By Ryan Matthew Dernick
The Venus transit that passed last night is a phenomenon, which occurs in a pattern repeated every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated from each other by 105 or 121 years. The last transit was in 2004. Similar to a solar eclipse, the planet Venus visibly moved across the face of the sun during the event, partially blocking light from the sun to Earth.
Transit took approximately six and a half hours. If you plan on living another 150 years you shall witness the Venus Transit again in the year 2117.
Historically,transits of Venus helped astronomers gain the first realistic estimates of the size of our solar system. It was noted researcher Johannes Kepler who, in 1627, first accurately predicted a transit of Venus, which occurred four years later.
Venus has truly helped shape the way we observe the heavens at night and allowed us to gain better understanding of Space Science.
By: Ryan Matthew Dernick
Since last weeks Jan.24,2012 solar storm geomagnetic storming has increased. The solar flare was so violent flights near the north pole had to be redirected away from the ionizing effect that occurs from converting an atom or molecule into an ion (charged particle)in the upper atmosphere.
Many think that solar storms and their affects are just specific to the earths geomagnetic field but growing factual scientific evidence may put that presumption on its head. Some science is starting to emerge that demonstrates a possible connection between solar activity and Earth events like earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, floods and storms. Not only is the Earth’s magnetic field affected by the solar activity, so is human health and behavior. Some of the scientific findings are discussed in more detail below.
Recent scientific research confirms a connection between high energy charged particles in the ionosphere and earthquakes. A study conducted in 2008 by Jann-Yeng Liu, from the Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research in Chung-Li, Taiwan, examined more than 100 earthquakes with magnitudes of 5.0 or larger in Taiwan over several decades. The results indicate that almost all of the quakes down to a 35 km depth were preceded by distinct electrical disturbances in the ionosphere.
The electrical currents from the sun also affect the human body’s magnetic field. The environmental scientist Neil Cherry (2001) reviewed a large number of studies that identified significant physical, biological and health effects that are associated with changes in Solar and Geomagnetic Activity (S-GMA). He suggested that the Schumann Resonances (SR) frequencies that link solar and geomagnetic activity are what link solar activity to the effects on human health and behavior. The SR have ultra low frequency peaks at 7.8Hz, 14, 20, 26, 33, 39, 45, and 51 Hz, which closely overlap with the human brain (also see GCI commentary July 15, 2009, http://www.glcoherence.org/monitoring-s … 2009-07-15
Everything on Earth is driven by cycles. The “circadian rhythm” is a cycle every living being on Earth experiences, which is a roughly 24 hour (daily) cycle. Prof. Franz Halberg of the University of Minnesota and board member of GCI, coined the term circadian and is widely considered the “father of chronobiology”. Chronobiology is the science that examines cycles of living organisms as well as their adaption to solar and lunar related rhythms (Patrick at el., 2003). “Chrono” pertains to time, and biology to living organisms. The 24hr. cycle influences biochemical, physiological and behavioral processes.
The connection between the daily (circadian) and seasonal cycles and geomagnetic activity.
The human body is designed to adapt to daily and seasonal climatic variations. Environmental factors alter the hormone balance of the body, specifically the melatonin/ serotonin balance, which affect many physiological functions, e.g. blood pressure, breathing, immune system, reproductive, cardiac and neurological processes.
Research by Burch et al. (1996) and Rapoport et al. (1998) gives evidence that the melatonin levels are reduced during increased solar and geomagnetic activity. In rats, seasonal melatonin levels were correlated with the seasonal variations in the Earth’s geomagnetic field (Bartsch et al., 1994). Diseases like cancer, neurological disease, acute heart disease and heart attacks are all related to melatonin levels that are too low, as is accelerated aging. In the daily cycle, the blood pressure, heart rate, neurological, cardiopulmonary and reproductive functions are affected.
Since the fetus has melatonin receptors, an increase in sudden infant death is observed during higher Geomagnetic Activity (GMA). Also, reduced melatonin produces arrhythmic cardiac activity, e.g. cardiac activity dropped in rabbits during a magnetic storm (Chibisov et al., 1995).
In addition, clinical measurements have identified significant changes in blood pressure, blood flow, aggregation and coagulation, cardiac arrhythmia and heart rate variability during GMA events; all of these conditions are influenced by melatonin levels. EEG pattern, pulse rate, blood pressure and reaction time were measured in a group of people by Doronin et al., (1998). The authors noted that the oscillations in the Kp index had identical periods in the monitored EEG Alpha-Rhythm. This confirms that whole body changes occur in conjunction with GMA alteration by changing heart and brain patterns.
Another study by Pobachenko et al. (2006) monitored the Schumann resonances of the environment and the EEG in a frequency range between 6-16 Hz simultaneously. During a daily cycle, individuals studied showed variations in the EEG similar to changes in the Schumann resonances. Hence, the biological EEG rhythm is characteristic of the daily rhythm of the Schumann resonances. However, some deviations were observed for some individuals, which can be due to the individual’s adaptive ability. Due to the global interconnection between solar and geomagnetic activity, the ionospheric waveguide, Schumann resonances and the human brain (EEG) and heart, increased solar activity can disturb the biological rhythm of humans and animals and exacerbate existing diseases.
Increased solar activity and GMA is also correlated to a significant increase in heart attacks and incidence of death, myocardial infarction incidence (Villoresi et al., 1998), a 30% to 80% increase in hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease (Oraevskii et al, 1998) and cardiovascular death.
