?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

The Sun exploded late Sunday, January 22, with a massive flare, an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection, and a burst of fast-moving, highly energetic protons. The latter has caused the strongest solar radiation storm since September 2005 according to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

NASA models predict that the CME is moving at almost 1,400 miles per second, and are right now pummeling Earth's protective magnetosphere. This has the potential to provide lovely auroral displays, possibly at lower latitudes than normal... and HORRIBLE DOOOOM! Well, it is a threat to satellites, the Space Station, and so forth. Check it out:



That flash you see in the blue portion is many dozens of times the size of Earth; the eruption you see in the red is... well, larger than the Sun. They're not the biggest ones ever or anything like that, but the exciting part of this event is that the ejection is pointed at us.

We've never endured a period of high solar activity with today's level of dependence upon communication technology, so it'll be interesting to see how this affects communications.

Chris

Tags:

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
clevermanka
Jan. 24th, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
We've never endured a period of high solar activity with today's level of dependence upon communication technology, so it'll be interesting to see how this affects communications.

Well thank god Mercury isn't in retrograde at the same time.
mckitterick
Jan. 25th, 2012 02:29 am (UTC)
*whew*
carmy_w
Jan. 24th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
Hmmmmm.

How fast do flares affect the earth, do you know? As in, what is the time frame for the effects to reach earth?


Reason I'm asking is that my cell phone internet was down all evening yesterday. It finally came back up this a.m.
mckitterick
Jan. 25th, 2012 02:30 am (UTC)
Well, the radiation part is immediate, and the CME rockets at us at... well, something like a million miles per hour. Yesterday evening and much of today, anything that goes polar would have been shut down, and I heard that much of Asia was suffering issues then. So, sure, that was probably it!
carmy_w
Jan. 25th, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
I wondered; I figured it was at least as fast as the speed of light.

And speaking of light: this makes me wonder if we had hella strong northern lights shows, also....
mckitterick
Jan. 25th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
We did! And I'm in the midst of making a post right now....
siro_gravity
Jan. 25th, 2012 03:59 am (UTC)
gee, one of the folks on my f-list posted northern lights pix...i wonder if that was somehow related to this solar storm.

so does this kind of thing cause any bodily harm? or just a disruption in satelites? that video is just beautiful, though!
mckitterick
Jan. 25th, 2012 05:54 pm (UTC)
Absolutely! Up where you live, if you had clear skies, I bet you might have even seen a little of it. The Northern Lights come from solar activity whacking our magnetosphere and being channeled in among the upper atmosphere through our magnetic poles.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )