Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

30 July

Is “Observing Total Solar Eclilpse on Aug. 21, 2017” Part of Your Bucket List?

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Below, is a re-post from our sister publication, Windermere Sun (of July 25, 2017):

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon completely covers the Sun’s disk, as seen in this 1999 solar eclipse. Solar prominences can be seen along the limb (in red) as well as extensive coronal filaments.(Photo Attribution: I, Luc Viatour, Presented at: WindermereSun.com)

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Chart for Solar Eclipse (Attribution: Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA’s GSFC, Presented at: WindermereSun.com)

Map of Solar Eclipse (presented at: WindermereSun.com)

Map of the Solar Eclipse 2017 USA (created with Eclipse 2017 Android App, Geodata from OpenStreetMap (Attribution: Wolfganag Strickling, Presented at: WindermereSun.com)

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

How many of you have “observing a Total Solar Eclipse” on your bucket list? Did you know that a total solar eclipse will occur on Monday, August 21, 2017? It will be visible in totality only within a band across the entire contiguous United States ( covering: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina). The last time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire contiguous United States was during the June 8, 1918 eclipse.

Map of the Solar Eclipse 2017 USA (created with Eclipse 2017 Android App, Geodata from OpenStreetMap (Attribution: Wolfganag Strickling, Presented at: WindermereSun.com), covering: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the Sun’s, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across Earth’s surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of kilometers wide. This eclipse is the 22nd of the 77 members of Saros series 145, which also produced the solar eclipse of August 11, 1999. Members of this series are increasing in duration. The longest eclipse in this series will occur on June 25, 2522 and last for 7 minutes and 12 seconds.

The total eclipse will have a magnitude of 1.0306 and will be visible from a narrow corridor through the United States. It will be first seen from land in the US shortly after 10:15 a.m. PDT at Oregon’s Pacific coast, and then it will progress eastward through Salem, OR, Casper, WY, Lincoln, NE, Kansas City, Nashville, TN, Columbia, SC, and finally Charleston, SC. Total Solar Eclipse will darken skies all the way from Oregon to South Carolina, along a stretch of land about 70 miles (113 kilometers) wide. People who descend upon this “path of totality” for the big event are in for an unforgettable experience. A partial eclipse will be seen for a greater time period, beginning shortly after 9:00 a.m. PDT along the Pacific Coast of Oregon.

The longest duration of totality will be 2 minutes 41.6 seconds at about 37°35′0″N 89°7′0″W in Giant City State Park, just south of Carbondale, Illinois, and the greatest extent (width) will be at 36°58′0″N 87°40′18″W near the village of Cerulean, Kentucky, located in between Hopkinsville, KY and Princeton, KY. This will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the Southeastern United States since the solar eclipse of March 7, 1970, which was only visible from Florida.

 

 


A partial solar eclipse will be seen from the much broader path of the Moon‘s penumbra, including all of North America, northern South America, Western Europe, and some of Africa.

The August 2017 eclipse will be the first with a path of totality crossing the US’s Pacific coast and Atlantic coast since 1918. Also, its path of totality makes landfall exclusively within the United States, making it the first such eclipse since the country’s independence in 1776. (The path of totality of the eclipse of June 13, 1257, was the last to make landfall exclusively on lands currently part of the US.

If you are interested in observing this event (total Solar Eclipse), below, in italics, is excerpt from “Eye Safety During Solar Eclipses” from NASA:

The Sun can be viewed safely with the naked eye only during the few brief seconds or minutes of a total solar eclipse. Partial eclipses, annular eclipses, and the partial phases of total eclipses are never safe to watch without taking special precautions. Even when 99% of the Sun’s surface is obscured during the partial phases of a total eclipse, the remaining photospheric crescent is intensely bright and cannot be viewed safely without eye protection [Chou, 1981; Marsh, 1982]. Do not attempt to observe the partial or annular phases of any eclipse with the naked eye. Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness!

Generally, the same equipment, techniques and precautions used to observe the Sun outside of eclipse are required for annular eclipses and the partial phases of total eclipses [Reynolds & Sweetsir, 1995; Pasachoff & Covington, 1993; Pasachoff & Menzel, 1992; Sherrod, 1981]. The safest and most inexpensive of these methods is by projection, in which a pinhole or small opening is used to cast the image of the Sun on a screen placed a half-meter or more beyond the opening. Projected images of the Sun may even be seen on the ground in the small openings created by interlacing fingers, or in the dappled sunlight beneath a leafy tree. Binoculars can also be used to project a magnified image of the Sun on a white card, but you must avoid the temptation of using these instruments for direct viewing.

The Sun can be viewed directly only when using filters specifically designed for this purpose. Such filters usually have a thin layer of aluminum, chromium or silver deposited on their surfaces that attenuates ultraviolet, visible, and infrared energy. One of the most widely available filters for safe solar viewing is a number 14 welder’s glass, available through welding supply outlets. More recently, aluminized mylar has become a popular, inexpensive alternative. Mylar can easily be cut with scissors and adapted to any kind of box or viewing device. A number of sources for solar filters are listed below. No filter is safe to use with any optical device (i.e. – telescope, binoculars, etc.) unless it has been specifically designed for that purpose. Experienced amateur and professional astronomers may also use one or two layers of completely exposed and fully developed black-and-white film, provided the film contains a silver emulsion. Since all developed color films lack silver, they are always unsafe for use in solar viewing.

