Huge solar flare jams radio, satellite signals: NASA
A powerful solar eruption that has already disturbed radio communications in China could disrupt electrical power grids and satellites used on Earth in the next days, NASA said.
The massive sunspot, which astronomers say is the size of Jupiter, is the strongest solar flare in four years, NASA said Wednesday.
The Class X flash -- the largest such category -- erupted at 0156 GMT Tuesday, according to the US space agency.
"X-class flares are the most powerful of all solar events that can trigger radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms," disturbing telecommunications and electric grids, NASA said.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory saw a large coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with the flash that is blasting toward Earth at about 560 miles per second (900 kilometers per second), it said.
The charged plasma particles were expected to reach the planet’s orbit at 0300 GMT Thursday.
A pair of active regions on the Sun put on quite a show over a three-day period, as seen in extreme ultraviolet light from the Solar Dynamic Observatory / AFP
The flare spread from Active Region 1158 in the sun’s southern hemisphere, which had so far lagged behind the northern hemisphere in flash activity. It followed several smaller flares in recent days.
"The calm before the storm," read a statement on the US National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Service.
"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."
Geomagnetic storms usually last 24 to 48 hours, "but some may last for many days," read a separate NWS statement.
"Ground to air, ship to shore, shortwave broadcast and amateur radio are vulnerable to disruption during geomagnetic storms. Navigation systems like GPS can also be adversely affected."
The China Meteorological Administration reported that the solar flare had jammed shortwave radio communications in southern China.
It said the flare caused "sudden ionospheric disturbances" in the atmosphere above China, and warned there was a high probability that large solar flares would appear over the next three days, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
In previous major disturbance of the Earth’s electric grid from a solar incident, in 1973, a magnetic storm caused by a solar eruption plunged six million people into darkness in Canada’s eastern-central Quebec province.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) said meanwhile that the solar storm would result in spectacular Northern Lights displays starting Thursday.
One coronal mass ejection (CME) arrived on February 14, "sparking Valentine’s Day displays of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) further south than usual."
"Two CMEs are expected to arrive in the next 24-48 hours and further... displays are possible some time over the next two nights if skies are clear," it said.
The office published geomagnetic records dating back to the Victorian era which it hopes will help in planning for future storms.
"Life increasingly depends on technologies that didn’t exist when the magnetic recordings began," said Alan Thomson, BGS head of geomagnetism.
"Studying the records will tell us what we have to plan and prepare for to make sure systems can resist solar storms," he said.
Article from: news.yahoo.com
A 2009 report by a panel of scientists assembled by NASA said that a sustained and powerful solar flare outbreak could overwhelm high-voltage transformers with electrical currents and short-circuit energy grids.
The report, titled "Severe Space Weather Events -- Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts" warned that such a catastrophic event could cost the United States alone up to two trillion dollars in repairs in the first year -- and it could take up to 10 years to fully recover.
(c) 2011 AFP
Earth Directed X2.2-Class Solar Flare and bright CME: Feb. 15th, 2011
Video from: YouTube.com
Also tune into:
Robert Felix - Magnetic Reversal and Evolutionary Leaps
Robert Felix - The Coming Ice Age
Paul A. LaViolette - Earth Under Fire, Galactic Superwaves & Subquantum Kinetics
Susan Joy Rennison - A New Cosmic Age, Space Weather & Cosmic Radiation
Gregory Sams - Sun of gOd, Is The Sun Conscious?
Alex Putney - Messages of Resonance Change in 2012, Betelgeuse & Modern Alchemy
Wallace Thornhill - The Electric Univers
Donald E. Scott - The Electric Sky
Solar Flare 2011: Solar Flare Brings Northern Lights
Is Class X flash first warning of 2012 solar storm?
Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps: The True Origin of Species
Obama NASA Funding Request Gets Hostile Reception from Congress
Latest News from our Front Page
CDC official called Obama 'Marxist,' 'amateur' over border surge...
Following the influx of illegal immigrant minors from Central America, an official at the federal agency charged with protecting public health describes Barack Obama as "the worst pres we have ever had," an â€œamateur" and "Marxist," according to internal emails obtained by Judicial Watch.
JW got the records as part of an investigation into the Center for Disease Controlâ€™s (CDC) activation ...
Obama Administration Likely to Block New Redskins Stadium
The Obama administration will likely block Washington, D.C., authorities from building a new stadium for the NFLâ€™s Washington Redskins because of objections to the teamâ€™s name.
The National Park Service (NPS) owns the land under the 54-year-old Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, a venue two miles east of the Capitol that hosted the Redskins from 1961 to 1996. Some city leaders ...
Safe spaces, white tears and getting kicked out of a women's group - by two men
Lately I've been kicked out of a couple of groups I belong to, for daring to question received wisdom or refusing to go along with the rules of identity politics.
For instance, I was thrown out my university women's group -- by two men! -- for questioning an article on Jezebel about "cultural appropriation."
They explained that the group was supposed to ...
Ghost rider in the sky: Scientists use lasers to project movie onto clouds
A green ghost rider appeared in the sky over the British city of Nottingham when scientists started testing a newly developed projecting device which allows the beaming of moving images directly onto clouds for the first time ever.
The image of a galloping horse rider was projected onto the clouds from a distance of 50 meters by a special laser-based projection ...
Chinaâ€™s stock market is crashing, and the Chinese are trying to do the exact same thing America did in 1929
â€˜While European attention is focused on Greece, China is having a serious market meltdown.
After exploding earlier in the year because of deregulation, Chinaâ€™s benchmark Shanghai Composite has collapsed a crazy 29% since the highs of early June. Chinaâ€™s other stock markets have had similarly steep falls.
Bloomberg notes that the crisis is closely mirroring the 1929 Wall Street crash, which led ...
|More News » |