Policy makers in the U.S. need to get serious about the threat posed by solar storms. So says Dr. Daniel Baker, a University of Colorado solar scientist with significant expertise in sun storms — like the huge one the sun fired off in July 2012.
“My space weather colleagues believe that until we have an event that slams Earth and causes complete mayhem, policy makers are not going to pay attention,” Baker, director of the university’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, said in a written statement. “The message we are trying to convey is that we made direct measurements of the 2012 event and saw the full consequences without going through a direct hit on our planet.”
The high-energy particles liberated by a major flare could disrupt transportation, communication, and financial systems in addition to limiting the availability of food, medications, and drinking water, according to a 2008 National Resource Council report, which Baker co-authored.
Baker isn’t alone in his concern over the risk posed by solar storms. A 2013 report from the Royal Academy of Engineering in London called for the creation of a space weather board to help plan for a solar superstorm. It also called for a system to Read more…
A solar flare drowned out radio communications on Earth on February 2. The relatively “tiny” sun spot erupted into a moderately sized Class-C coronal mass ejection. The sound of the waves created by the solar flare cloaked radio waves between 28MHz and 21.1 MHz.
The voices going across the impacted radio signals appeared to be “swallowed” by the solar flare, Wired notes. NASA JOVE project radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft noted how interesting the sound was as the wave from the coronal mass ejection (CME) rolled through.
MessageToEagle.com – Coronal cavities are voids in coronal emission often observed above high latitude filament channels.
Sometimes, these cavities have areas of bright X-ray emission in their centers.
Now, NASA scientists focus on this mysterious phenomenon because it seems to be strongly related to dangerous coronal mass ejections (CMEs).
And CMEs, scientists have to worry about.
Click on image to enlargeThe faint oval hovering above the upper left limb of the sun in this picture is known as a coronal cavity. NASA’s Solar and Read more…
BIG SUNSPOT: One of the largest sunspot groups in years rotated over the sun’s northeastern limb this weekend. With a least four dark cores larger than Earth, AR1476 sprawls more than 100,000 km from end to end, and makes an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. Amateur astronomer Alan Friedman sends this picture of the behemoth from his backyard in Buffalo, NY: “AR1476 is firecrackler,” says Friedman. Indeed, the active region is crackling with impulsive M-class solar flares. Based on the sunspot’s complex ‘beta-gamma’ magnetic field, NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of Read more…
Jim Waymer | FLORIDA TODAY
This visually spectacular explosion occurred Monday on the sun’s Northeastern limb, seen at left, and was not directed at Earth. Emergency management officials want to prepare should one ever threaten Earth. / NASA
INDIALANTIC — Atomic particles explode off the sun’s surface, with the force of millions of hydrogen bombs, clobber Earth’s magnetic field in less than a day and black out the electric grid for days or longer.
Such a solar “super storm” happened in 1859. Called the Carrington Event, solar wind smacked the Earth within 18 hours, though the trip usually takes four days. Auroras lit the night sky as far south as Cuba, and in Boston and London, people read the newspaper under the nighttime glow.
A similar event now could cause $2 trillion in damage to Read more…
WASHINGTON (AP) — The largest solar flare in five years is racing toward Earth, threatening to unleash a torrent of charged particles that could disrupt power grids, GPS and airplane flights.
The sun erupted Tuesday evening, and the effects should start smacking Earth around 7 a.m. EST Thursday, according to forecasters at the federal government’s Space Weather Prediction Center. They say the flare is growing as it speeds outward from the sun.
“It’s hitting us right in the nose,” said Joe Kunches, a scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He called it the sun’s version of “Super Read more…
Senior space agency scientists believe that the super storm would hit like ‘a bolt of lightning’ and damage everything from emergency services’ systems, hospital equipment, banking systems and air traffic control devices, through to “everyday” items such as home computers, iPods and Sat Navs.
And unless precautions are taken, it could cause catastrophic consequences for the world’s health, emergency services and national security.
“We know it is coming but we don’t know how bad it is going to be,” Dr Richard Fisher, the director of NASA’s Heliophysics division, said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.
He, however, said that preparations were similar to those in a hurricane season, where authorities knew a problem was imminent but did not know how serious it would be.
“I think the issue is now that modern society is so dependant on Read more…