On Sunday, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory detected a complex magnetic eruption on the sun. The NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) also spotted a large coronal mass ejection (CME) The eruption happened around (3:50 am EST), the SDO detected a C3 class solar flare originating from a group of sunspots (called sunspot 1092). The flare itself was not that large, but the filament located about 70,000 miles away erupted at the same time.
A filament is a large, bright feature extending outward from the Sun’s surface, often in a loop shape. Filament is anchored to the Sun’s surface in the photosphere, and extends outward into the Sun’s corona.
It is a long magnetic structure rising above the surface of the sun, filled with cool plasma. The flare and filament erupted at the same time, this suggests they are connected by long-range magnetic field lines. Some believe the flare may have accelerated the eruption of the filament. Eventually, a giant magnetic bubble of plasma broke and blasted out into space.
The problem is, the eruption occurred on the side of the sun facing earth which means, the Coronal Mass Ejection is on its way to the planet earth. It’s expected arrival is Aug. 3. This is known as a geomagnetic storm, and they have been known to cause electrical power outages and damage communications satellites. They drive shock waves which produce energetic particles that can be damaging to both electronic equipment and astronauts that venture outside the protection of the Earth’s magnetic field.
Expect the government and all observatories to be on high alert.They know a CME is coming, they can probably prepare for its arrival. The reason I find this particular story interesting is because the event being discussed continues to happen more frequently, and on a larger scale than prior events of such a magnitude. Is our solar system going through a time of great change? Should we spend more time laying under the stars? We will see how this particular CME effects earth on August 3rd. It will effect the area of earth facing the sun.
US embarrassment over racism charge as Michelle Obama heads to Marbella
The First Post – By Sophie Taylor
As Michelle Obama takes her daughter Sasha to Marbella for a mini-break, the US State Department has been forced to disown travel advice it issued warning that African-American tourists could be targeted by racist Spanish policemen.
The First Lady and her nine-year-old youngest daughter arrive on the Costa del Sol tomorrow for a four-day holiday at an uber-luxurious spa and golf hotel, the five-star Villa Padierna. Her husband, meanwhile, will celebrate his 49th birthday at home with 12-year-old Malia.
Like many governments, the US publishes travel advice for its citizens. And, until very recently, the advice for Spain warned that “racial prejudice may have contributed to the arrest or detention of some African-Americans traveling [sic] in Spain”.
The advice page said two African-American US government employees have “recently” been “questioned by police in Barcelona for no apparent reason”. One was detained, the page said, and “suffered physical injuries in the process”.
However, the page now carries no such warning – the offending paragraph has presumably been removed by an embarrassed State Department after press reports drew it to their attention. The original version of the page can still be seen here, thanks to Google’s cache, while the newly-revised version is here.
Contacted by Spanish daily El Pais, the US embassy in Madrid played down the advice. It said the Barcelona incident had “happened a long time ago” (though the advice page said “recently”) and said: “This note should not be there.”
“We are in no way suggesting that Spanish police are racist,” an embassy spokesperson added. “This was an isolated incident.”
Spain’s foreign ministry, meanwhile, told the newspaper: “Each country includes what they think relevant in the recommendations to their travellers.”
If the US government doesn’t take the allegations of racism in Spanish police seriously, though, it seems the Spanish police do. El Pais reports that a police union said that holding foreign citizens would actually be in line with advice from the country’s interior ministry issued this January which advised the police to “identify individuals”.
The union complained that the directive was purely designed to increase arrest statistics and amounted to a “denial of immigrants’ rights”.
The Obamas have booked 30 rooms at the luxury hotel where prices start from £210 for a room for the night and a private villa can cost as much as £4,175. As well as a secret service detail, they are being joined by a large group of friends.
BP has begun pumping fluid into the Macondo blowout in the final testing that must be completed before beginning the static top kill that may stop flow at from the well for good.
Upstream Online – By Noah Brenner
Pumping began shortly after 1 pm local time and will likely continue for a couple hours, BP announced.