Unsafe filters include color film, some non-silver black and white film, medical x-ray films with images on them, smoked glass, photographic neutral density filters and polarizing filters. Solar filters designed to thread into eyepieces which are often sold with inexpensive telescopes are also dangerous. They should not be used for viewing the Sun at any time since they often crack from overheating. Do not experiment with other filters unless you are certain that they are safe. Damage to the eyes comes predominantly from invisible infrared wavelengths. The fact that the Sun appears dark in a filter or that you feel no discomfort does not guarantee that your eyes are safe. Avoid all unnecessary risks. Your local planetarium or amateur astronomy club is a good source for additional information.

In spite of these precautions, the total phase (and only the total phase) of an eclipse can and should be viewed without filters. It is crucial that you know when to take off and put back on your glasses; see Eye safety during a total solar eclipse

Total Eclipse Viewing Events (source: wkipedia), below:

Oregon

Idaho

Wyoming

  • Casper, Wyoming – The Astronomical League, an alliance of amateur astronomy clubs, will hold its annual Astrocon conference, and there will be other public events, called Wyoming Eclipse Festival 2017.

Nebraska

Missouri

Illinois

Kentucky

Tennessee

North Carolina

Georgia

  • Rabun County, Georgia – Multiple events occur across Rabun County, including the OutASight Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Party with astronomers from Georgia State University. Other events will be held at Tallulah Gorge State Park, Black Rock Mountain State Park, and other locations in the county.

South Carolina

Viewing from outside the United States

Canada

A partial eclipse will be visible across the width of Canada, ranging from 89% in Victoria, British Columbia to 11% in Resolute, Nunavut.

Central America, Mexico, Caribbean islands

A partial eclipse will be visible from Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands.

Europe

The boundaries of the sunset partial eclipse in Western Europe. Calculation with EclipseDroid with atmospheric refraction.

In northwestern Europe, the eclipse will only be visible as a partial eclipse, in the evening or at sunset. Only Iceland, Ireland and Scotland will see the eclipse from beginning to end; in the rest of the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal, sunset will occur before the end of the eclipse. In Germany, the beginning of the eclipse will be potentially visible just at sunset only in the extreme northwest of the country. In all regions east of the orange line in the map, the eclipse will be invisible.

Online Viewing Events

 

Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com

Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at info.WindermereSun@gmail.com

 

We Need Fair Value of Solar

 

~Let’s Help One Another~

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2 November

Let’s Delay The Flood-Vote “NO” On Amendment 1 in November

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Below is a repost from one of our sister publications, Windermere Sun:

Muir Glacier, Alaska (credit: NASA)

Muir Glacier, Alaska (credit: NASA)

"New Normal" of Sea Ice (credit: NASA)

“New Normal” of Sea Ice (credit: NASA)

Polar Bear crosses Arctic Sea facing shorter sea ice season (credit: NASA)

Polar Bear crosses Arctic Sea facing shorter sea ice season (credit: NASA)

Thawed area under Greenland ice sheet (credit: NASA)

Thawed area under Greenland ice sheet (credit: NASA)

 

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

VOTE “NO” ON AMENDMENT 1 IN NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION

Amendment 1 May Block Out The Sun ,

We Need Fair Value of Solar, Not Amendment 1

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

I originally planned on posting another topic today, but after a short discussion on Amendment 1 of Florida with some people I’ve just met at NEC (National Entrepreneurship Center) , I would like to remind our fellow Sunshine Staters/Floridians that we have serious responsibility in assuring the growth and development of Solar Industry (utility scale as well as distributed solar) here in Florida, for solar energy is the solution to not just for the energy crisis but also environmental pollution, international conflicts, and climate change. Given that state of Florida is frequently visited by hurricanes, we need to insure the development of distributed solar (solar rooftops). Therefore, it is utmost important that we should Vote “NO” on Amendment 1 ! For further explanations as to why we should vote “NO” on amendment 1, please refer to one of my earlier posts, Vote “NO” On Amendment 1 In November!!!

To better understand the need of urgency for our earthly transition toward renewables, I’d like to share some videos below:

    • Before The Flood of National Geographic:

    • ‘Chasing Ice’:Time-Lapse Cameras Capture Rapidly Melting Glaciers:

To watch the movie “Chasing Ice“, click HERE ( to rent SD $3.99, to buy SD $9.99)
Yes, I believe that once each individual is out of the fog of confusion, he/she will choose the right way in helping to reach the solution. In this case, quick transition to renewables such as Solar and Wind Energy is what we should all aim for. Remember to share with your fellow neighbors, family members, friends, to Vote “NO” On Amendment 1 and be more conscious of how you live and how you vote. For such actions would help to determine the survival of millions of our fellow earthlings.


