Secrets of the Sun

November 4, 2012 5:06

Recently, the Sun was at the center of attention of the general public. Which only sin not blame our star, his behavior is deeply wrong, and does not fall under any of the existing scientific theories, namely the Sun, not the people — the true culprit of global warming, the global financial crisis and other disasters, falling on humanity, in 2012 , in full accordance with the Mayan Calendar, the Sun will grandiose flash, and come the end of the world …

For answers to these burning questions, we asked the director of the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation. NV Propagation of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IZMIRAN), Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Vladimir D. Kuznetsov.

— Vladimir D., first question: what happens to our sun? Why the next, the 24th in a row, the 11-year solar cycle has not started yet? Writes

— Well, actually it started a year ago, in December 2008. Previous, 23rd cycle, which began in 1996, was interesting in that it lasted 12 years (fluctuation in the normal range, the duration of the solar cycle can vary from 7 to 14 years) and was characterized by a very long phase minimum. In fact, within three years there was no appreciable activity, flares, in 2008, the same year was a long period when the sun did not have spots. This raises serious concerns as to the history of the Earth was so-called Maunder minimum, when from 1645 to 1740 in the Sun did not have activity, and there were very few spots on Earth is suffered the Little Ice Age. Of course, all feared, would not it be a repeat now. But now we see that the cycle swings. First place in the sun, small flash, now — the average.

— Perhaps the point is that the 11-year cycle superimposed a 100-year or 1,000-year-old, hence the rejection?

— Analysis of direct and indirect evidence for the many years of observation does show that there are fluctuations in the 100-year cycle. It has been suggested that it is associated with it most of the processes taking place in the world. But it is necessary to accumulate a lot of statistical data in order to understand what constitutes this cycle and what are its laws.

— You mentioned that during the recession of solar activity on Earth installed Small glacial periods. Why not assume that it is the rise in solar activity gave rise to global warming?

— The energy emitted by the sun, which comes on the earth is constant. Why, then, there are different climate change? There is an assumption that changing the albedo (the amount of energy reflected). In the atmosphere, there have been some chemical processes, it has become dirtier became absorb more energy in climate change to blame for the Earth, the Sun is at all to do with it. There is another hypothesis, suggesting an indirect effect of the sun on the processes occurring on Earth. Cycle is characterized by the amount of solar activity, which determines the total field of the Sun. Many spots — very stormy magnetic activity, a strong field. Few spots — weak magnetic activity, the field is weakened. Keep in mind that the Earth is in the magnetic field of the sun, which shields it from the flux of galactic cosmic rays that enter the solar system. If the field is strong, falls to the ground is less than cosmic rays, weak — more. Found that cosmic rays affect cloud formation, changing albedo. We also know that weather and climate are determined by the interaction of air masses over the ocean and land. Now imagine a picture — no clouds, at the equator is very hot from the ocean, the Gulf Stream flowed into Europe, where it is warm, well, growing grapes. The reverse situation — under dense clouds Gulfstream warmed slightly, less energy is brought to Europe, came the unprecedented cold.

— Do you think that an abnormally cold winter in 2010 is associated with low solar activity?

— One must distinguish between weather and climate, as the weather — is the current state of the atmosphere, determined by the interaction of air masses over the ocean and land. The influence of solar activity on these time intervals is minimal. But it affects the amount of cloud at any given time, and they, in turn, determine the overall scenario movement of air masses. Climate — is average weather over a long period of time, more than 10 years. Processes on the Sun is not immediately reflected in the world, and there is a time lag, as the corresponding changes in the heliosphere occur later. So to say, what is the abnormally cold winter specifically in 2010, with atmospheric processes on Earth and the solar activity, is uniquely difficult. Some experts to make predictions about the onset of cold weather up to 2030 due to the decrease of the total magnetic field of the Sun. Q: Does it continue to decrease or field set to rise?
— Some scientists believe that the sun determines the social processes that occur on Earth. Years of solar activity characterized by revolutions (think 1905, 1917, 1991 years in Russia), passive — the financial crisis?

— Speaking on the subject, of course, not to mention Alexander Leonidovich Chizhevsky, which just presented the idea of the influence of solar activity on the social activity of man, for which he was arrested. But personally, I think he was wrong for taking coincidence scientifically established fact. Well, judge for yourself: if something happens with a person under the influence of the sun, it becomes more active, why he should drop everything and run to make a revolution, and not to go, for example, to the gym? Another question that solar activity has an effect on the human environment, which has changed and not always for the better. We know that productivity depends on solar activity. If there was a fault on its low yield, hunger, people, quite naturally, are unhappy. Under the influence of the economic factor (!), Not solar activity they begin to rebel. If the government had warned beforehand that you stock the grain and distribute it to the needy, so that all were satisfied, no revolution would not have happened. Of course, we can say that initially to blame the sun, but, you see, his influence is indirect.

— There is another way in which the sun can affect humanity, and very strong. In 1859, the Earth has fallen Karringtonsky storm, which completely paralyzed the work of the telegraph in North America and Europe. Scientists from NASA predict that something similar could happen in 2012, that huge blow to our technological civilization.

