The May 17th solar flare

1 Jun 2012

At a neutron detector at the University of Oulu in Finland captured solar particles originating from a solar flare on May 17th - travelling at very near the speed of light and arriving just 20 minutes after the light emitted from the flare. The particles collided with atoms in Earth's atmosphere and caused a shower to cascade down towards the surface - generating a ground level enhancement (GLE). This was the first GLE recorded in the current solar cycle and is somewhat puzzling int that they are normally associated with coronal mass ejection events or X-class flares.

At ... it seems NASAs Cassini mission has shown Enceladus behaving in strange ways that involve plasma, or hot ionised gas. The discovery features in 2 papers published by the Journal of Geophysical Research. It seems 95 per cent of matter in the universe is in the form of plasma and as it is viewable on Enceladus this moon of Saturn has become a sort of plasma laboratory. Scientists hope to be able to find out how the Sun sends energy into Saturn's environment, providing a jolt that drives weather and the behaviour of magnetic field lines.

Meanwhile, at we have a nice bit by Stephen Smith on black hole physics - in reference to the suspected supermassive hungry black hole busy munching away at a star in a nearby galaxy. The Electric Universe interpretation is cogent.