I’ve received quite a few response from this post through various social media, mostly positive and supportive. But there were few responses that are not supportive. I appreciate those who are on the opposing side to take the time to respond because it helps me to better understand where their belief came from. For example, one of the opposing side remarked below (in italics):

1.  Looks, via net metering, non solar folks are having to pay for all the grid upkeep. Solar users pay nothing. You somehow say that not receiving this large subsidy is unfair. Not penalizing others so you can sell your product that can’t stand on it’s own is some how bad? You better learn to stand on your own. We are sick of holding you up.

My response: Firstly, I am not selling any solar product nor services and there is no discussion about subsidy here.  I am simply a conscientious American and Floridian who cares about the planet earth and fellow Floridians and would like to see Homo Sapiens to occupy this planet for as long as possible and as few Floridians to become homeless as possible. If insisting on Floridian solar installers to pay extra fees (under Amendment 1), it would encourage solar users to go completely off grid. This would increase more difficulty for the grid (because if more solar users are connected to the grid the more they can help to relieve the grid pressure and reduce the cost or need of additional power plants to be build…this would help to reduce the utility cost for every one!) So, it would be wise for utility and Floridians to try to entice solar users to be connected to the grid rather than implementing measures to encourage them to go off grid. In terms of fairness, I believe it is not fair to have legislation to insist that you pay for the mortgage or rent of your neighbors when you are not using the house of your neighbors. This is the issue that is being addressed: why should solar users pay for the grid if they are not using it? It would be much wiser for every one to treat one another fairly, because only under sphere of fairness, cooperation is more likely to occur. This is why we need our regulatory agency to conduct research on Fair Value of Solar: http://windermeresun.com/2016/09/08/we-need-fair-value-of-solar-not-amendment-1/

2.  This is pure crack. For all you fear mongers, how can you change the climate? The change in climate is normal and has been doing so for billion of years since the world was created. nothing can be done to change it, GOD’s CREATION IS PERFECT!!!

My response: It is the rate (how fast) of change that we are addressing because when it changes too quickly, human beings are not able to respond fast enough;therefore you end up having frequent flooding in Miami and some of the island countries are in the process of disappearing (so they have to look for homes for their people), as Floridian coastal residents….As for changing the climate: did you know that scientists can already modify/change weather conditions? The dramatic increase in CO2 emission is one of the main contributing factors to increased rate of climate change and global warming. The CO2 emission is due to human activity and our standard of living. So, it is our responsibility to try to slow down this rate of change if we care at all about our fellow human being (the poor in Africa, Asia, Europe, and USA/Florida). For it is the poor who will be paying the price of the wealthy who can afford to easily move to a different location. The irony is: it is those of us in the wealthy developed nations that have contributed the most to increased rate of climate change.  Don’t you think your God would want you to help your fellow human being, by slowing down the climate change and be fair to all ?

3.  The worst hurricane and flooding in Miami was 1926 when over 6,000 people were killed. Miami Beach is subsiding due to pumping out trillions of gallons of water over the last century. Sea level has risen about 9″ in each of the last 3 centuries and is not increasing no matter what AlGore is telling you. All of the alarmist are making dire predictions that never happen. James Hansen, the Father of Global Warming predicted in 1988 that in 25 years, Manhattan Island would be under water. That was 2013 and the actual sea level went up several inches. Did you know that most of Manhattan is lower than most of Florida. The US has not been struck with a major (Cat 3 hurricane or higher) in over 4,000 days. Media hype used by people who make their living from global warming. 18,000 years ago (a wink in geologic time), sea level was 270 feet lower than now and Florida was 900 miles wide. Chicago and NY were covered with over a mile of ice. Global warming has been going on in spits and starts since then and the notion that man kind is increasing the rate is not proven. Fear mongering is used to sell stuff by agenda driven people.

My response: I have been an engineer and a math professor for over 20 years. I am not selling any solar product or services, just a conscientious American and Floridian who felt compelled to try my best to help my fellow human being on planet earth by slowing down the climate change via advocating for solar energy and modifying my life style. If Amendment 1 is passed, it will very likely be able to destroy solar industry in Florida. Yes, climate has always been changing, but now we are particularly concerned about its rate (how fast) of change that will potentially be increasing the frequency of hurricanes (such as that of 1926). We had just been visited by Hurricane Matthew (up to Category 5 at certain parts of FL) within the last month. You need to view this film by Leonardo DiCaprio, explaining much about the issue of climate change, encouraged by Pope and UN and various scientific communities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90CkXVF-Q8M To give hope and optimism for our future generations, we need to play an active part in helping to slow down the climate change and encourage the growth of solar/renewable energy industries.If you are not afraid of truth and reality, you need to see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90CkXVF-Q8M

VOTE “NO” ON AMENDMENT 1 IN NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION

Amendment 1 May Block Out The Sun ,

We Need Fair Value of Solar, Not Amendment 1

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
Gathered, writtened, posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at info.WindermereSun@gmail.com

Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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3 April

Why Is OCO-2 Helpful With Managing Atmospheric CO2 ?

