Feeds

back to article Boffins baffled after Sun fails to fry satellites

Predictions from 2011 that sunspot cycle 24 would be a fizzer are turning out to be optimistic. In fact, what's eventuated from Sol has been even weaker than anticipated – which is good news for satellite electronics and communications channels, but has NOAA physicist Doug Biesecker among the many experts indulging in a certain …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Gold badge

Lets see what effect that has on the weather

Which should be interesting.

4
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Lets see what effect that has on the weather

psssttt: the next five/six years will be colder

0
0
Bronze badge
Trollface

so the Russian skeptics seem to be right ?

Meteorologists in Russia seem to have a significant AGW skeptical number who predicted a reduction in the solar cycle intensity years ago. Some did talk of a cooling trend also, but that might upset the delicate of constitution around here. As for the apparent solar monopole, great. Physicists have been looking for one for years, even theorising they do not exist. Yes I know the magnetic field of Sol is an average of lots of tangles, but hey, a little flame baiting can be fun, especially when so many of the permanenetly worried are parodies of old time caricatures of preachers screaming "You are all going to burn".

Dedicated misanthropes could hope for another Carrington event for the enthusiastic catastrophists among us. That solar cycle was not strong either. If so, they will get lots of CO2 emission reductions, population declines and all the other things so beloved of the greens, not that it will be fun to endure.

On a serious note, I do wonder if the pole magnetic mismatch might allow a lot of energy to be built up a long way below the surface that could be let loose in a mother of all flares or if it is symptom that the solar magnetic fields are really losing strength more than currently assessed.

9
4
Silver badge

Re: so the Russian skeptics seem to be right ?

Is it possible that there is some middle ground?

I've always been a firm believer in the fact that our local star contributed pretty much 100% of our heat, but I'm also concerned that the increased amount of Co2 etc. could magnify it's effect?

A reduction in the sun-cycle would then correspond with a leveling off of heat increase, but when the cycle switches back up a gear we could be heading for trouble?

It's hard to get straight info on this, it's like JFK. Information about the security service guy possibly accidentally making the final headshot that killed him is widely known (backed up by the secret service falsifying evidence and losing the rest) - but movies still get made that only mention Oswald.

Facts are easy to come by, working out how they are linked is manipulated to hell and it's hard to work it out for yourself if you aren't a scientist.

4
1

JFK

This site has a good summary of the evidence for a single shooter, while debunking the conspiracy theory(s). http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/sbt.htm

Just like 9/11 parts of American public (and wider) have a hard time accepting that it only takes a few determined people to change history, they would rather it be some cover up involving a well-oiled secret scary conspiracy then a couple of nutters, or in this case one guy with a gun, because to them its incomprehensible that these things can happen and are not controlled by a higher power, be it the government, or god.

In the end the secret evil government is a tangible entity they can identify and mistrust, but one guy with a gun, military training and a different view on the world? That’s scary.

2
1
Silver badge

Re: JFK

> they would rather it be some cover up involving a well-oiled secret scary conspiracy then a couple of nutters

Keep thinking 9/11 was only caused by a few nutters and not a whole lot Saudi and other Muslim money and perhaps even some state actor collaboration (Pakistani ISI comes to mind). I don't believe the US government or Israel were behind 9/11 but I am not naive enough to believe it was just a few cave dweller goat farmers who got lucky either.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: JFK

The "conspiracy" as such, is pretty much this:

People whose heads should have rolled, conspired to cover up how staggeringly incompetent they were at protecting JFK from a single "loose cannon" individual - in a town known to be hostile to him.

Nothing new there, really. Close ranks, coverup, deny, delay, obscure, divert.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: so the Russian skeptics seem to be right ?

As you said, the field is a consensus of tangles.

So, when the other pole finally reverses, it can be slow and quiet or quick and noisy.

I'd try the calculations to figure out which is more likely, but somebody has my coin. :/

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: JFK

Erm, well...

I was trained by those who trained the crowd in Afghanistan during the Afghan-Soviet war.

One thing that I recall clearly was the statement that those people, while fanatics, are far from stupid. Indeed, they're quite bright.

The idiots got killed off quickly.

Of course, I also remember another thing one of those agents told us.

That they told Washington that, "They hate us and they hate the Russians. They currently only hate the Russians a little bit more now. When this is over, they should be eliminated. The Carter administration said, "We do not do business that way."

The rest is history.

As well as two towers, a few online friends and one cousin.

0
0

Re: JFK

But that’s a different ‘theory’ I’m not talking about big players in the middle east being involved, I’m talking about the people who think G W Bush and the US Gov did it

0
0
Silver badge

Re: JFK @ Maharg

I had a look through that site and it doesn't even mention the final head-shot.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: so the Russian skeptics seem to be right ?

I've always been a firm believer in the fact that our local star contributed pretty much 100% of our heat

Well, it seems you're only wrong by about 50%. I guess that's not too bad.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re. field buildup

Your theory sounds plausible, thanks for sharing.

