Perhaps the sun's recent anomalous behaviour is caused by or is reflected by other aspects in the solar system, such as anomalous bubbles. The fact
the recent solar minimum created very low solar magnetic field which in turn decreased magnetism in the heliosphere and increased cosmic rays able to
reach earth has caused visual / physical variations here caused by ozone variations and an increase in ultra violet light able to reach earth. These
variations could have effect on photons and how earth's atmosphere distributes light.
"In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we've seen in the past 50 years," says Richard Mewaldt of Caltech. "The increase
is significant, and it could mean we need to re-think how much radiation shielding astronauts take with them on deep-space missions."
Energetic iron nuclei counted by the Cosmic Ray Isotope Spectrometer on NASA's ACE spacecraft reveal that cosmic ray levels have jumped 19% above the
previous Space Age high.
"At times of low solar activity, this natural shielding is weakened, and more cosmic rays are able to reach the inner solar system," explains Pesnell.
Mewaldt lists three aspects of the current solar minimum that are combining to create the perfect storm:
1. The sun's magnetic field is weak. "There has been a sharp decline in the sun's interplanetary magnetic field down to 4 nT (nanoTesla) from typical
values of 6 to 8 nT," he says. "This record-low interplanetary magnetic field undoubtedly contributes to the record-high cosmic ray fluxes." [data]
2. The solar wind is flagging. "Measurements by the Ulysses spacecraft show that solar wind pressure is at a 50-year low," he continues, "so the
magnetic bubble that protects the solar system is not being inflated as much as usual." A smaller bubble gives cosmic rays a shorter-shot into the
solar system. Once a cosmic ray enters the solar system, it must "swim upstream" against the solar wind. Solar wind speeds have dropped to very low
levels in 2008 and 2009, making it easier than usual for a cosmic ray to proceed. [data]
3. The current sheet is flattening. Imagine the sun wearing a ballerina's skirt as wide as the entire solar system with an electrical current flowing
along its wavy folds. It's real, and it's called the "heliospheric current sheet," a vast transition zone where the polarity of the sun's magnetic
field changes from plus to minus. The current sheet is important because cosmic rays are guided by its folds. Lately, the current sheet has been
flattening itself out, allowing cosmic rays more direct access to the inner solar system.
In June of 2011 NASA surprised everyone when they announced that the Voyagers were encountering huge frothy magnetic bubbles at the Heliosphere
boundary. See the diagram at the left. (The red and blue wavy lines represent the sun's magnetic waves.) This was totally unexpected. Some of the
bubbles are 100 million miles wide. NASA explains: "Because the sun spins, its magnetic field becomes twisted and wrinkled, a bit like a ballerina's
skirt. Far, far away from the sun, where the Voyagers are now, the folds of the skirt bunch up. The crowded folds of the skirt reorganize themselves,
sometimes explosively, into foamy magnetic bubbles. The actual bubbles appear to be self-contained and substantially disconnected from the broader
solar magnetic field." This is all recent news and scientists are still studying this bubble phenomenon. See a 3 minute NASA video on Youtube
regarding the Magnetic Bubbles.
After notching up two decades of magnetic data from using this method, the solar researchers have noticed a startling trend. The solar magnetic field
strength is decreasing. Rapidly.
"Fermi is picking up crazy-energetic photons," says Dave Thompson, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "And it's detecting so
many of them we've been able to produce the first all-sky map of the very high energy universe."
“This is what the sky looks like near the very edge of the electromagnetic spectrum, between 10 billion and 100 billion electron volts.”
The light we see with human eyes consists of photons with energies in the range 2 to 3 electron volts. The gamma-rays Fermi detects are billions of
times more energetic, from 20 million to more than 300 billion electron volts. These gamma-ray photons are so energetic, they cannot be guided by the
mirrors and lenses found in ordinary telescopes. Instead Fermi uses a sensor that is more like a Geiger counter than a telescope. If we could wear
Fermi's gamma ray "glasses," we'd witness powerful bullets of energy – individual gamma rays – from cosmic phenomena such as supermassive black
holes and hypernova explosions. The sky would be a frenzy of activity.
Before Fermi was launched in June 2008, there were only four known celestial sources of photons in this energy range. "In 3 years Fermi has found
almost 500 more,” says Thompson.
What lies within this new realm?
"Mystery, for one thing," says Thompson. "About a third of the new sources can't be clearly linked to any of the known types of objects that produce
gamma rays. We have no idea what they are."
It sounds like a conspiracy theory: 'cosmic rays' from deep space might be creating clouds in Earth's atmosphere and changing the climate. Yet an
experiment at CERN, Europe's high-energy physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, is finding tentative evidence for just that.
The findings, published today in Nature1, are preliminary, but they are stoking a long-running argument over the role of radiation from distant stars
in altering the climate.
For a century, scientists have known that charged particles from space constantly bombard Earth. Known as cosmic rays, the particles are mostly
protons blasted out of supernovae. As the protons crash through the planet's atmosphere, they can ionize volatile compounds, causing them to condense
into airborne droplets, or aerosols. Clouds might then build up around the droplets.
The number of cosmic rays that reach Earth depends on the Sun. When the Sun is emitting lots of radiation, its magnetic field shields the planet from
cosmic rays. During periods of low solar activity, more cosmic rays reach Earth.
One theory suggests that last winter's cold temperatures were part of a pattern that is set to continue because of a complex interaction between the
Sun's magnetic field and the high-altitude jet stream which dominates Britain's weather system. The jet stream normally brings mild, damp westerly
winds over Britain during winter but this year it went into "blocking" mode, sweeping back on itself and allowing a bitterly cold north-east wind to
blow over the country, bringing ice and snow with it.
Scientists have found a link between blocking changes to the jet stream that result in colder winters and variations in the "activity" of the Sun, as
measured by alterations in its magnetic field. This could mean that the UK can expect more cold winters than usual in the coming decade, despite
edit on 7-4-2012 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)