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The sun kicked up a whopping storm Tuesday and more yesterday, as seen by the orbiting STEREO-B spacecraft. The activity is hidden from our terrestrial view, so scientists are eager for a better look. They think two sunspot regions are involved.
The active region could be a "proto-sunspot"--a sunspot struggling to form, but not quite able to organize its own magnetic fields into a coherent, dark core. Or it could be a "sunspot corpse"--the decaying remains of a farside sunspot turning toward Earth at the end of its short life. Whatever it is, its magnetic polarity identifies it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24--and that makes it a sign of things to come.
Originally posted by questioningall
Pictures over the last couple of hours of the magnet field - it has been in a collapse mode.
A day to day study of the number of earthquakes worldwide reveals that the arrival to the Earh of high speed solar streams is related to significantly greater probability of earthquake occurrence.
In a radical rethink of accepted geophysics, new research in the US links variations in the Earth’s magnetic field with the ebb and flow of the world’s oceans. Given the practical importance of these field variations in navigation and atmospheric modeling, the implications of this new research extend far beyond academia.
The origin and mechanism of the Earth’s magnetic field are amongst the biggest unsolved questions in the earth sciences. Most geophysicists agree however that the main component of the field — which defines the magnetic poles — is a dipole generated by the convection of molten iron deep within the Earth’s interior. We know, from studying the way magnetic minerals align in volcanic rocks, that this dipole has flipped its orientation every million years or so throughout Earth history.
Ryskin believes that electric currents induced in dissolved salts — as ocean waters circulate through the Earth’s magnetic field — can generate secondary magnetic fields strong enough to shift the orientation of the original field. Comparing his own calculations with public geophysical data, Ryskin links circulation in the North Atlantic with observed trends in secular variation over Western Europe.