Just have to hope its headed away from us when it finally blows, because something like this could make the Carrington event look like an X1.

Essentially the Sunlit side of the Earth could be hit with the equivalent of 50 megatons per square kilometer and cause an extinction level event.

Even a small one might cause a total failure of our satellite networks and power grids.

3
3
Stop

Re. field buildup

Well Larry Niven will appreciate that theory. After all, he wrote a rather famous short story 'Inconstant Moon' about a major solar event that fried one half of the Earth.

It's a good scare story - one of Niven's best short stories, in fact - but (and no, I'm not a scientist) I really don't think that we'll see an energy output of '50 megatons per square kilometer'. We MAY get more solar storms and bigger ones but let's not go overboard here...

Either that or start gathering supplies...

5
0
Bronze badge

Supplies Gathered......

...now, can anyone tell me where to buy factor 1,000,000 sunblock??

We are also over-due for an Ice Age scare, the Global Warming scare has been going on far too long. I miss the ice age doom and gloom foretold on my "Future Ecology and Alternate Fuel Sources" University course from the late 70's. BRING ON THE SIXTH WINTER, my skis are waxed and ready to go!!!

(No icon as I am only partially joking.)

6
0
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Supplies Gathered......

"...now, can anyone tell me where to buy factor 1,000,000 sunblock??" - Sure: it's called "a roof", or alternatively "planet Earth", aka going out at night. I'm sure the irony would not be lost on vampires, if any actually exist.

2
0
Bronze badge

Re: Supplies Gathered......

"BRING ON THE SIXTH WINTER, my skis are waxed and ready to go!!!"

Bleh, Yellowstone is charged up and ready. Pop that cork and let the ice melt away from all of that ash absorbing sunlight.

0
0
Silver badge

Maunder minimum, anyone?

Just asking.

Global warming confuzleologists, start babbling promptly ...

4
0
Silver badge

Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know

There's a certain hubris to a lot of so-called science. The assumption is that we can explain everything - or that we could, if only we got enough research grants.

So it is with the Sun. We know the basics of what makes it shine: in theory, at least. We know that it is the single biggest, overwhelmingly significant, all other factors pale in comparison, source of energy we have access to. Yet we presume that our scant knowledge is sufficient to make prognostications about temperature fluctuations, sunspot forecasts, satellite survivability and numerous other fields of "knowledge". If nothing else, this current major deviation from expectation would be enough to invalidate any other field of knowledge and make us reconsider the fundamentals.

Considering no-one's ever even been there, anything said about the Sun or its affect on us should be tacitly prefixed with "our best guess is ..."

5
7

Re: Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know

"There's a certain hubris to a lot of so-called science. The assumption is that we can explain everything - or that we could, if only we got enough research grants."

Only idiots that still haven't grasped what their 1st year science teacher tried to explain to them about the scientific method will expound such drivel.

9
0
Holmes

Re: Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know

Please send a copy of your post to the IPCC, it seems their first year science teacher was deficient...

2
3
Silver badge

Re: Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know

> Please send a copy of your post to the IPCC

Independent Police Complaints Committee?

Ahhh, now I understand why Climate Change research is in such a mess.

4
2

Re: Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know

Scientific papers almost always describe correlations within frames of confidence, and without scientific training we expect the media to take this and draw a conclusion, unfortunately there is a reason that the papers have a certain level of detail and that a simple one-liner or paragraph isn't able to give you the full story.

The reason why we have had health scares over things like MMR is because the media didn't translate the papers findings correctly, the same is true for climate change, and even meta studies struggle to draw a simple conclusion.

You're wrong to call this hubris, you're wrong to call this "so-called science", if you look at the source data, there's no hubris, and there's a lot of science, what gets related in the Fail is a different matter, El Reg tends to bare quite well, good referencing, related stories, an expectation of audience awareness, and often a humorous description of compounding and confounding factors - it we never ever be as popular as The Sun or The Mail, and if it ever is, I hope that's because the quality of the general audience has improved, not because it goes down the same route of sensationalist journalism.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know

"Considering no-one's ever even been there"

What makes you so sure? The NSA could've landed a team on it at night.

3
0
Bronze badge

Re: Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know

The reason why we have things like the MMR and global warming scares isn't because the media cant read scientific papers. It's because reporting the hedges a scientist makes in their paper gets in the way of a good story.

Honestly, would you rather read a story where a scientist says, "We think the world has a 0.0001% chance of imploding if 100,000,000 Hummers are started at the exact same time... But we're not totally sure." Or one where a scientist is reported as saying, "World will implode if more Hummers are sold." It's trivial for a reporter to get a scientist on record saying the second thing then take it completely out of context.

That's the problem. The news media knows exactly what people are saying, they just choose to ignore those bits and instead focus on what will sell papers. Hint: Half true polarizing statements sell more papers than completely true innocuous ones.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know

"Considering no-one's ever even been there"

Simon Cowell went there and sat on it. That's why he is convinced the sun shines out of his arse.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know

"That's the problem. The news media knows exactly what people are saying, they just choose to ignore those bits and instead focus on what will sell papers. Hint: Half true polarizing statements sell more papers than completely true innocuous ones."