Neurological Effects correlated to GMA: The brain is a very sensitive electromagnetic organ. The Schumann Resonances appear to interact with the brain, altering the brain waves and neurohormone responses. Geomagnetic storms are strongly related to human health effects and death. Altered EEG rhythms and GMA have been observed by Belov et al. (1998). Strong GMA effects were identified as stressors, while low frequency magnetic oscillations had a sedative effect. A 10 Hz signal stimulates people; while a 3 Hz signal slows them down.
Also memory and attention were correlated to GMA (Tambiev et al., 1995); rats were observed to behave more aggressively during GMA events (St. Pierre and Persinger (1998); GMA and war (Persinger, 1999); crimes and GMA (1-3 days after solar activity). Rajaram and Mitra (1981) found a correlation between patients with seizures in Calcutta and GMA; increase in epileptic experiences during increased GMA; increase in hospitalization for mental disorders, psychiatric admission and suicide; and increase in depression after geomagnetic storm. GMA is also a trigger for migraine attacks. Birth rates were observed to drop and mortality to increase during increased solar and GMA (Zeitseva and Pudovkin, 1995).
Cycles related to the solar cycle: Schumann Resonances are closely correlated with the solar cycle, which include the daily, semi-weekly, weekly, 13.5 day and 27-28 day solar rotation, semiannual, annual, 11 year and 22 year cycles (Cornelissen et al., 1998). Dimitrov (1993) found a 7.5 and 11 year cycle in malignant melanoma.
Halberg et al. (2009) found more cycles being related to the solar cycle: Terrorism 39 year and ~ 16 month component (solar wind speed and geomagnetism), ~ 7 day rhythms in heart rate, ~1.3 year component in systolic blood pressure and terrorism, ~10 months and 5 months rhythms reflected in sudden cardiac death and cardiac arrhythmia.
Albert Einstein said
“Our task must be to free ourselves – by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
The next time you are outside on a sunny day, just realize how much the sun truly affects life on this planet.
By: Ryan Matthew Dernick
Seasoned astronomers and leisurely sky watchers near the city of Tromsø in northern Norway got a spectacular geomagnetic light show this Tuesday night. On Jan.24, 2012 a powerful M-9 class solar storm led to a dramatic display of the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. The northern lights even illuminated the skies above Scotland, northern England and northern parts of Ireland. More light shows are expected in the next few days. The northern lights are sometimes seen from northern Scotland but they were also visible Monday night from northeast England and Ireland, where such occurrences are more infrequent
Amazingly, according to the Solar Dynamical Observatory (SDO) This specific solar flare was ejected off the surface of the sun toward earth on Jan 23,2012 at a speed of 632 kilometers per second. That means the solar storm traveled 91 million miles from the surface of the sun to our home planet of earth in a little over 24 hours. This is only days since the prevoius Jan.19-21 solar storm with subsequent geomagnetic effects here on earth.
In today’s solar terrestrial activity report the Solar Dynamical Observatory (SDO) reported:
The geomagnetic field was quiet to major storm on January 24. Solar wind speed ranged between 347 and 732 km/s. A strong solar wind shock was observed at SOHO at 14:34 UTC, the arrival of the CMEs observed early on January 23. The geomagnetic disturbance peaked 17-20h UTC when the planetary A index reached 80. The radiation storm peaked at the arrival of the CMEs with the above 10 MeV proton flux reaching a high of 6310 pfu, the strongest radiation event since 2003.
The Solar Dynamical Observatory was launched in February 2010. The intention of the deployment of the SDO orbiting coronal observatory was to determine if it is possible to make reliable space weather forecasts. The SDO performs this technological space forecasting feat by observing the solar atmosphere in several wavelengths. These wavelengths consist of radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, x-rays and gamma rays.
To gauge if the solar flare is a threat scientists determine this by the polarity or angle of approach toward the Earth with a southern polarity being the most detrimental. In the case of the M-class flare affecting us currently it has a southern polarity. This can lead to major disruption of Earth’s magnetosphere by way of geomagnetic storming. A geomagnetic storm is the subsequent effect of a solar wind shockwave, or solar magnetic field that interacts with Earth’s magnetic field. These solar storms can wreak havoc on communication systems, global positioning systems, satellites, land power grids and even the biology of plants and animals.
According to the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “There is a growing body of evidence that changes in the geomagnetic field affect biological systems. Studies indicate that physically stressed human biological systems may respond to fluctuations in the geomagnetic field.”
If this isn’t enough, recently in a television interview, doctor of theoretical physics Michio Kaku warned of increased solar activity in 2012 through 2013. He said
“In 1859 we had a gigantic solar storm which knocked out telegraph wires back then, 150 years ago. If that had happened today it would knock out almost all our satellites and power stations. There would be food riots from lack of refrigeration .Airplanes would crash with the lack of radar and guidance systems. Damage estimates tally the natural disaster from the sun at an incredible 2 trillion dollars. This is a once in a century one in two century storm. We would be thrown back a hundred years.”
Over a year ago Michio Kaku asked congress for a 100 million dollar infrastructure safety prevention Bill that would have protected our solar storm susceptible world but Congress unfortunately turned down the Bill. Solar Cycle 24 does not bode well for our very vulnerable technologically based society. Whether it’s preparing for the possibility of power outages during severe weather like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or winter weather severe solar storms should be treated no differently. Have a general preparedness plan in place for you and your loved ones at all times.