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

Remember, the goal of Sun Is The Future is: to speed up our earthly transition toward Solar/Renewable Energy Age because we want to help reduce CO2 emission, reduce pollution, solve energy problem, reduce the chance of international conflicts, and improve local economy by encouraging job opportunities in solar/renewable energy industries.  We work toward our goal by:

  1. sharing information (www.sunisthefuture.net, www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture, www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture, www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture, www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture, https://plus.google.com/+SunisthefutureNet, @SusanSunNunamak)
  2. helping entrepreneurs to establish small businesses in solar energy/renewable energy/energy efficiency/recycling via microfinance (www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture)
  3. raising fund to achieve 2. & 1. above via Sunshine Online Store (www.sunisthefuture.com)

For this post, we will be concentrating on one aspect of CO2 emission. Keep in mind that we can only manage what we can measure!

OCO-2 (Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2), set to launch in July, 2014 (credit: NASA/JPL Caltech, design will also be available at www.sunisthefuture.com)

Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, set to launch in July 2014, will make precise, global measurements of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that is the largest human-generated contributor to global warming. OCO-2 observations will be used to improve understanding of the natural and human-induced sources of carbon dioxide and how these emissions cycle through Earth’s oceans, land and atmosphere. OCO-2, managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on a Delta II rocket.

Yes, those are solar panels that you are seeing in the image above (and below). As a matter of fact, most of the space vehicles are powered by solar panels!

NASA's OCO-2 (credit: NASA/JPL Caltech, design also will be available at www.sunisthefuture.com)

OCO-2 in space (credit: NASA/JPL Caltech, design will also be available at www.sunisthefuture.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why does NASA want to launch OCO-2 to take measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) from space? Due to our concern for climate change and the fact that we can only manage what we can measure. This is NASA’s first satellite designed specifically to measure the global distribution of atmospheric CO2 from space. This is done by measuring the sunlight bouncing off of earth’s surface. On its way through the atmosphere, this sunlight interacts with CO2 molecules in the air. Like other gases, CO2 only absorbs certain colors of light. OCO-2 is only tuned to look at these specific colors. By measuring amount of lights that are missing in each, amount of CO2 molecules that got in the way will be measured. As OCO-2 orbits around the earth each day, hundreds of thousands of CO2 measurements will be made. Such high density of measurements will provide us with far more information in how and where CO2 is traded between sources and sinks. Variations due to seasonal changes will also be more likely to be captured through data collected over weeks and months, helping us in arriving at better understanding of climate change. Take a look at the video below:

 

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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25 February

Yesterday’s Magnificent Solar Flare Unleashed From The Sun

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Solar Flare-Multi-wavelengths, Feb. 24, 2014 (credit: NASA/SDO, Solar Dynamics Observatory). This design is also available at www.sunisthefuture.com

Wow, yesterday (Monday, Feb. 24, 2014), the sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 7:49 P.M. (EST). NASA’s SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory), keeping the constant watch on the sun, captured images of the event. Above you are seeing the SDO images from 7:25 P.M. EST showing the first moments of this x-class flare in different wavelengths of light (in units of angstrom, A with circle above, 1.0 x 10^(-10) meters), seen as the bright spot on the left limb of the sun. Hot solar material can be seen hovering above the active region in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona. This flare is classified as an X4.9-class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1 whereas X3 is three times as intense as X1.

Below (in italics), is wikipedia’s explanation of the sun, solar flare and CME (coronal mass ejections) and a previously uploaded video by sunisthefuture channel :


solar flare is a sudden brightening observed over the Sun‘s surface or the solar limb, which is interpreted as a large energy release of up to 6 × 1025 joules of energy (about a sixth of the total energy output of the Sun each second or 160,000,000,000 megatons of TNT equivalent, over 25,000 times more energy than released from the impact of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 with Jupiter). They are mainly followed by a colossal coronal mass ejection also known as a CME. The flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona of the sun into space. These clouds typically reach Earth a day or two after the event. The term is also used to refer to similar phenomena in other stars, where the term stellar flare applies.

 

Solar Flare of May 3, 2013 (credit: NASA/SDO)

Solar Flare of 2011 produced a CME that did not travel toward the Earth (credit: NASA/SDO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solar flares affect all layers of the solar atmosphere (photospherechromosphere, and corona), when the plasma medium is heated to tens of millions of kelvins the electronsprotons, and heavier ions are accelerated to near the speed of light. They produce radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum at all wavelengths, from radio waves to gamma rays, although most of the energy is spread over frequencies outside the visual range and for this reason the majority of the flares are not visible to the naked eye and must be observed with special instruments. Flares occur in active regions around sunspots, where intense magnetic fields penetrate the photosphere to link the corona to the solar interior. Flares are powered by the sudden (timescales of minutes to tens of minutes) release of magnetic energy stored in the corona. The same energy releases may produce coronal mass ejections (CME), although the relation between CMEs and flares is still not well established.

related posts, below:

Solar Flare of Yesterday

Sun & Its CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections)

Understanding Our Powerful Sun & Its CME (Coronal Mass Ejection)

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

~have a bright and sunny day~

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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29 November

Comet ISON Survived Perihelion (Grazing With The Sun) On Thanksgiving !