Erm, I rather doubt that. I remember the Fukushima tsunami story and later, the explosions and pouring boric acid into the reactors and cooling pools.

Consultants and reporters got cesium-137 and boric acid 180 degrees out, getting the entire story as wrong as is humanly possible.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know

The reason we had the MMR 'scare' is because the author of the paper involved made up his results, and when he was found out, he was struck off by the GMC as a result.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know

It's gets better- http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/03/08/society-of-homeopaths-director-richard-barr-libel/

0
0
Bronze badge

"While the Sun's north pole flipped more than a year ago, the south pole is running late – which means both have the same polarity."

Nobel Prize please - I've just identified a monopole!

... sometimes popular sciece spews forth such cobblers ...

2
0
xyz

>Nobel Prize please - I've just identified a monopole!

It's not a monopole; it's a very naughty sun.

7
0

re: Monopole

Its like going into a hand stand...for a moment your hands and feet are on the same side...picture a horse shoe shaped magnetic core. Come to think of it, if you look closely at the sun it does have a distinct 'U' shape to it. Made you look made you stare, made you glimpse a solar flare...shortly before you went blind.

0
0
Silver badge

The sun growing up ?

Maybe the sun has finally stopped being a teenager and all these disfiguring spots will be a thing of the past.

3
1
Gold badge
Happy

Re: The sun growing up ?

That's just great! Now it's old enough to drink.

After several million pints of cheap cider, I'm awaiting the mass ejection with fear and trepidation. I hope the guys in the ISS can swim...

3
1
Bronze badge

Re: The sun growing up ?

"Maybe the sun has finally stopped being a teenager and all these disfiguring spots will be a thing of the past."

Wait until it gets its middle age bulge.

Nevermind, everything will be incinerated long before the bulge happens.

As in about a billion years from now, solar output will be high enough to kill off everything on the planet.

I'll be at my vacation home on Europa.

0
0

So it's time to

gather all the plutonium together into a block the size of manhatten

0
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: So it's time to

Once you get past a few kilograms, you might find you're in for a nasty surprise.

(obvious icon is obvious)

2
0
Bronze badge

Re: So it's time to

"gather all the plutonium together into a block the size of manhatten"

As I recall, it was uranium. One of us recalls incorrectly.

Oh well, time to dig that DVD out and try not to vomit watching it.

0
0
Bronze badge

Well, ten minutes ago, before the cloud rolled in, I saw the sun through my solarscope and I can report

1) it was round (not horseshoe, non-EU banana, or Mr Blobby shaped)

2) it was belching filaments and prominences and generally losing mass rapidly

but

3) it only had one minor spot.

It had a big spot all week and lots of smaller ones before that which means, statistically speaking, we've has about 80% reduction in spotification over a fortnight ... This rapid desolarspoitfication further means I can confirm that the sun is going out rapidly. Given the speed of infra red light, it's tin hats time folks, ice age 3 starts in 8 minutes!

... is it me or is it chilly in here?

1
0
Silver badge

Did you also check neutrinos for possible mutations?

1
0
Silver badge
Pint

"Desolarspoitfication"

May never replace "selfies" in the lexicon, but thanks for playing, anyway!

0
0
Bronze badge

"Did you also check neutrinos for possible mutations?"

I *hate* when the little bastards mutate off schedule!

Just remember, never get them wet and never feed them after midnight.

Yeah, I know. Different thing.

But, neutrinos are a special kind of gremlin. Always making us rethink our subatomic physics when we least expect them to.

0
0
TRT
Silver badge

Lots of suns have a North...

of some suns have lots of North... one or the other.

Who knows?

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Lots of suns have a North...

"You sound as if you are from the north."

"Which north?"

0
0
Anonymous Coward

It's not the only puzzle the Sun is setting

Thumbs up for that phrase.

1
0

Now we know.....

Where stasis-frozen Gallifrey ended up.....it's stuck in our Sun and the meddling of 13 Doctors has caused this magnetic pole issue.

I'm sure it'll be sorted by the next episode.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Now we know.....

Really?

I thought it was up Baker's nose.

0
0

Weak Power

I know this is obvious.. but did anyone try turning it off and on again?

1
1

and?

This is not even new news, i have been watching http://www.youtube.com/user/Suspicious0bservers on youtube for over a year, if you feel like catching up on some real sun science feel free to watch the last 365 days of the 4 min news posts.

I feel there is a correlation between sunspots, pole reversal and the heliosphere but due to there not being 100000 years of data i am unsure if we have a new maunder minimum or little ice age on the horizon maybe in another 10000 years of real data will we know this.

The IPCC have gone very quiet and countries are waking up to the false information that has been shovelled down our throats just to find a way to tax us for using the sun.

Next thing will be C/2012 S1 (ison) blowing up or reawakening the sun who knows as most people to see this have been dead for a few hundred years.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

Perhaps...

Perhaps climate change is affecting ol' Sol as well...?

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.