Earth-facing side of the sun without visible sunspots

The Earth facing side of the sun appeared spotless. Images taken by Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) on July 17, 2014 show no active sunspots on the visible solar disk. To be correct, tiny decaying AR 2113 is still visible, but its size remains so small that the plots and charts didn’t registered it. SDO’s HMI Intensitygrams and magnetogram images taken at 17:15 UTC on July 17, 2014. (Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams)NOAA/SWPC reported solar activity was very low. There were no spots identified on the visible disk and X-ray flux levels remained at background levels. No Earth-directed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) were observed during the last 24 hours.Solar wind and geomagnetic conditions are quiet, no changes foreseen. The ALL-QUIET-ALERT issued… »

Source: Solar News

New research found rainwater can penetrate below the Earth's upper crust

Researchers at University of Southampton have found that rainwater can penetrate below the Earth’s fractured upper crust. Researchers have now found fluids derived from rainwater at the ductile crust – where temperatures of more than 300 C and high pressures cause rocks to flex and flow, and not fracture. It had been thought that surface water could not penetrate crust at these levels.Surface-derived waters reaching such depths are heated to over 400 C and significantly react with crustal rocks. Flowing through the crust, fluids leave behind deposits of minerals, which may contained a small amount of water, trapped within them. The crust ranges from 5–70 km (~3–44 miles) in depth as the outermost layer. The temperature of the crust increases… »

Source: Solar News