Here comes the sun! As many of you know, the solar cycle happens approximately every 11 years. The peak of solar activity for the current cycle, or solar maximum, is supposed to occur at some point in 2013. While this maximum is now predicted to be weaker than expected, predictions regarding its intensity have varied drastically over the past few years. Some scientists suggest that we may be in the midst of a double peaked solar maximum.
Don’t worry—a “killer” solar flare that would incinerate the Earth, as depicted in numerous sci-fi movies, is impossible. Scientists are just beginning to learn, though, that even the usual solar flare can significantly affect the climate and atmospheric conditions on Earth. A significant solar flare could also damage satellites and even power grids. Investment in both the prediction of solar weather and re-enforcement of at-risk technology has been strongly suggested by the American Physical Society.
NASA heliophysicists are working with scientists from other organizations around the world (including NOAA, NCAR, Heliophysics Inc., and various universities) to better understand the behavior of our nearest star. Being able to understand and predict solar dynamics is extremely important, not only for scientists, but for maintaining our current way of life.
Tell Congress that you support doubling funding for NASA:http://www.penny4nasa.org/take-action/
Watch Michio Kaku discuss the risks of major solar flares:Michio Kaku: Are We Sitting Ducks for Solar Flares?
Read more about updates in heliophysics:http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/08jan_sunclimate/http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/01mar_twinpeaks/ #NASA #Penny4NASA #Sun #solarflare #heliophyiscs