Sunday, June 27, 2010

Solar Cycle Maximum 2013

So, the solar cycle will reach its maximum in 2013.

I'm betting that when 2012 comes and goes without the end of the world, there'll be solar maximum hysteria right on its coattails. It may even start before then, but it's coming. You saw it here first :)

That's not to say there aren't potential problems. Heightened solar activity such as increased flares and CMEs can wreak havoc on satellites and unprotected electrical grids on Earth. Steps can and should be taken to mitigate these risks. Spacecraft such as SOHO, SDO, GOES, STEREO as well as the the venerable ACE are studing the sun and the space weather environment and can give us advanced warning of increased activity. Check out the links below for more information on solar science and space weather.

New Solar Cycle Prediction (NASA)  (gotta love the "Go ahead and mark your calendar for May 2013, but use a pencil" quote!)

Nasa Heliophysics

Current space weather

Severe Space weather social and economic impacts


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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Atlantis launch as seen by the US Air Force

Fabulous image. Atlantis darts off into space seconds after her final launch as a US Air Force F-15E stands watchful over the local airspace.


The BA has more details here.  


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Life found on Titan? Well, no.

Excellent post from Chris McKay, an exobiologist studying Titan. There are intriguing things happening on Titan from an organic chemistry perspective, but we are a VERY long ways from stating that a new form of life is behind it.

Posted via web from John's posterous

One to watch

Hypatia, as those of you who have may seen or read Carl Sagan's Cosmos, was a scientist at the Great Library of Alexandria in its last days.

The film is called Agora.



Posted via web from John's posterous