Friday, January 09, 2009

A Comet Approaches

Source - Space Weather News for Jan. 9, 2009: http://spaceweather.com

APPROACHING COMET: Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3), discovered in 2007 by a collaborative team of Taiwanese and Chinese astronomers, is swinging around the sun and approaching Earth. The photogenic comet has a bright tail and an "anti-tail" visible in mid-sized backyard telescopes. At closest approach in February, Comet Lulin is expected to brighten to naked-eye visibility. Visit http://Spaceweather.com for sky maps, pictures and more information.

NEW SUNSPOTS: For the second time this week, a sunspot is coalescing on the surface of the sun. The spot's high latitude and magnetic polarity identify it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24; its appearance continues a recent trend of gradually intensifying new-cycle solar activity. The spot is growing rapidly and may soon provide a nice target for backyard solar telescopes.

FULL MOON ALERT! This weekend's full Moon is the biggest and brightest of 2009. It's a "perigee Moon" as much as 50,000 km closer to Earth than other full Moons we'll see later this year. Perigee moonlight shining through icy winter air can produce beautiful halos, coronas, moondogs and other atmospheric optics phenomena. Sample photos are featured on today's edition of Spaceweather.com.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keeping in mind that windmills are hazardous to birds, be wary of the unintended consequences of believing and contributing to the all-knowing environmental lobby groups.
Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with global warming or cooling either; in fact, CO2 in the atmosphere trails warming which is clear natural evidence for its well-studied inverse solubility in water: CO2 dissolves in cold water and bubbles out of warm water. The equilibrium in seawater is very high, making seawater a great 'sink'; CO2 is 34 times more soluble in water than air is soluble in water.
Correlation is not causation to be sure. The causation has been studied, however, and while the radiation from the sun varies only in the fourth decimal place, the magnetism is awesome.
“Using a box of air in a Copenhagen lab, physicists traced the growth of clusters of molecules of the kind that build cloud condensation nuclei. These are specks of sulphuric acid on which cloud droplets form. High-energy particles driven through the laboratory ceiling by exploded stars far away in the Galaxy - the cosmic rays - liberate electrons in the air, which help the molecular clusters to form much faster than climate scientists have modeled in the atmosphere. That may explain the link between cosmic rays, cloudiness and climate change.”
As I understand it, the hypothesis of the Danish National Space Center goes as follows:
Quiet sun → reduced magnetic and thermal flux = reduced solar wind → geomagnetic shield drops → galactic cosmic ray flux → more low-level clouds and more snow → more albedo effect (more heat reflected) → colder climate
Active sun → enhanced magnetic and thermal flux = solar wind → geomagnetic shield response → less low-level clouds → less albedo (less heat reflected) → warmer climate
That is how the bulk of climate change might work, coupled with (modulated by) sunspot peak frequency there are cycles of global warming and cooling like waves in the ocean. When the waves are closely spaced, the planets warm; when the waves are spaced farther apart, the planets cool.
The ultimate cause of the solar magnetic cycle may be cyclicity in the Sun-Jupiter centre of gravity. We await more on that. In addition, although the post 60s warming period is over, it has allowed the principal green house gas, water vapour, to kick in with humidity, clouds, rain and snow depending on where you live to provide the negative feedback that scientists use to explain the existence of complex life on Earth for 550 million years. The planet heats and cools naturally and our gasses are the thermostat.
Check the web site of the Danish National Space Center.
http://www.space.dtu.dk/English/Research/Research_divisions/Sun_Climate/Experiments_SC/SKY.aspx

Cloudymidnights said...

Thanks for the comment. What this has to do with the article I posted I have no idea, but it's informative. Cheers ~ Jim