More about Comet SWAN Crashing into the SUN

Mar 16, 2012; 4:05 AM ET

This blog is written by AccuWeather Facebook page’s astronomy expert Daniel Vogler.

The other day, we witnessed something spectacular in my opinion, although the event is considered by most mainstream scientists a “coincidence.” I happen to believe there are no coincidences, we just have yet to figure out the reasoning behind them.

The event I am referring to is the Comet SWAN making it to its final destination that is the Sun and what happened after that. To see the comet again, click here.

A Coronal Mass Ejection was present nearly an hour or two later after the comet disappeared into the corona.

For a comet to have an effect on the Sun, it would require immense magnetic field strength. The comet itself does not have its own magnetic field, but it CAN get one as it gets closer to the sun. An induced magnetic field works like this: A comet’s most abundant ice species is the H2O water ice. As the comet gets closer to the sun, the ice sublimates, producing gas that trails behind it along with dust. It’s this setup that allows the mass ionization around the tail known as the ion tail. When you have ions, you then can have a magnetic field generating from the incoming solar wind from the sun. Once the particles have been ionized, they attain a net positive electrical charge. As the comet, now with its induced magnetic field, travels, a bow shock is formed. In this bow shock, large concentrations of cometary ions (called “pick-up ions”) congregate and act to “load” the solar magnetic field with plasma, such that the field lines “drape” around the comet forming the ion tail. (Carroll, B. W.; Ostlie, D. A. (1996). An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics. Addison-Wesley. pp. 864-874)

The addition of heavy cometary ions to the solar wind flow alters the dynamics due to the mass addition itself and also because the pick-up ions have a large pressure. The net effect is to slow down the solar wind. This slow-down process takes place continuously until a critical mass flux is reached, at which point a shock forms. (Galeev, A. A., Plasma processes in the outer coma, in Comets in the Post-Halley Era, vol. 2, eds. R. L.Newburn, Jr. et al., p. 1145, Kluwer Acad., Norwell, MA, 1991.)

Why am I being so technical with the vocabulary? If you haven’t figured out yet, the Sun’s own magnetic field is the main reason behind CMEs. And what would happen if something like a comet with an induced magnetic field that gets stronger, collecting plasma, as it gets closer to the Sun? My idea goes along the lines of the strength of the bow shock once it gets at the sun’s chromosphere, it generates enough magnetic force to shove each other and one will have to give, and since the sun is a gas star (albeit way bigger than the comet), the reaction comes from the other side (CME). Imagine trying to push two really big, like-sided magnets together.

I really hope this makes better sense as to how a comet gets a magnetic field and how this induced field is actually the culprit of the CME. Keep in mind, this is just a theory running around in my head with a few works cited on how the magnetic field is made. I have yet to see a real peer-reviewed study of this “coincidence.” If you have something to add to the theory that I may have not thought of, please like and comment on AccuWeather Astronomy on facebook for discussion.

via – Astronomy | More about Comet SWAN Crashing into the SUN.



SATURDAY, 28 JANUARY 2012 09:17

Mr. Khalilov, what is the nature of the unusual very low-pitched sounds reported by a great number of people in different parts of the planet since the summer of 2011?

Many call them “The Sound of the Apocalypse”. Information about that comes from all over the world: US, UK, Costa Rica, Russia, Czech Republic, Australia, etc.

We have analyzed records of these sounds and found that most of their spectrum lies within the infrasound range, i.e. is not audible to humans. What people hear is only a small fraction of the actual power of these sounds. They are low-frequency acoustic emissions in the range between 20 and 100 Hz modulated by ultra-low infrasonic waves from 0.1 to 15 Hz. In geophysics, they are called acoustic-gravity waves; they are formed in the upper atmosphere, at the atmosphere-ionosphere boundary in particular. There can be quite a lot of causes why those waves are generated: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, storms, tsunamis, etc. However, the scale of the observed humming sound in terms of both the area covered and its power far exceeds those that can be generated by the above-mentioned phenomena.

In that case, what could be causing this humming in the sky?

