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Powerful Solar Storm to Hit Earth by Wednesday
Space ^ | 1/18/05 | Robert Roy Britt

Posted on 01/18/2005 7:44:54 PM PST by freedom44

A huge sunspot kicked up a powerful flare Monday that could spark colorful sky lights above Earth Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

The flare was classified as X-3. All X-class flares are considered major, with the number indicated a degree of severity. Its radiation traveled at light-speed, arriving at Earth within minutes and, along the way, swamping a detector on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft, which monitors the Sun and its storms.

Along with the flare came a billowing cloud of charge particles known as a coronal mass ejection (CME). Traveling at millions of miles per hour, CMEs take anywhere from about 17 hours to two or three days to reach Earth.

Scientists expect this CME [animation] to arrive overnight Tuesday or sometime Wednesday.

Tricky forecast

The CME is likely to trigger the Northern Lights, also known as aurora. These waves and wisps of red, yellow and green are created when charged particles excite molecules in the upper atmosphere, causing them to glow.

People at high latitudes, including northern Europe and the northernmost United States, are likely to have a chance of spotting aurora, as they have on recent nights during an ongoing period of heightened solar activity.

Based on the latest analysis of the solar storm and conditions near Earth, it is doubtful much will be visible from more southerly locations such as Texas, said Kent Doggett, the forecaster on duty Tuesday at NOAA's Space Environment Center.

"It may not show up as a very strong shock, but will probably continue the level of magnetic activity we're already seeing," Doggett said in a telephone interview. "I expect minor to severe storms."

Doggett expects the cloud of charged particles to arrive early Wednesday Universal Time (UT), which translates to Tuesday night or perhaps during the predawn hours Wednesday in North America.

The tempest lifted off of a region of sunspots [image] catalogued as 720. Sunspots are cool regions of the Sun's surface that harbor pent-up magnetic energy. When unleashed like a popped cork, light, X-rays and charged particles are flung into space.

The sunspot group is rotating toward the limb of the Sun and could produce more major flares before it heads around to the back side in a few days.

During severe space storms, the aurora can sometimes be seen from middle latitudes, such as the lower United States and Europe. Scientists cannot accurately predict how far south the lights will dip in any given storm, however. The effect depends largely on how Earth's magnetic field is aligned as a storm arrives, among other factors.

"You have to be a little lucky" to see the aurora, said Joe Kunches, lead forecaster at the Space Environment Center.

Busy stretch

A previous CME that buffeted the planet late Monday into early Tuesday morning generated strong aurora for residents in Alaska and other parts of the far North.

Good displays were spotted also in Minnesota, and faint colorings were seen as far south as Maryland. A Chicago resident reported "a great show" even under the glare of bright city lights.

In general, the Sun is near a minimum of activity in a roughly 11-year cycle. But sunspots, flares and eruptions can occur anytime during the cycle, scientists have learned.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: callingartbell; soho; sunspot

1 posted on 01/18/2005 7:44:55 PM PST by freedom44
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To: freedom44

[The CME is likely to trigger the Northern Lights, also known as aurora. These waves and wisps of red, yellow and green are created when charged particles excite molecules in the upper atmosphere, causing them to glow.]

It's all George Bush's fault.


2 posted on 01/18/2005 7:48:12 PM PST by spinestein
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To: freedom44

Don't throw yer receivers and transceivers away. Its jus' ol' Sol belching at the environmentablists. Must be the solar warming due to too many SUVs and smokers here.


3 posted on 01/18/2005 7:49:20 PM PST by Leo Carpathian (Slava Ukraiini!)
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To: freedom44

Cool news!


4 posted on 01/18/2005 7:49:55 PM PST by Ciexyz (I use the term Blue Cities, not Blue States. PA is red except for Philly, Pgh & Erie)
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To: freedom44

Are we DOOMED?


5 posted on 01/18/2005 7:50:17 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: spinestein
Wow, talk about excesses. Now GWB has arranged for an Aurora Borealis as part of the extravagant inaugural ceremonies. :)
6 posted on 01/18/2005 7:51:27 PM PST by NonValueAdded ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" HRC 6/28/2004)
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To: freedom44

["It may not show up as a very strong shock, but will probably continue the level of magnetic activity we're already seeing," Doggett said in a telephone interview. "I expect minor to severe storms."]


Another reckless scientist goes out on a narrow limb.


7 posted on 01/18/2005 7:51:30 PM PST by spinestein (There is no beer in heaven. That is why we drink it here.)
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To: NonValueAdded

Good one.


8 posted on 01/18/2005 7:52:42 PM PST by spinestein (There is no beer in heaven. That is why we drink it here.)
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To: NonValueAdded

LOL!:)


9 posted on 01/18/2005 7:53:14 PM PST by Frank_2001
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To: freedom44

We should never forget the power of the sun, and who controls it. I enjoy sunbathing but there are limits to how much sun I can withstand.


10 posted on 01/18/2005 7:54:35 PM PST by Red Sea Swimmer (Tisha5765Bav)
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To: spinestein


It's global warming. Every natural phenomenon from now on is due to Global warming. The US is just evil!


11 posted on 01/18/2005 7:57:34 PM PST by LauraleeBraswell ("Hi, I'm Richard Gere and I'm speaking for the entire world. -Richard Gere)
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To: freedom44

More pix from nasa.gov

12 posted on 01/18/2005 8:00:21 PM PST by budman_2001
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To: freedom44
>Powerful Solar Storm to Hit Earth by Wednesday

GREAT!! Maybe it'll cause some global warming!

