Welcome To Solar System Central.com!
This is an independent informational site covering the Sun, the Heliosphere, Solar Storms and other related material. Items presented are interesting and in-depth, but in laymen's language. Technical jargon is kept to a minimum.
The sun, as the centerpiece of our solar system, is a very interesting subject with many different regions. The sun's magnetic field and Solar Wind create a comet-like sphere, called the Heliosphere, around the whole solar system. The sun is a very active star with Prominences, Flares, Nanoflares, Sunspots, and other surface phenomenon.
The Heliosphere is a comet-like shaped bubble with a trailing tail filled with hydrogen and helium gases from the Solar Wind. The Solar Wind is a constant stream of charged particles emanating from the surface of the sun. NASA has sent Voyagers 1 and 2 out to explore the outer reaches of the Heliosphere. Recent results from Voyager 1 are discussed in detail.
Sunspots are a temporary phenomenon on the surface of the sun that appear as dark spots caused by intense magnetic activity. Sunspot cycles have been accurately measured for the past 250 years. Sunspot cycles are a good barometer of the overall activity of the sun and can be used to make predictions. These are invaluable for astronauts and other space endeavors.
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The sun frequently ejects tons of plasma into the solar system and some of these ejections intersect the earth's orbit. These storms can be very disruptive to electric grids. When a major section of a grid goes down, there are seious consequences. Some major storms are reviewed. Forecasting and mitigating grid strategies are also discussed.
Most Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) just fly off into outer space. However, CMEs expand like a megaphone as they travel outward from the sun. A small number have the right shape, position and speed to intercept the earth in its orbit around the sun. A CME takes 1 to 3 days to reach the earth. A CME that intercepts our orbit will clash with the earth's Magnetosphere.