Flight of the Aurora - Time-lapse video by InFocus Imagery

On June 5, 2014, a giant filament erupted on the Sun. It released a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) which left the Sun at 1.2 million mph (512 km/s). Although majority of plasma cloud was directed away from Earth we were still hit by a small part, a glancing blow.The impact occurred at approximately 16:30 UTC on June 7, 2014 and sparked a following display captured by photographer Zoltan Kenwell. Enjoy the show!”Well since the sun has been quiet lately and the nights have begun to get longer, I decided to release another feature HD Aurora video to hold all you Aurora Junkies over for a while. This one is called “Flight of the Aurora” and the footage was captured on June 8, 2014.Forced to drive to get out from under the cloud cover, I ended up in a part of the province … »

Source: Solar News

STEREO maps much larger solar atmosphere than previously observed

Surrounding the sun is a vast atmosphere of solar particles, through which magnetic fields swarm, solar flares erupt, and gigantic columns of material rise, fall and jostle each other around. Now, using NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, scientists have found that this atmosphere, called the corona, is even larger than thought, extending out some 5 million miles (8 million km) above the sun’s surface — the equivalent of 12 solar radii. This information has implications for NASA’s upcoming Solar Probe Plus mission, due to launch in 2018 and go closer to the sun than any man-made technology ever has before.These STEREO observations provide the first direct measurements of the inner boundary of the heliosphere — the giant bubble sparsely filled with solar parti… »

Source: Solar News

New NASA model gives glimpse into the invisible world of electric asteroids

Space may appear empty — a soundless vacuum, but it’s not an absolute void. It flows with electric activity that is not visible to our eyes. NASA is developing plans to send humans to an asteroid, and wants to know more about the electrical environment explorers will encounter there.A solar wind blown from the surface of the sun at about a million miles per hour flows around all solar system objects, forming swirling eddies and vortices in its wake. Magnetic fields carried by the solar wind warp, twist, and snap as they slam into the magnetic fields around other objects in our solar system, blasting particles to millions of miles per hour and sending electric currents surging in magnetic storms that, around Earth, can damage sensitive technology like satellites and power grids.On airl… »

Source: Solar News

Three new volcanoes discovered in southeast Australia

Geologists have discovered three previously unrecorded volcanoes in volcanically active southeast Australia.The new Monash University research, published in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, gives a detailed picture of an area of volcanic centres already known to geologists in the region.Covering an area of 19,000 square kilometres in Victoria and South Australia, with over 400 volcanoes, the Newer Volcanics Province (NVP) features the youngest volcanoes in Australia including Mount Schank and Mount Gambier.Focusing on the Hamilton region, lead researcher Miss Julie Boyce from the School of Geosciences said the surprising discovery means additional volcanic centres may yet be discovered in the NVP.”Victoria’s latest episode of volcanism began about eight million years… »

Source: Solar News

New images highlight U.S. air quality improvement

Anyone living in a major U.S. city for the past decade may have noticed a change in the air. The change is apparent in new NASA satellite images unveiled this week that demonstrate the reduction of air pollution across the country.After ten years in orbit, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite has been in orbit sufficiently long to show that people in major U.S. cities are breathing less nitrogen dioxide – a yellow-brown gas that can cause respiratory problems.Nitrogen dioxide pollution, averaged yearly from 2005-2011, has decreased across the United States. Image credit: NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio/T. SchindlerNitrogen dioxide is one of the six common pollutants regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency… »

Source: Solar News

Fracking flowback could pollute groundwater with heavy metals

The chemical makeup of wastewater generated by “hydrofracking” could cause the release of tiny particles in soils that often strongly bind heavy metals and pollutants, exacerbating the environmental risks during accidental spills, Cornell University researchers have found.Previous research has shown 10 to 40 percent of the water and chemical solution mixture injected at high pressure into deep rock strata, surges back to the surface during well development. Scientists at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences studying the environmental impacts of this “flowback fluid” found that the same properties that make it so effective at extracting natural gas from shale can also displace tiny particles that are naturally bound to soil, causing associated pollutants such… »

Source: Solar News