NEWS Transcript: February 15, 2014: 
Sunspot group 11974 finally died but it went out in a blaze of glory. Releasing flare after flare, 12 M-Class flares is what I remember before I lost count, 2 of which were bang on, Earth directed. Just not very powerful. Sunspot group plot shows the current active sunspot groups. Now that 974 has lost it's mojo, let's take a look at what I thought was the next potential candidate in the running for the most active sunspot, group number 11977. But this one is still nothing special and in fact, I would place these two groups in the same category, with regards to flaring probabilities, at least for now. The other two little bowling ball holes on the coronal disk are 980 and 976 from left to right respectively. They are not a threat and don't look they are developing. And of course our retired comrade, group number 11974, which has lost alot of it's strength over the last 48 hours. X-Ray flux graph showing exactly what lead me to this conclusion. Bang, bang, bang, dead. Flat-line. Goodbye. There is some activity coming in a few days however. Looking at the far-side map imaged by Stereo B, I see more sunspots which perhaps our good friends 11967 and 11968 which have been a source of solar science entertainment now for the past couple of weeks for us. Wicked. Coronal hole plot shows we're still on the sliver of the longitudinal coronal hole from last week which is still on the backside of the sun but that should end in a day or two. Checking solar wind, that CME we were expecting arrived and solar wind speed and density both up, with speed peaking at 500km/s and density no greater than 40. The only thing I am not sure about is whether there is more to come or if they indeed arrived as one cohesive unit, merging together right before reaching Earth due to their variable solar wind speeds, the latter of which was slightly faster that the CME in front. And after closer examination of the solar wind graph I do see two fuzzy areas in that one plateau line, so they may have both arrived. In any event the KP Index is in the green, at level 3 with geomagnatic instability remaining at minimum.

 In other news, there was an unusual earthquake in South Carolina that was greater than five on the Richter scale. The oddity of this quake was partly due to it's rarity but if we refer to the geological maps of the area we see the area where the quakes happened. It is technically two quakes one 4+ the second shortly after 5+. They both happened northwest of Edgefield county where the Charlotte Slate Belt Thrust fault and Lowndesville shear zone and some other small faults sprinkled around them. So seismic activity is possible in that area, although they are rare.

In weather related news, alot of people in the US can breathe a sign of relief now that it seems that warmer weather is on the way for alot of folks. With phoenix hitting a record breaking 83F, I think those drought forecast maps we looked at a couple of days ago, are spot on. Looking at the temperature forecast map, we see that temperatures for the New York area by Friday are supposed to be in the 50's, which is welcome news for the people in my area after the fourth snowstorm in just over a week. With the jet stream finally retreating back up north this warm up seems a likely scenario, even seasonal temperatures are better than this Polar Vortex snow ice wind chill crap at a rate of greater than 1-2" per hour that we've been having.

In space news, remember that NASA finds the "Jelly Doughnut" with the rover on Mars story on Jan 8 When an unusual looking rock appeared in one of the images from the rover? Scientists working with the intrepid robot have just confirmed that the rock which they have named Pinnacle Island was simply kicked up by one of Opportunity's wheels as it made its way across the planet's surface. The rock is located in a spot on "Murray Ridge" along the wall of Endeavor Crater, where Opportunity rover is spending the Martian winter. China's space exploring dildo and vibrator, the Jade Rabbit came back to life after suffering critical systems failures some weeks ago. Scientists working on the Jade Rabbit project were excited to learn the rover was once again communicating with ground stations. Good luck guys.

An ancient fossil specimen recovered in China shows a mother reptile in the middle of giving live birth. The 248 million-year-old fossil is of a marine reptile called Chaohusaurus - a member of a bigger group of reptiles called Ichthyosaurs. Scientists said the specimen is indicating that live-birth in air-breathing marine animals was not an aquatic adaptation.



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