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Message Subject SOLAR WATCH * 312 M & 25 X FLARES starting 3-7-2011 (Updated Daily)
Poster Handle Hugh M Eye
Post Content
the sun is too bright
 Quoting: Da fuq

i have been cuising around here for a year or more and heard this sooooo many times....

but right now i am sitting here in the same place i do every afternoon in east texas watching the sun set outside of work here, and it is incredibly bright to me...

and i shit you not, i have NEVER said that before...

who knows, maybe my eyes are just sensitive right now
 Quoting: Boceph

Howdy, Boceph, hinice to see you again. Although anecdotal claims abound, the Sun is not getting brighter (see contadictory addendum below). I think there's lots of reasons for this perception; not the least of which is the fact that we humans spend much less time outdoors and more time staring at computer screens these days. Also, during the Northern hemisphere winter months the sun is much lower in the sky, shining more at eye-level than directly overhead as in summertime. Today's UV Index was very low throughout most of the continental US (high UV in Miami, Puerto Rico and Hawaii)-

[link to www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov]

However Earth is getting closer to the sun now. Not to worry, it happens every year. Earth's perihelion is on January 2, 2013, but as Earth's orbit is very circular we're only a slight bit closer than aphelion in July.
[link to aa.usno.navy.mil]

2013 2013
Perihelion Jan 2 05 Equinoxes Mar 20 11 02 Sept 22 20 44
Aphelion July 5 15 Solstices June 21 05 04 Dec 21 17 11


Here's a plot from several satellites measuring Total Solar Irradiance (that includes visible and invisible wavelengths)-
[link to www.acrim.com]

For further study, here's NOAA's data access page on irradiance;

[link to www.ngdc.noaa.gov]

This is a good time to get as much sunshine as you can! Vitamin D levels tend to drop in wintertime and weakens your immune system.
 Quoting: Hugh M Eye

Contradictory Addendum: Actually, the sun IS getting brighter, but only slightly so as a normal solar max increases the sun's energy output by around 0.1%. And as you can see by the ACRIM plot in the above post, the Total Solar Irradiance now is much less than in 2000-2002. There are also short-term oscillations in solar brilliance making TSI a study in the variations.

Strangely enough, sunspots measurably REDUCE the sun's luminosity. Here's some fascinating research I came across-

Variations in the solar irradiance are at a level that can be detected by ground-based astronomical measurements of light. Such variations have been found to be about 0.1% of the average solar irradiance. Variations in solar irradiance have been attributed to the following solar phenomena: oscillations, granulation, sunspots, faculae, and solar cycle.
Sunspots give rise to variations that may last for several days, and sometimes as long as 200 days. Solar irradiance measurements have also shown that the presence of large groups of sunspots on the Sun's surface produce dips ranging in amplitude from 0.1-0.25% of the solar constant. This reduction in the total solar irradiance has been attributed both to the presence of these sunspots and to the temporary storage of solar energy over times longer than the sunspot's lifetime. Another key observation has been that the largest decreases in total solar irradiance frequently coincide with the formation of newly formed active regions associated with large sunspots, or with rapidly evolving, complex sunspots. Solar luminosity has been found to achieve a maximum value at the very time that sunspot activity is highest during the 11-year sunspot cycle.

Read more: Total Solar Irradiance - Global warming, Measuring solar irradiance - Sun, Radiation, Variations, and Measurements - JRank Articles [link to science.jrank.org]

Sound contradictory? Sunspot formation decreases the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI), yet solar luminosity reaches peak levels when sunspot activity is highest. Wow, the Sun sure is a mysterious enigma to me still....

So, in conclusion, you are correct, Sir, the Sun IS getting brighter (slightly) as part of its natural cycle.
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