In our opinion, the source of such powerful and immense manifestation of acoustic-gravity waves must be very large-scale energy processes. These processes include powerful solar flares and huge energy flows generated by them, rushing towards Earth’s surface and destabilizing the magnetosphere, ionosphere and upper atmosphere. Thus, the effects of powerful solar flares: the impact of shock waves in the solar wind, streams of corpuscles and bursts of electromagnetic radiation are the main causes of generation of acoustic-gravitation waves following increased solar activity.

Given the surge in solar activity as manifested itself in the higher number and energy of solar flares since mid-2011, we can assume that there is a high probability of impact of the substantial increase in solar activity on the generation of the unusual humming coming from the sky. It should be pointed out that solar activity began to rise sharply since early 2011, with its amplitude significantly higher than all forecasts given by a number of influential scientific institutions in 2010 and 2011. Meanwhile, the observed increase in solar activity is fully consistent with the forecast of the International Committee GEOCHANGE published in the Committee’s Report in June 2010. If this growth rate of solar activity continues, its amplitude by the end of 2012 will be higher than the amplitude of 23rd solar cycle, and in 2013-2014 the solar activity will reach its peak the amplitude of which was predicted by us to be 1.5 – 1.7 times higher than the amplitude of the 23rd cycle.

But you said that the cause of the “sky hum” can lie within Earth’s core as well, what does it mean?

There is one more possible cause of these sounds and it may lie at the Earth’s core. The fact is that the acceleration of the drift of the Earth’s north magnetic pole which increased more than fivefold between 1998 and 2003 and is at the same level today points to intensification of energy processes in the Earth’s core, since it is processes in the inner and outer core that form the Earth’s geomagnetic field. Meanwhile, as we have already reported, on November 15, 2011 all ATROPATENA geophysical stations which record three-dimensional variations of the Earth’s gravitational field almost simultaneously registered a powerful gravitational impulse. The stations are deployed in Istanbul, Kiev, Baku, Islamabad and Yogyakarta, with the first and last one being separated by a distance of about 10,000 km. Such a phenomenon is only possible if the source of this emanation is at the Earth’s core level. That huge energy release from the Earth’s core at the end of the last year was some kind of a start signal indicating the transition of the Earth’s internal energy into a new active phase.

Intensification of the energy processes in the Earth’s core can modulate the geomagnetic field which, through a chain of physical processes at the ionosphere – atmosphere boundary level, generates acoustic-gravity waves the audible range of which has been heard by people in the form of a frightening low-frequency sound in different parts of our planet.

In both cases, even though the causes of acoustic-gravity waves are of a quite understandable geophysical nature, they are indicative of the expected significant increase in solar activity and the geodynamic activity of our planet. There is no doubt that processes in the core rule the internal energy of our planet, therefore, we should expect by the end of 2012 a sharp rise in strong earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and extreme weather events with peak levels in 2013 – 2014.


Geomagnetic Storm to Enhance Northern Lights Today

By Vickie Frantz, Staff Writer
Jan 21, 2012; 8:54 AM ET

A photograph of the M-class solar flare eruption courtesy of

A coronal mass ejection will hit Earth on Saturday as a geomagnetic storm.

A strong solar flare began erupting at 8:42 a.m. EST on Thursday, NASA reported. A coronal mass ejection associated with the flare is moving toward the earth at more than 630 miles per second. It will hit Earth sometime on Saturday.

A solar flare is an explosion that releases energy in the sun’s atmosphere. The energy released is equivalent to tens of millions of hydrogen bombs. A solar wind shock wave is released as a result of the explosion.

The solar wind shock wave will strike the Earth’s magnetic field. This causes a temporary disturbance of the Earth’s magnetosphere called a geomagnetic storm.

During the geomagnetic storm, there could be damage to Earth-orbiting satellites.

A geomagnetic storm caused a temporary loss of electricity in Quebec on March 13,1989. Nearly 6 million people were affected. The low temperature during the outage was 19 degrees and the high was only 34. The electricity was restored about nine hours later.

This type of damage in not common.

On a more positive note, geomagnetic storms are know to enhance the appearance of the Earth’s auroras. There will be an especially colorful display on Saturday.

via Geomagnetic Storm to Enhance Northern Lights Today.