Michael Proctor, a solar physicist at the University of Cambridge, is not convinced that this will happen. "This present cycle is similar to the weak one that ended in 1913, and that was followed by a strong cycle," he says.

Only time will tell.                    

Our star's subtle influence

A link between Earth's oceans and its upper atmosphere shows one way in which the sun might have a subtle affect on our climate. A disruption known as a sudden stratospheric warming event coincided with the bitter European winter of 2009/2010.

So Thomas Reichler at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and his colleagues used computer models to investigate whether such disruptions affect the North Atlantic Ocean.

They found that stratospheric warming can alter airflow over the ocean, which in turn influences the rate at which cold water sinks near Greenland (Nature Geoscience, doi.org/jd4). This sinking is part of a global circulation pattern that helps regulate Earth's climate, including the gulf stream that warms northern Europe.

Their model suggests sudden stratospheric warming could be responsible for between 10 and 30 per cent of changes in ocean circulation. And the stratosphere, with its ozone layer, is particularly susceptible to ultraviolet light, which can vary greatly based on solar activity.

The sun's precise role would be subtle and hard to untangle, though, Reichler warns.


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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:


Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:




Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.

MUFON.COM

ESOTERIC



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