by Staff Writers
Boulder, Colo. (UPI) May 9, 2012
Giant sunspots have sent clouds of particles toward Earth that could bring northern auroras but aren't expected to disrupt communications, U.S. scientists said.
A large group of sunspots headed toward Earth during the weekend and two coronal mass ejections erupted from the Sun's surface Tuesday, they said.
The ejection could arrive on Earth late Wednesday and cause moderate geomagnetic storms and auroras in the higher altitudes, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center reported.
Because the coronal mass ejections were not aimed directly at Earth they are not likely to affect communications satellites or other equipment, researchers said.
The Sunspot Region 1476 is a "monster sunspot" because of its size, 11 times wider than the Earth, NASA's Space Dynamics Observatory said.
The spots are so large they have been visible without the aid of telescopes, although special filters are required for viewing the sun directly to protect the eye from damage, astronomers warn.
Solar Science News at SpaceDaily
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Climatic effects of a solar minimum
Munich, Germany (SPX) May 08, 2012
An abrupt cooling in Europe together with an increase in humidity and particularly in windiness coincided with a sustained reduction in solar activity 2800 years ago. Scientists from the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ in collaboration with Swedish and Dutch colleagues provide evidence for a direct solar-climate linkage on centennial timescales. Using the most modern methodologi ... read more
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