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below) ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State! ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Comet_ISON_(C/2012_S1)_by_TRAPPIST_on_2013-11-15

Great news! We earthlings inhabiting the Northern Hemisphere might be able to get a “once in a lifetime light show” in December, compliment of Comet ISON. Comet ISON  (aka C/2012 S1. The ‘C’ means that it is a non-periodic comet, the ‘S’ means September and the ‘1″ means it was the first that discovered that month. It’s more common name (ISON) comes from the Russia-based International Scientific Optical Network which first discovered it.) passed the Sun on November 28, 2013 when it was about 1 million miles or 1.6 million km from the Sun ( in space terms, it basically means grazing the Sun) and will reach the minimum distance from Earth (64.2 million km) on Dec. 26, 2013. The European Space Agency previously declared ISON’s death on Twitter late on Thursday, but now backtracks, saying Comet ISON  “continues to surprise.”  New images of faint smudge on a screen showed a streak of light moving away from the sun that brings us a sliver of hope that Comet ISON may have survived the grazing with the sun!


 

STEREO-B COR2 image of c/2012 S1 or Comet ISON re-emerging about 7 hours after perihelion

“It certainly appears as if there is an object there that is emitting material,” said Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Comet ISON is one of the Sungrazing comets: A sungrazing comet is a comet that passes extremely close to the Sun at perihelion

Comet position of C/2012 S1 on December 11, 2013 after perihelion

– sometimes within a few thousand km (kilometers) of the Sun’s surface. While small sungrazers can be completely evaporated during such a close approach to the Sun, larger sungrazers can survive many perihelion passages. However, the strong evaporation and tidal forces they experience often lead to their fragmentation. Comet ISON is also known as  Comet Nevski–Novichonok,  a sungrazing comet discovered on September 21, 2012, by Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok. The discovery was made using the 0.4-meter (16 in) reflector of the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) nearKislovodsk, Russia. Data processing was carried out by automated asteroid-discovery program CoLiTec. Precovery images by the Mount Lemmon Survey

Comet C2012 S1 (ISON) seen from the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter on October 8, 2013, as it passes through the constellation of Leo (credit: wikimedia commons)

from December 28, 2011, and by Pan-STARRS from January 28, 2012, were quickly located. Follow-up observations were made on  September 22 by a team from Remanzacco Observatory in Italy using the iTelescope network. The discovery was announced by the Minor Planet Center on September 24. Observations by Swift in January 2013 suggested that C/2012 S1’s nucleus was around 5 kilometers (3 mi) in diameter. Later estimates were that the nucleus was only about 2 kilometers (1 mi) in diameter. C/2012 S1 was at first suspected to have disintegrated near perihelion, but CIOC members suspect a small fragment of it has survived perihelion passage because a coma has been detected.

The path of C/2012 S1 (ISON) from December 2012 through October 2013 as it passes through Gemini, Cancer, and Leo (credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Axel Mellinger)

Comet ISON, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope on April 10, 2013-near Jupiter's orbit; also, enhanced (coma model ratio) version (credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay, ST ScI)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what kind of light show might we be able to expect from Comet ISON or C/2012 S1 ? Its absolute magnitude or intrinsic brightness seems to be between two previous spectacular comets: Comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki)

Comet Ikeya-Seki (credit: Roger Lynds/NOAO/AURA/NSF)

and Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) .

Comet McNaught (source: wikipedia)

Both of these comets passed by the Sun very closely and were possibly the two brightest since the 1930s. Ikeya-Seki of the absolute magnitude 3.9 and McNaught 9.5 . The magnitude system is ordered such that fainter objects have higher values. It is also on a logarithmic scale, where a difference of 2.5 magnitudes corresponds to a factor of 10 in apparent brightness. A 5 magnitude difference is a factor of 100. Given the same distance from the Sun and distance from the Earth, Comet ISON would be roughly 25 times brighter than Comet McNaught and one-seventh as bright as Comet Ikeya-Seki. There may be quite an exciting show awaiting us in December of 2013!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared) Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture

www.cafepress.com/mathlady

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CIOC (NASA Comet ISON Observing Campaign)

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3 July

Evidence of Climate Change & How to Slow It Down

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

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Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 167 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go!
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As a result of our post on June 20, 2013 featuring the award-winning film Chasing Ice and the fact that the recent American Southwest has been boiling at triple-digit temperature for multiple consecutive days, smothering the region. In Death Valley, California, temperature reached a record high of 134 degrees Fahrenheit (57 degrees Celsius) on July 10, 2013. Fifty-six countries have set new temperature record, according to BBC report on July 3, 2013. I’ve been getting many questions such as: “what’s behind the heat wave” and “Is global warming a factor?” “Will we be seeing more droughts and floods?” To answer your questions satisfactorily, allow me to present to you:

  1. NASA Earth Observatory’s data. The world is getting warmer, be it due to human activity or natural variability . Thermometer reading around the world have risen steadily since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8°Celsius (1.4°Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade. Please click on this link http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/decadaltemp.php to step through the decades.
  2. Series of 8 videos/movies by NASA Earthobservatory on Global Warming, below:


a. Global Warning: An Introduction ( The Earth’s average temperature rose by more than half a degree Celsius over the last century. What caused this change?). Read more about Global Warming at:  http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWarming/?src=youtube

b. Radiation from the Sun and Earth ( the Sun and Earth both emit electromagnetic radiation. This movie will help you describe the differences between the types of radiation emitted by the sun and the earth.)

c. The Earth’s Energy Balance (Earth’s energy balance will enable you to understand radiative equilibrium. You will also be able to recognize that the temperature of earth depends on the amount of solar energy that it absorbs.). Read more about Earth’s Energy Budget at:  http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBalance/?src=youtube

d. The Greenhouse Effect (The temperature of earth has been relatively constant over time. This is possible because as the planet absorbs solar radiation, it also emits longwave radiation into space. Despite this radiative equilibrium, some longwave radiation remains trapped beneath the atmosphere of the earth and warms the surface of the earth. This phenomenon is called the “greenhouse effect.”)

e. Human Activities and Carbon Dioxide (Shortwave radiation emitted by the sun and longwave radiation emitted by carbon dioxide and water vapor contribute to the heating of the Earth’s surface. Over the past 120 years, scientists have observed that the Earth’s average global surface temperature has increased. At the same time, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has also increased. Take a closer look at how these changes may have occurred.)

f. Modern Atmospheric Concentrations of Carbon Dioxide (The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing. This movie will help you describe how the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has changed over the last 100 years.)

g. Modern Global Temperature (Earth’s average global temperature changes over long periods of time. Past data records indicate that the global annual temperature of earth has increased throughout this century.)

This global annual temperature rise of approximately 1 degree Celsius since 1880’s will have severe impact on  local and regional weather conditions.

h. Computer Climate Models (Scientists use computer climate models, with mathematical equations, to help them understand how temperature in different regions of the world may change as carbon dioxide increases.) Such climate models enable scientists to make predictions/estimations about how the climate may change in the future.

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If we want to slow down the impact of climate change described above, to slow down the CO2 emissions into earth’s atmosphere and reduce the extreme weather conditions (such as increased droughts, hurricanes, and floods),we need to GO SOLAR Quickly! At Sun Is The Future, we take action by having launched the petition for Solar-FIT For Sunshine State and sharing information on how to Start A Community Solar Garden/Farm. Please participate and share these links/sites with others. This is not a partisan issue. It is a Necessary Earthly Movement!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

any of your comments or suggestions will be welcomed at comments area below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (be sure to note if you do not want your email to be shared).

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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4 May

Solar Flare of Yesterday

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition updates: 161 signatures. Please help to share this petition with others.

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I’d like to share with you a mid-level solar flare event that occurred on May 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm EDT. More details from NASA may be found, below:

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough –they can

A burst of solar material leaps off the left side of the sun in what’s known as a prominence eruption. This image combines three images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured on May 3, 2013, at 1:45 pm EDT, just as an M-class solar flare from the same region was subsiding. The images include light from the 131-, 171- and 304-angstrom wavelengths. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of an M5.7-class flare on May 3, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. EDT. This image shows light in the 131-angstrom wavelength, a wavelength of light that can show material at the very hot temperatures of a solar flare and that is typically colorized in teal. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. This disrupts the radio signals for as long as the flare is ongoing, and the radio blackout for this flare has already subsided. Updates will be provided as they are available on the flare and whether there was an associated coronal mass ejection,

Magnificent CME (Coronal Mass Ejections) Erupts on the Sun of August 31, 2012, design available at www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture

another solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and affect electronic systems in satellites and on Earth.

For answers to various space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page

Let’s learn more about our Sun. For better understanding about our Sun, its CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections), and solar flare, please view the video clip produced by sunisthefuture Youtube Channel (collaborated with NASA/SDO), below:

 

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions, comments, and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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7 March

Online Sun Is The Future Stores Are Officially Opened!

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Dear Friends, Viewers/Visitors/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

It’s official !  We now have two stores that will help to create and maintain projects for  www.sunisthefuture.net , www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture , and help entrepreneurs in USA and various corners of our planet earth to establish and maintain businesses and projects in solar energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and recycling via microfinance through www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture .  So, if you are a solar enthusiast, looking for a gift for yourself or for some one special, wanting to take part in helping to move our world toward the solar/renewable energy age, or simply because you like one of the designs below and would like to have the design on t-shirt, sweatshirt, pants, IPad case, bag, wall decore,  pet tag, keychains, etc.,then click for our Online Sun Is The Future stores at: http://www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture or  http://sunisthefuture.logosportswear.com . Let’s spread more sunshine across our planet earth ! (These two stores will also be listed in the right hand margin of the Homepage in the future under Information.)

