Having marked its first anniversary on orbit, NASAs Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite has hit its stride. In concert with other satellites, SORCEs observations of the suns brightness are helping researchers better understand climate change, climate prediction, atmospheric ozone, the sunburn-causing ultraviolet-B radiation and space weather.
SORCE maintains a 24-year legacy of solar output monitoring that should help explain and predict the effect of the Sun on the Earths atmosphere and climate. Credit: NASA / LASP
In fall 2003, SORCE was fortunate to see and measure exceptionally high levels of the suns activities. In late October and November the sun sent solar flares and coronal mass ejections hurtling Earthward, disrupting satellites and other transmissions, triggering an intense geomagnetic storm, and enabling sightings of the northern lights as far south as Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.
The third most powerful solar flare ever observed in X-rays, high-energy photons with very short wavelengths, erupted from Sunspot 486 October 28, 2003, at approximately 6 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The same spot released a large X11 flare on the afternoon of October 29. As the sunspot moved across the face of the sun, total solar brightness decreased by 0.3 percent.
Lynn Chandler | GSFC
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
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Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
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Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
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