Skip to comments.Earth dodges geomagnetic storm: scientist (but we're not out of the 'line of fire' yet)
Posted on 02/17/2011 12:41:50 PM PST by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON (AFP) A wave of charged plasma particles from a huge solar eruption has glanced off the Earth's northern pole, lighting up auroras and disrupting some radio communications, a NASA scientist said.
But the Earth appears to have escaped a widespread geomagnetic storm, with the effects confined to the northern latitudes, possibly reaching down into Norway and Canada.
"There can be sporadic outages based on particular small-scale events," said Dean Persnell, project scientist at NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory at Goddard Space Flight Center.
He told AFP the official forecast is "for generally quiet conditions today, perhaps some minor storming tomorrow, but nothing extraordinary."
The event began Tuesday at 0156 GMT with a spectacular solar eruption in a sunspot the size of Jupiter that produced a Class X flash -- the most powerful of all solar events.
The eruption blasted a torrent of charged plasma particles called a coronal mass ejection (CME) toward Earth at about 560 miles per second (900 kilometers per second), the Solar Dynamics Observatory reported.
A direct hit from a CME could trigger a huge geomagnetic storm as incoming particles bounce off the Earth's geomagnetic field, blacking out radio communications, interfering with GPS navigational systems, in theory even causing power outages.
The China Meteorological Administration reported that the solar flare caused "sudden ionospheric disturbances" in the atmosphere above China and jammed shortwave radio communications in the southern part of the country.
Anticipating the worst, the US National Weather Service's Space Weather Prediction Service warned it was "the calm before the storm."
"Three CMEs are enroute, all a part of the Radio Blackout events on February 13, 14, and 15 (UTC). The last of the three seems to be the fastest and may catch both of the forerunners about mid to late ... February 17."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
A NASA image of an erupting solar flare (R). A powerful solar eruption that triggered a huge geomagnetic storm has disturbed radio communications and could disrupt electrical power grids, radio and satellite communication in the next days, NASA has said. (AFP/NASA/File)
A NASA satellite image shows a pair of active regions on the surface of the sun. A powerful solar eruption that triggered a huge geomagnetic storm has disturbed radio communications and could disrupt electrical power grids, radio and satellite communication in the next days, NASA has said. (AFP/NASA/File)
“...direct hit from a CME could trigger a huge geomagnetic storm as incoming particles bounce off the Earth’s geomagnetic field, blacking out radio communications, interfering with GPS navigational systems, in theory even causing power outages.”
1. Minorities and third world countries hardest hit.
2. It’s Bush’s fault!
3. Solar storms are caused by global warming.
4. Cheney is back at it again.
we are less than ants at the universe’s picnic.
They have a rating system for solar flares.
Maybe this would explain human spontaneous combustion are actually due to major solar flare activity. I’m sure it has been studied. If not, I’ll gladly do it for 5 million. :-]
Is there an address to which we can send money to help alleviate the pain and suffering ... or just help Algore pay his bills?
The potential threats are real, in this case. Geomagnetic storms aren’t being used as an excuse to close down businesses, ban light bulbs, raise taxes, etc. (as with “climate change”).
I know you meant this as a joke but these coming events can do a lot of damage to electronic equipment. First hit will be satellites.
nice thanks for the link.
Well, hopefully it’ll hit at night..................
5) If it wasn’t for Obama’s policies, the devastation would be even worse ... maybe epic!