~have a bright and sunny day~

Writtten, designed, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments and suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

Sunisthefuture design E (Such Splendor of Life)

Sunisthefuture design I (Mars Rover Solar Spirit)

Sunisthefuture design M (Solar Cell Efficiencies)

Sunisthefuture design L (PV Solar Resource Map Comparing USA-Spain-Germany)

Sunisthefuture design G (Sun Is The Future in Rosewood)

Sunisthefuture design NNN (of Gemasolar Solar Plant of Spain)

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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1 March

Sun & Its CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections)

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,
(Please click on red links below)

Some of you asked me for the transcript of the video and commented on the cool images of the Sun and its CMEs, so here is more on the subject matter! Transcript of our video on Feb. 21, 2013 and more fantastic images of the Sun and its CMEs (coronal mass ejections).

Transcript of the video:  The sun, it has shed light on our homes for over four billion years. It will continue to do so for another four. It is massive almost beyond comprehension, constant yet ever changing. Born from the swirling cloud of dust and gas, it is a giant fusion engine that drives the solar system. It seams and broils like a living thing. Loops of plasma rise up, so large that would dwarf earth. Explosion flash from its surface. And yet the sun would also give its warmth and life and beauty….

Coronal mass ejections (or CMEs) are huge clouds of plasma and magnetic fields occasionally thrown off by the sun.

Sun’s CMEs (of plasma & magnetic fields) burst & throw off by the Sun

Scientists study them because the massive burst  pose a threat to  space age technology, and even power grids on the ground. Within each CME lies a kernel, known as the flux rope, tightly wound groups of  magnetic lines that can contain and transport solar material. Astronomers have seen them as CMEs burst off of the sun.

Flux Ropes & CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections) of the Sun (collaboration of NASA & Sun Is The Future)

But they have been next to  impossible to detect on the sun itself. New research using NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has now shown that they can be seen in just one of its cameras which shows the very hottest material on the sun. By watching a flux rope form and ejects as a CME, the research has brought some closure to one long standing mysteries, whether a rope is formed before or during a CME eruption. It’s impossible to actually see the flux ropes or any of the sun’s powerful magnetic fields involved with CMEs and flares because these fields are invisible.

Sun’s CME, Flux Ropes, and Internal Magnetic Fields (NASA)

But scientists can map them by observing plasma trapped by these fields, which shows up as thin lines under extreme ultraviolet light. Since earth’s atmosphere naturally filters these UV light, scientists must observe them using telescope in space, such as NASA’s SDO. So there’s been relatively few detailed observations of CMEs, particularly at higher temperatures. SDO images the sun at high image and time resolution. It is also the first satellite to consistently observe light with a wavelength of 131 A (angstroms),

Sun’s CME Flux Ropes viewed in 131 A (angstrom)

which highlights plasma at temperatures  around 10,000,000 degrees. This wavelength is usually reserved for studying solar flares. But what NASA and Naval Research Laboratory scientists  found is that the flux ropes associated with CMEs could only be seen at this temperature. On July 19, 2012, a CME erupted from the visible edge or limb of the sun. Because it was on the limb, the flux ropes were in profile and  particularly visible. Even more important, the flux ropes appeared about 7 hours earlier in the same location. The ropes were visible  as a line  of figure 8’s that looked exactly the way as theorists predicted  they would.

Sun’s CME Flux Ropes viewed in 171 A (angstrom) (NASA)

Sun’s CME Flux Ropes in Figure 8 (NASA)

This is the first direct evidence that flux ropes formed well before the coronal mass ejection. Footage of the CMEs from the SOHO spacecraft confirms the presence of the flux ropes. By adding  footage from the stereo A spacecraft which is viewing the sun from an entirely different angle, the researchers were able to create a three dimensional picture  of the flux ropes. For the most part, they followed the classic figure 8 pattern previously observed and predicted by solar models. But some of these ropes also had feet which extended farther away than scientists had expected. This deviation from the model is interesting and requires further studies. Besides show and proof of early flux rope formation, the study also paves the way for future flux ropes and CME research by literally finding a new light  to observe them in. The possibility of using flux rope formations as early warning system for CMEs means this line of research can have some very practical and far reaching applications and it could also help to wrap up some of the long standing mysteries of the sun.

If you are inspired or enthralled by these images, please feel free to visit www.sunisthefuture.com or click inside the big rectangular box below with SUN IS THE FUTURE for gift items with these images.

~have a bright and sunny day~
gathered, edited, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
any of your questions, commenents, suggestions are always welcomed below or privately at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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21 February

Understanding Our Powerful Sun & Its CME (Coronal Mass Ejection)

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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As a result of posting The Unexpected Atmospheric Intruder on Feb. 16, 2013, I’ve received multiple  questions/concerns expressed by our viewers toward the space and our Sun.  Therefore, I’ve prepared this particular session on “Understanding Our Powerful Sun & Its CME(coronal mass ejection)” for your viewing pleasure, to further our appreciation of our Sun, and to kindle our curiosity and wonder for exploration into the space.  With the help from NASA Heliophysics (meaning Physics of the Sun),  I’d like to present to you this composite of 2 footage about the Sun, the star at the center of our Solar System, and its CME (coronal mass ejection), the massive burst of solar wind and magnetic fields rising above the solar corona or being released into space.  Be sure to stay long enough to also view the activities of CME.

