’Dramatic’ solar flare could disrupt Earth communications
2011 06 08

By Kerry Sheridan | YahooNews.com / AFP

An unusual solar flare observed by a NASA space observatory on Tuesday could cause some disruptions to satellite communications and power on Earth over the next day or so, officials said.


This 2006 Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) image shows a flare on the Sun. An unusual solar flare observed by a NASA space observatory on Tuesday could cause some disruptions to satellites, communications and power on Earth over the next day or so, officials said. An eruption of similar magnitude has not been witnessed since 2006. (AFP/SOHO/File)

The potent blast from the Sun unleashed a firestorm of radiation on a level not witnessed since 2006, and will likely lead to moderate geomagnetic storm activity by Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
"This one was rather dramatic," said Bill Murtagh, program coordinator at the NWS’s Space Weather Prediction Center, describing the M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare that peaked at 1:41 am Eastern time in the United States, or 0541 GMT.

"We saw the initial flare occurring and it wasn’t that big but then the eruption associated with it -- we got energy particle radiation flowing in and we got a big coronal mass injection," he said.

"You can see all the materials blasting up from the Sun so it is quite fantastic to look at."

NASA’s solar dynamics observatory, which launched last year and provided the high-definition pictures and video of the event, described it as "visually spectacular," but noted that since the eruption was not pointed directly at Earth, the effects were expected to remain "fairly small."
"The large cloud of particles mushroomed up and fell back down looking as if it covered an area of almost half the solar surface," said a NASA statement.

Murtagh said space weather analysts were watching closely to see whether the event would cause any collision of magnetic fields between the Sun and Earth, some 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) apart.
"Part of our job here is to monitor and determine whether it is Earth-directed because essentially that material that is blasting out is gas with magnetic field combined," he told AFP.

"In a day or so from now we are expecting some of that material to impact us here on Earth and create a geomagnetic storm," he said.
"We don’t expect it to be any kind of a real severe one but it could be kind of a moderate level storm."

The Space Weather Prediction Center said the event is "expected to cause G1 (minor) to G2 (moderate) levels of geomagnetic storm activity tomorrow, June 8, beginning around 1800 GMT."

Any geomagnetic storm activity will likely be over within 12-24 hours.
"The Solar Radiation Storm includes a significant contribution of high energy protons, the first such occurrence of an event of that type since December 2006," the NWS said.

As many as 12 satellites and spacecraft are monitoring the heliosphere, and one instrument in particular on board NASA’s lunar reconnaissance orbiter is measuring radiation and its effects.

"Certainly over the (two-year) lifetime of the mission this is the most significant event," said Harlan Spence, principal investigator for the cosmic ray telescope for the effects of radiation, or CRaTER.

"This is really exciting because ironically when we were developing the mission initially we thought we would be launching closer to a solar maximum when these big solar particle events typically occur," Spence told AFP.

"Instead we launched into a historic solar minimum that took a long, long time to wake up," he said.

"This is interesting and significant because it shows the Sun is returning to its more typical active state."

The resulting geomagnetic storm could cause some disruption in power grids, satellites that operate global positioning systems and other devices, and may lead to some rerouting of flights over the polar regions, Murtagh said.

"Generally it is not going to cause any big problems, it will just have to be managed," he said.

"If you fly from the United States to Asia, flying over the North Pole, there are well over a dozen flights every day," he added.
"During these big radiation storms some of these airlines will reroute the flights away from the polar regions for safety reasons to make sure they can maintain communications.

"People operating satellites would keep an eye on this, too, because geomagnetic storming can interfere with satellites in various ways whether it is the satellite itself or the signal coming down from the receiver."

The aurora borealis (Northern Lights) and aurora australis (Southern Lights) will also likely be visible in the late hours of June 8 or 9, NASA said.

Article from: news.yahoo.com


Video from: YouTube.com


Video from: YouTube.com



Related Articles
2011: Solar Max Could Spell Trouble - CMEs, emitting electromagnetic burts down satellites (Video)
Strange Emissions by Sun are Suddenly Mutating Matter
Sun Gone Wild: NASA Releases Highlight Reel of Solar Flares (Video)
Sun Montage - SOHO NASA Solar Flare (Video)
Sun Pelted by Icy Comet ’Storm’
The Sun Rose 2 Days Early in Greenland
Sun "Fireworks" Responsible for the Mass Killing of Birds?
Huge Magnetic Plasma ’Snake’ Spotted On the Sun
Japan "plans solar panels for all new buildings"
Piers Corbyn: Massive Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Were Triggered by Solar Action
Japan Earthquake And Tsunami Caused By "Solar Flare"


Latest News from our Front Page

Chess-playing computers may cause the robot apocalypse
2014 04 23
Sore-loser chess programs might be the end of us all... In the movie The Terminator, we heard the human side of the story of Judgment Day, with the machines getting smart and seeing us as a threat. It wasn’t until the sequel that we heard the tale from the machine’s point of view, as it chose to start World War III ...
Archeologists’ findings may prove Rome a century older than thought
2014 04 23
It is already known as the eternal city, and if new archeological findings prove correct Rome may turn out to be even more so than believed until now. Next week, the city will celebrate its official, 2,767th birthday. According to a tradition going back to classic times, the brothers Romulus and Remus founded the city on 21 April in the year ...
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
2014 04 23
A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. "I can’t speak for other MPs, but I’ve had many, many calls over the past eight years about chemtrails. And these questions are not so easy to answer," ...
Mystery of Bizarre Duck-Like Ocean Sound
2014 04 23
If it quacks like a duck... it’s not always a duck. Scientists have reportedly gotten to the bottom of the mysterious ’Bio-Duck’ sound in the Antarctic. Here’s a recording of the strange sound (it’s kind of a stretch to say it sounds like a duck, but who are we to second guess the biologists?). --- Mystery of Bizarre Duck-Like Ocean Sound Solved By Tanya Lewis ...
’Extreme’ Carbon Dioxide Reduction will be a Death Sentence for Humanity & Planet Earth
2014 04 23
If we allow a fraudulent pseudo-environmentalist cult to control every aspect of our lives then our children are doomed to a totalitarian existence which Stalin could only have dreamed of. “The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine ...
More News »