Monday, January 23, 2012

Solar storms lighting up the skies

A second sunburst this week will affect earth. A coronal mass ejection left the sun on January 19 arrived at earth on January 22. It was a M3 class flare. The Spaceweather.com explanation of the diferent levels of flares, "X-class flares are big; they are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. M-class flares are medium-sized; they can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth's polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare. Compared to X- and M-class events, C-class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth." Each category ranges from 1-9. So an M3 is medium sized but on the lower end of the intensity scale.

"The coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 22nd. According to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the impact strongly compressed Earth's magnetic field and briefly exposed satellites in geosynchronous orbit to solar wind plasma. Shifting lines of magnetic force induced strong ground currents in Norway and sparked bright auroras over the upper reaches of North America." (source)

It isn't an angel but it reminds me of one! How pretty!

An M3 is a good size but an even bigger ejection occurred a few days later. A M9, on the threshold of the largest kind of flare, was ejected. "This morning, Jan. 23rd around 0359 UT, big sunspot 1402 erupted, producing a long-duration M9-class solar flare. The explosion's M9-ranking puts it on the threshold of being an X-flare, the most powerful kind. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the flare's extreme ultraviolet flash:"


Discovery.com put it like this:
"You may not know it, but there's an epic magnetic battle between the sun and Earth raging over our heads. On Friday, the sun hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) at our planet that sparked a strong geomagnetic storm and beautiful aurorae at high latitudes on Sunday. Late last night (EST), the sun unleashed yet another CME... and it's heading our way. A particularly angry-looking sunspot (1402) on the solar surface erupted with a strong, long-duration M9-class flare Sunday night at around 11 p.m. EST. "M" stands for "medium," but the explosive energy was just shy of an X-class solar flare -- the strongest kind of flare the sun can produce. Now that yet another CME is approaching, even more spectacular auroral activity can be expected for the next few nights. We are currently undergoing the largest solar radiation storm since 2005."

It is such a big storm, that NASA advised rerouting jets. "As a rare precaution, polar flights on Earth are expected to be re-routed, Kathy Sullivan, deputy administrator of NOAA, said today at a Meteorological Society meeting in New Orleans, La., according to Space.com."

The sun is getting active. As it does, keep looking up. "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea." (Luke 21:25.)

"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." (Mark 13:28-31)

7 comments:

  1. I have heard that a big enough solar flare could knock out our power grid much like an EMP attack. Not only that, but destroy a lot of our electronics.

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  2. Hi Ken,

    Yes, a large solar storm, say an X-5 flare or larger, if it is earth directed, could impact us in many ways. This current storm according to Spaceweather.com, will "cause isolated reboots of computers onboard Earth-orbiting satellites and interfere with polar radio communications"

    NASA also issued the warning to reroute some polar flights, also. Larger ones would do the same, except that it wouldn't only affect communications at the poles, but all over the earth, not just at the poles or the northern latitudes.

    The two CME's that arrived this week were earth-directed but glancing blows. If either of these were more direct, we would see worse effects along the same lines. "On March 9, 1989, the sun spat a million-mile-wide blast of high-temperature charged solar gas straight at the Earth. The "coronal mass ejection" struck the planet three days later, triggering a geomagnetic storm that made the northern lights visible in Texas. The storm also induced currents in Quebec's power grid that knocked out power for 6 million people in Canada and the USA for at least nine hours."

    read more here about how a CME could act like an EMP
    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2010-10-26-emp_N.htm

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  3. the solar flare eruption ocurred at sun"s northeasternhemisphere may cause severe damage to powergrid systems and disruptions to satellites and communixcation systems. I astonished while observing the images in net.More cme alerts are necessary .

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  4. Unfortunately I think scientists will have to come up with another class of flares as time goes by. That aurora is beautiful and how they are created points to the unfathomable brilliance of our Creator! Chance wishes it could create anything close to that! Also I read some comments in another post earlier of
    how CME's might cause more earthquakes and looking at the seemingly sudden rise in mag 5-6 earthquakes it might be true. I haven't had time to check USGS log yet but maybe someone else has.

    - Debbie

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  5. I remember that March 9, 1989 blast very well. Not for the damage it did, but for the beauty of the aurora! The skies east of Colorado Springs were pink most of the night, with curtains of pale green, pale blue and brilliant pink appearing often and waving high above our heads. My children and I watched them off and on all night even though the kids were school aged.

    These CMEs have been happening since God created the heavens and the earth. The only "bad" thing about them now is that we are too technologically dependent. As my old great aunt used to say: we've gotten too smart for our britches. If we know one is coming, seems like the authorities should be able to shut down some things before it hits, saving them from being damaged or destroyed. I doubt that would happen, though. I've read that we should be careful and unplug electric items the morning the CME is supposed to arrive, that that action will save electrical appliances (computers, clocks, toasters, etc) because it is the power surge that accompanies the CME, or IS the CME, that destroys things.

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  6. Do a search for "world wide strange noises." It seems like this all just started happening- here is one news article:

    http://www.valleynewslive.com/story/16598201/what-are-the-strange-sounds-being-heard-worldwide

    Interesting-- it seems things are starting to happen more rapidly.

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  7. Millions of tons per second !!
    http://www.live-counter.com/sun/

    enough for super sun storm :)

    ReplyDelete

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