Mystery of the sun’s solar weather: New type of small ‘cloud’ discovered

 

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  • Dr Janvier from Dundee University discovered a new type of solar cloud
  • Solar clouds are groups of particles emitted by the sun into space
  • This latest finding is smaller than comparable coronal mass ejections

 

 

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  •  They are known as ‘flux ropes’ owing to their shape  
  • But they were found to be much more numerous than bigger solar eruptions
  • She it could help us understand how space weather affects Earth
  • Discovery comes as one of Nasa’s sun-observing Stereo spacecraft failed

 

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COULD EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD FLIP IN A CENTURY?

The earth’s magnetic field could flip in just 100 years, researchers have found.

The move, which would mean all compasses pointed south instead of north, was thought to take thousands of years.

However, a new study found it can happen far faster.

The new study by a team of scientists from Italy, France, Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, demonstrates that the last magnetic reversal 786,000 years ago actually happened very quickly, in less than 100 years – roughly a human lifetime.

The discovery comes as new evidence indicates that the intensity of Earth’s magnetic field is decreasing 10 times faster than normal, leading some geophysicists to predict a reversal within a few thousand years. 

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