— Such events occur regularly. British astronomer Richard Carrington was the first to describe the sunny weather and noted its negative impact on the telegraph. There were other cases. Shortly after the events in St. Petersburg stood tram because Navel induced currents. However, the most famous was the solar storm that led to the well-known events in March 1989, when de-energized at 9:00 was a whole Canadian province of Quebec, including the capital, Ottawa, and the power system was paralyzed the whole country. Its restoration took six months. Damage amounted to $ 2 billion. After that, the Sun took a very strict control. Such events occur with surprising regularity in North America, Britain and Scandinavia. We have such statistics are kept. However, we have seen similar effects in electronics rail because of the Railways periodically come with a request to "deal." Interest in this work and others. Just the other day I was doing a report on the issue on the working group, RAS, because after the accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP government has ordered the review of all security issues, including, we should consider the effects of geomagnetic disturbances on the extended lines. The problem is very serious, because the magnetic storms failures occur in all enclosed conductor systems, and these are the transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines, railway lines. It is clear that there is no end of the world, even from a very strong magnetic storm would not be so many years we are watching and we know the amplitude. But the technical system is getting more and more extensive, and therefore the influence of solar activity and space weather on them will increase. Space weather is also vital for satellite communications and navigation systems such as GPS, GLONASS, etc.

— So if we know the sun is well to say that any serious trouble, it does not threaten us? In December last year, the Australian astronomer Christine Nicholls published sensational results of observations of "red giant," which eventually become sun-like stars, which show that the fluctuations in their intensity can not be attributed to any of the existing theories.

— The life span of the Sun — 10 billion years. We have lived 4.5 billion. In about the same amount of time in the sun will burn out the sources of nuclear fuel, it will begin to expand and, of course, at some point turn into a red giant. But it is to our modern life has any relation. Perhaps, and humanity in 4.5 billion years will be gone, maybe something will happen to the Earth.
— I like the layman, excites the question: if the sun is uncertain future, perhaps it is also present can not be described?

— I assure you, the sun is a very stable star. We know this, because the register of neutrinos that come from the interior of the sun, and are evidence of all of these reactions. And the solar constant during the solar cycle does not change. All this shows that the Sun, like a nuclear reactor works very stable and no trouble on his part not wait. The only danger is that we want to create more complex technical infrastructure, on which the sun affects, and very strong. Yes, and the sun by now we know a lot. Not surprisingly, since it is the only star that we can learn from close range. The only thing that is not the science of the sun — are more likely to predict solar flares and emissions that have an impact on the Earth and near-Earth space. As well as the experience of the 23rd and 24th cycles, we can not say with a high degree of accuracy to predict what will be the loop when it starts, how many will go and what he will have amplitude. This is the main objective to study the Sun.


1. CHANGE full brightness. Obschespektralnaya brightness changes slowly over the decades, although the variation in past cycles of activity was 0.1%. After the Maunder minimum for 300 years there has been an increase in the luminosity of the Sun from 0.1 to 0.6%, which allowed scientists to talk about the impact on the growth of land and ocean temperatures.

2. Changing the brightness in the ultraviolet range. Glow in the ultraviolet range (200-300 nm wavelengths) varies by about 1.5% from solar minimum to maximum. The increase in ultraviolet luminosity leads to more ozone, stratospheric temperature increases and shifts in tropospheric and stratospheric circulation of air systems in the direction of the Earth's poles.

3. CHANGING THE SOLAR WIND AND MAGNETIC INTERACTIONS. Strengthening the solar wind and, therefore, increased the magnetic field leads to a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays in the heliosphere and the Earth. So, as a stream of charged particles coming out of the solar corona during the past century has doubled the flux of galactic cosmic rays decreased by 15%. Changes in the solar wind also affects the size of the heliosphere, which is reflected in its growth with the increase in solar activity.

4. IMPACT ON CLOUD. It is assumed that the cosmic rays affect the formation of clouds through the possible formation of condensation nuclei in the air. This is achieved by the fact that changes in the level of ionizing radiation affect the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere, which act as condensation nuclei for cloud formation.

5. BREACH OF ELECTRICAL DEVICES. The interaction of solar wind particles, the magnetic field of the Sun and the Earth's magnetic field leads to changes in the flow of charged particles and electromagnetic fields around the world, which in turn may interfere with the operation of electrical devices and the first artificial satellites.

6. Auroras. Visible manifestation of the solar wind, solar and Earth's magnetosphere and atmosphere.

7. Geomagnetic storms. Disturbances of the magnetic field of the Earth under the influence of extreme solar activity.

8. Solar protons. During the "bombing of solar protons" Land irrigated high-energy charged particles, mostly protons released into the area of a solar flare. Some of the particles reach the upper atmosphere, where they create additional ionization and may cause a significant increase in the radiation level.

9. Galactic cosmic rays. In the period of minimum solar activity increase in the intensity of cosmic rays, which are the main source of ionization in the troposphere, at an altitude of 1 km below the mark is the main source of radon.

10. EDUCATION radiocarbon. Radiocarbon (carbon-14) is obtained by irradiation of atmospheric isotope nitrogen-14 by cosmic rays, making it undergoes beta decay to form a heavy isotope of carbon. Increase in solar activity leads to a decrease in the rate of production of radiocarbon due to partial screening of galactic radiation.

Solar activity — the current solar radiation, its spectral distribution, related electromagnetic phenomena and changes in the timing of these characteristics of the Sun. Distinguish between periodic and aperiodic components of these changes. It is believed that the solar activity has a significant impact on Earth's climate.

Solar cycles — periodic changes in solar activity. Assumes the existence of a large number of cycles, with periods of 11, 22, 87, 210, 2300 and 6000 years old, but reliable observations confirmed the existence of only the 11-year (cycle Schwab), 22-year (Hale cycle) and 2300-year (cycle Hollstatta ).

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