13 posted on 01/18/2005 8:06:17 PM PST by judywillow
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To: freedom44

Anybody know if it will be powerful enough to melt my wings?


14 posted on 01/18/2005 8:06:18 PM PST by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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To: Dog Gone

We're DOOMED - aieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


15 posted on 01/18/2005 8:08:25 PM PST by Enterprise ("Dance with the Devil by the Pale Moonlight" - Islam compels you!)
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To: freedom44

Any chance this phenomenon is what's currently affecting my Direct TV service?


16 posted on 01/18/2005 8:10:45 PM PST by F16Fighter
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To: freedom44
Solar X-rays:

Geomagnetic Field:
Status
Status
From n3kl.org


17 posted on 01/18/2005 8:15:18 PM PST by spodefly (Yo, homey ... Is that my briefcase?)
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To: thegreatbeast
Anybody know if it will be powerful enough to melt my wings?

Depends on how high you fly. ;^)

18 posted on 01/18/2005 8:15:45 PM PST by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: freedom44

Actually,

1) May have already hit

2) Appears to be somewhat of a dud


19 posted on 01/18/2005 8:17:33 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: LauraleeBraswell
It's global warming. Every natural phenomenon from now on is due to Global warming. The US is just evil!

But seriously, the skies falling and Bushitler and the neo-cons are to blame! Sign the Kyoto Protocol now and Allah will save you!

;o)

20 posted on 01/18/2005 8:19:06 PM PST by USF (I see your Jihad and raise you a Crusade )
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To: freedom44

good gravy, can't we turn out shields toward the sun? like star trek? (/s)


21 posted on 01/18/2005 8:21:09 PM PST by ken21 (4 as much time as u spend on the internet, u cd have several college degrees--daisy noonan)
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To: freedom44
ooohhhh...weeeee....oooohhhh!


22 posted on 01/18/2005 8:26:16 PM PST by vger (freeping since '97!)
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To: ken21
Sorry your puny shields will have no effect on this one!


23 posted on 01/18/2005 8:28:08 PM PST by vger (freeping since '97!)
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To: vger

uh, dude, that's a big one!


24 posted on 01/18/2005 8:31:11 PM PST by ken21 (4 as much time as u spend on the internet, u cd have several college degrees--daisy noonan)
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To: ken21

Sorry, I drained the converter assembly while using my electric razor this morning. Sorry. :-)


25 posted on 01/18/2005 8:33:56 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Half a league, half a league rode the MSM into the valley of obscurity)
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To: ken21

[good gravy, can't we turn out shields toward the sun? like star trek?]

YOU FOOL! That only works if you reverse the polarity of the flux capacitor!


26 posted on 01/18/2005 8:36:30 PM PST by spinestein (There is no beer in heaven. That is why we drink it here.)
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To: spinestein

It could simply be a glitch in the Matrix. We'll have to look at the environmental simulation subroutine.


27 posted on 01/18/2005 8:41:21 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Half a league, half a league rode the MSM into the valley of obscurity)
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To: freedom44
I definitely had to "DOOM" this post.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

28 posted on 01/18/2005 8:45:19 PM PST by WideGlide (That light at the end of the tunnel might be a muzzle flash.)
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To: F16Fighter

My Dish Network was kicked offline this morning. I called in for tech help. While I was waiting on hold the recording gave me the correct advice to unplug the powercord and plug it back in. They must have had a lot of calls to add that tip to the hold message. I hung up before the 10 minute wait for the techie. Must have been a big surge!


29 posted on 01/18/2005 8:55:47 PM PST by myprecious
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To: myprecious
Ten minutes? Not bad. At least you were able to through to Dish. Direct is a sob to get a hold of. Thanks for the advice -- tried that already though on BOTH TVs...

Since Sunday the Direct TV has been repeatedly kicked on and off, but according to the transponder test it's kicking on all cylinders.

30 posted on 01/18/2005 9:04:55 PM PST by F16Fighter
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To: WideGlide

31 posted on 01/18/2005 9:07:50 PM PST by timestax
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To: cogitator; commish; Davea; Dengar01; Diddle E. Squat; Jemian; _Jim; JOE6PAK; John H K; kayak; ...
Ping

( If you would like to be added to my Science Ping List, Please send a FReepmail.)

32 posted on 01/18/2005 9:11:25 PM PST by Barnacle (9.0 earthquake. Tsunami kills thousands. What did Bush know? And, when did he know it?)
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To: freedom44; All
The Sun has a Thousand Faces--- Thread 3
33 posted on 01/18/2005 10:40:25 PM PST by backhoe (-30-)
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To: F16Fighter
I have been having the same problem with Direct. I have called and called and finally got through. According to the lady that I talked to the problem is due to changes at Direct. The problem only is with certain brands of recievers. They are working on it and hope to have it fixed soon. If it gets too bad do a reset but that will only help for a little while.
34 posted on 01/19/2005 10:27:45 AM PST by HarryDog (A nose for news)
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To: HarryDog
Thank Harry...So it IS their problem?? Thought so.

I'd called Direct TV this morning and they tried to tell me the problem may be "loose connections." On BOTH TVs?? Idiots!

35 posted on 01/19/2005 10:58:50 AM PST by F16Fighter
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To: freedom44

I told you the sky was falling, but did you listen? No.


36 posted on 01/19/2005 11:11:26 AM PST by fish hawk
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To: freedom44

Sky has been clear for three days. Aurora is nothing special. It's there, but faint.


37 posted on 01/19/2005 12:14:44 PM PST by RightWhale (Please correct if cosmic balance requires.)
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