 

Can you feel the light and intense warmth projected from the screen…from this giant active star ?

Our Sun, with a diamter-1,392,684 km (109 x that of Earth) (NASA)

While the origin and sustenance of life here on Earth are intimately connected to this active star of over 4.6 billion years, our fate in the next 4+ billion years will depend much on our ability to understand and predict Sun’s variability in producing streams of high energy particles and radiation that can help/harm life on Earth or alter its evolution.  Better understanding of the connections between the Sun, solar wind, planetary space environments, and our place in the Galaxy would enable us to uncover the fundamental physical processes occurring throughout the Universe and allow us to predict the impacts of solar variability on humans, our technological systems, and the presence of life here on Earth. Since heliophysics is simply too vast a field to cover in one post, we will be concentrating in some basic understanding of the Sun and its coronal mass ejection (CME) in this one.

The almost perfectly spherical Sun consists of hot plasma

Sun’s plasma  trapped by magnetic fields shows up as thin lines in extreme UV light (NASA)

interwoven with magnetic fields,

with a diameter of about 1,392,684 km (about 109 x that of earth) and a mass about 2 x 10^30 kilograms (about 330,000 x that of earth). It accounts for almost 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System.  Chemically, about three quarters of the Sun’s mass consists of hydrogen while the rest is mostly helium…and the remainder (about 1.69%) consists of heavier elements such as oxygencarbonneoniron, etc.  The Sun formed from the gravitational collapse of a region within a large molecular cloud. Most of the matter gathered in the center, while the rest flattened into an orbiting disk that would become the Solar System. The central mass became increasingly hot and dense, eventually initiating thermonuclear fusion in its core. It is thought that almost all other stars form by this process. The Sun’s stellar classification, based on spectral class, is G2V, and is informally designated as a yellow dwarf, because its visible radiation is most intense in the yellow-green portion of the spectrum and although its color is white, from the surface of the Earth it may appear yellow because of atmospheric scattering of blue light. In the spectral class label, G2 indicates its surface temperature of approximately 5778 K (5505 °C), and V indicates that the Sun, like most stars, is a main-sequence star, and thus generates its energy by nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium. In its core, the Sun fuses 620 million metric tons of hydrogen each second.  The Sun (the star closest to Earth, approximately 149.6 million kilometers away or the distance that light travels in 8 minutes and 19 seconds) is brighter than about 85% of the stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

The Milky Way

Star Formatioin

Its hot corona continuously expands in space, creating the solar wind,  a stream of charged particles that extends to the heliopause at roughly 100 astronomical units. (Source: wikipedia)

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) release huge quantities of matter and  electromagnetic radiation into space above the sun’s surface, either near the corona (sometimes called a solar prominence), or farther into the planet system, or beyond (interplanetary CME).

Sun’s CME (interplanetary)

The ejected material is a plasma consisting primarily of electrons and protons, but may contain small quantities of heavier elements such as helium, oxygen, and even iron. The theory of heavier element emissions during a CME is speculative information and requires further verification. It is highly unlikely that a CME contains any substantial amount of heavier elements, especially considering that the sun has not yet arrived at the point of helium flash and thus cannot begin to fuse elements heavier than helium. Coronal mass ejections are associated with enormous changes and disturbances in the coronal magnetic field. They are usually observed with a white-light coronagraph. Recent scientific research has shown that the phenomenon of magnetic reconnection is responsible for CME and solar flares. Magnetic reconnection is the name given to the rearrangement of magnetic field lines when two oppositely directed magnetic fields are brought together. This rearrangement is accompanied with a sudden release of energy stored in the original oppositely directed fields. Most ejections originate from active regions on the Sun’s surface, such as groupings of sunspots associated with frequent flares. Near solar maxima the Sun produces about three CMEs every day, whereas near solar minima there is about one CME every five days.

As magnetic fields of the sun rearrange and realign, sunspots can appear on its surface. From Feb.19-20, 2013, scientists watched a giant sunspot form in under 48 hours. The sunspot shown in this image from the SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) has grown to over six Earth diameters across, but its full extent is hard to judge since the spot lies on a sphere not a flat disk. (NASA)

NASA-Another CME from Sunspot, via coronograph spectrometers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the sun, magnetic reconnection may happen on solar arcades—a series of closely occurring ropes of magnetic lines of force. These lines of force quickly reconnect into a low arcade of ropes,

Sun’s CME flux ropes

Sun’s CME flux ropes in figure 8

leaving a helix of magnetic field unconnected to the rest of the arcade. The sudden release of energy in this reconnection causes the solar flare. The unconnected magnetic helical field and the material that it contains may violently expand outwards forming a CME.This also explains why CMEs and solar flares typically erupt from what are known as the active regions on the sun where magnetic fields are much stronger on average.

Sun’s CME flux ropes seen from different angles

NASA SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) telescope (NASA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed viewing/reading this piece as much as I had in researching and composing this piece.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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