The static kill itself should begin later Tuesday, Allen said.
Injectivity testing involves pumping base oil into the well from the Helix Energy Solutions semi-submersible services platform Q4000, through the choke line on the original Macondo blowout preventer and into the wellbore.
The test are meant to ascertain that crews can get fluids into the wellbore and determine what pumping rate and pressures are best for the actual static top kill operation.
“The most important thing will be measuring the volume (of mud) going in and the pressure it produces,” Allen said at a briefing Tuesday morning.
BP has an array of both mechanical and electrical sensors that will take pressure readings as often as every 12 to 15 seconds.
Allen said he expected that final round of testing to wrap up this afternoon, after which time BP and government scientists would need a couple hours to analyse the data before beginning the top kill operation.
Those engineers will use the data to draw pressure and volume curves in an attempt to predict how the well may react to the flow of mud and what that can tell them about the flow of oil.
Once the actual static top kill operation begins, crews will pump 13.2-pound-per-gallon drilling mud into the well starting at one barrel per minute and increasing to as mush as three barrels per minute.
Pressure in the well could temporarily increase but then should begin to decline as the mud pushes the oil back down into the reservoir.
Allen said pressure in the capping stack will not be allowed to exceed 8000 pounds per square inch, although it is not expected to approach that level.
No one is sure the exact flow path of the oil; it could be flowing through the drill pipe, which extends an unknown distance into the wellbore; it could be flowing through the well casing; it could be flowing through the annulus between the production casing and outer casing string or it could be flowing through any combination of the three, Allen said.
Normally, oil should not be flowing up the annulus but there has been speculation that during the blowout a seal failed, allowing production flow to travel up through it.
If there is a sudden drop in pressure or it hits a certain point and does not change, that would indicate that there is a problem in the wellbore somewhere, Allen said, and the top kill may have to be abandoned and BP would use the bottom kill through the relief well to kill and cement the well…
Yahoo – By Holly Bailey
South Carolina GOP Sen. Jim DeMint had better watch out: His surprise Democratic rival, Alvin Greene, has already made good on a campaign pledge without even being elected to office.
Greene recently told a reporter for the Guardian that creating action figures in his likeness could stimulate job creation. And so it has come to pass.
The Charleston RiverDogs, a minor-league baseball team in South Carolina, is hiring people to help distribute 1,000 toy figurines at their game this Saturday featuring a taped-on picture of Greene’s face.
“Who better epitomizes the American dream that anything is possible than Mr. Greene?” Dave Echols, the team’s general manager, told the Charleston Post and Courier.
ABC News – By JONATHAN KARL, MATTHEW JAFFE and GREGORY SIMMONS
The Obama administration has credited its $862 billion stimulus program with pulling the economy out of the worst recession since the Great Depression. But a new report by two Republican senators argues the stimulus is riddled with wasteful projects that do not create jobs.
The report, released by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and John McCain, R-Ariz., highlights 100 stimulus projects that they say have “questionable goals,” are “being mismanaged or were poorly planned” and are even “costing jobs and hurting small businesses.”
The Coburn-McCain report takes issue with stimulus spending on projects like one that entailed research on how cocaine affects monkeys. The Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center was awarded $71,623 to study what the report calls, “Monkeys Getting High for Science.”
Bonnie Davis, a spokeswoman for The Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, said the “small grant has helped protect very important research that will have significant impact on public health in regards to cocaine addiction and the issue of relapse.”
Go a little further down the list and you’ll find even bigger spending. The California Academy of Sciences is receiving nearly $1 million in stimulus funds to send researchers to the Southwest Indian Ocean Islands and East Africa to capture, photograph and analyze thousands of exotic ants.
There’s also funding for yoga and hot flashes. Researchers at Wake Forest University have received nearly $300,000 to study whether integral yoga “can be an effective method to reduce the frequency and/or severity of hot flashes” in breast cancer survivors…
Read Report (PDF): SUMMERTIME BLUES
MY FOX NY: Google Earth Used To Find Unlicensed Pools