– Just In: US gov’t issues highest level warning for geomagnetic storm currently impacting Earth — Potential to reach ‘Extreme’ category on NOAA scale; “Complete collapse” of grid systems possible (ENENews, Sep 13, 2014):
Gov’t Expert: “There’s been a giant magnetic explosion on sun… it’s pointed right at us” — CBC: “One of biggest possible” solar flares — NOAA: Coronal mass ejections arrived; Strong G3 level storm to hit Saturday — TV: Largest nuclear operator in US “prepared to take action… to protect our systems” (VIDEO)
– Gov’t Expert: “There’s been a giant magnetic explosion on sun… it’s pointed right at us” — CBC: “One of biggest possible” solar flares — NOAA: Coronal mass ejections arrived; Strong G3 level storm to hit Saturday — TV: Largest nuclear operator in US “prepared to take action… to protect our systems” (VIDEO) (ENENews, Sep 12, 2014):
Bloomberg, Sept. 12, 2014 (emphasis added): Solar Storms Sending Biggest Threats to Earth Today and Tomorrow — Airlines have rerouted some flights and global positioning system and radio transmissions may be degraded through tomorrow as two solar eruptions strike Earth and affect its magnetic field… When the ejections reach Earth, they will touch off geomagnetic storms that are forecast to last at least until tomorrow… Earth should be spared the most crippling impacts of these kinds of events, which can include disruptions to electric grids… what worries scientists [and] electric grid operators… is that they can get big and cause severe problems.
WFLA, Sept. 11, 2014: Two giant solar flares head to earth — Scientists warn two solar flares heading our way are some of the biggest seen in several years… A spokesman with Duke Energy [largest regulated US nuclear power company] tells us – “We are prepared to take action if needed, to protect our systems.” Continue reading »
– Power companies prepare as solar storms set to hit Earth (Reuters. Aug 6, 2011):
Three large explosions from the Sun over the past few days have prompted U.S. government scientists to caution users of satellite, telecommunications and electric equipment to prepare for possible disruptions over the next few days.
“The magnetic storm that is soon to develop probably will be in the moderate to strong level,” said Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist at the Space Weather Prediction Center, a division of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
He said solar storms this week could affect communications and global positioning system (GPS) satellites and might even produce an aurora visible as far south as Minnesota and Wisconsin.
An aurora, called aurora borealis or the northern lights in northern latitudes, is a natural light display in the sky in the Arctic and Antarctic regions caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere.
– Solar Storms Could Debilitate Earth this Decade: NOAA (International Business Times, August 6, 2011):
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a federal agency that focuses on the condition of the oceans and atmosphere, said that a severe solar storm could cause global chaos, debilitating satellite communications and taking down the most important global power grids.
The NOAA predicted four extreme solar emissions which could threaten the planet this decade. Similarly, NASA warned that a peak in the sun’s magnetic energy cycle and the number of sun spots or flares around 2013 could enable extremely high radiation levels.
Government studies revealed that extreme solar flare emissions could cause blackouts, possibly for years, in large portions of the U.S.
This type of storm could also induce geomagnetic currents that could debilitate transformers on the power grid. Electric power would be out for years or even decades.
Washington, Feb 20 (IANS) A powerful solar flare has triggered the largest space weather storm in four years, disrupting some ground communications on earth.
Classified as a Class X flare, the Feb 15 event also spewed billions of tons of charged particles, igniting a geomagnetic storm in the Earth’s magnetic field, said Daniel Baker, director of University of Colorado-Boulder’s Lab for Space Physics.
Such powerful ejections can disrupt airline navigation systems and power grids to the safety of airline crews and astronauts, according to a Colorado statement.
– Space storms threaten technology (BBC News)
Thomas Bogdan, the director of the Space Weather Prediction Centre at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), said global positions systems, satellite delivered systems and the power grid are all at risk from solar flares.
– US Must Take Space Storm Threat Seriously, Experts Warn (Space.com):
WASHINGTON — Space weather could pose serious problems here on Earth in the coming years, the chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Saturday (Feb. 19).
– Scientists warn of $2000bn solar ‘Katrina’ (Financial Times)
The sun is waking up from a long quiet spell. Last week it sent out the strongest flare for four years – and scientists are warning that earth should prepare for an intense electromagnetic storm that, in the worst case, could be a “global Katrina” costing the world economy $2,000bn.
Senior officials responsible for policy on solar storms – also known as space weather – in the US, UK and Sweden urged more preparedness at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.
“We have to take the issue of space weather seriously,” said Sir John Beddington, UK chief scientist. “The sun is coming out of a quiet period, and our vulnerability has increased since the last solar maximum [around 2000].”
“Predict and prepare should be the watchwords,” agreed Jane Lubchenco, head of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “So much more of our technology is vulnerable than it was 10 years ago.”
– Vast Solar Eruption Shocks NASA and Raises Doubts on Sun Theory (Suite 101, Jan 3, 2011):
NASA reports an entire hemisphere of the sun has erupted. The U.S. space agency now admits the cataclysm puts existing solar theories in doubt.
We are forever being told that the sun is a vast gas ball of hydrogen and helium at the center of our solar system. But new evidence may help prove this isn’t the case after all, according to solar experts who say the sun has an iron core.
A stunned NASA admits, “Astronomers knew they had witnessed something big. It was so big, it may have shattered old ideas about solar activity.”
A spectacular Northern Lights display has been photographed over the skies of northern Europe, after Nasa scientists reported a powerful space storm buffeting Earth.
(Click on image to enlarge!) Experts said stargazers could expect to see another spectacular display on Thursday night as the solar wind stream continued to hit Earth’s magnetic field Photo: ØYSTEIN LUNDE INGVALDSE/ SPACESTORIES.COM
The stunning auroras, witnessed on Wednesday night, are the first of the season following the area’s light summer nights.
The displays were created from bursts of activity on the Sun earlier this week.
The subsequent magnetic activity, above a sunspot numbered 1105, produced an explosive flare that was recorded by Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.
The flare then sent a stream of charged particles racing towards Earth at 250 miles per second.
After the sunspot rotated away from Earth, the explosive region erupted once more, creating a second solar flare, a fantastic prominence that sent a coronal mass ejection into space.
Nasa said because the Sun had already rotated the flares the flares did not pose any threat to the Earth. Images taken by the space agency show the prominence flaring from the sun.
The auroral lights’ colours were created through a series of reactions between atoms and molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere.
The green colours stem from oxygen molecules while the more unusual purple colour is derived from molecular nitrogen.
Experts said stargazers could expect to see another spectacular display on Thursday night as the solar wind stream continued to hit Earth’s magnetic field.
Another series of spectacular auroras were witnessed by photographer by (MUST SEE!) Øystein Lunde Ingvaldsen, a Norwegian musician.
- Sun ramping up for Solar Max
- First Max event since mid-80s
- US studies effects of ‘digital bomb’
- ISS search for dark matter, anti-universe
AFTER 10 years of comparative slumber, the sun is waking up – and it’s got astronomers on full alert.
This week several US media outlets reported that NASA was warning the massive flare that caused spectacular light shows on Earth earlier this month was just a precursor to a massive solar storm building that had the potential to wipe out the entire planet’s power grid.
NASA has since rebutted those reports, saying it could come “100 years away or just 100 days”, but an Australian astronomer says the space community is betting on the sooner scenario rather than the latter.
Despite its rebuttal, NASA’s been watching out for this storm since 2006 and reports from the US this week claim the storms could hit on that most Hollywood of disaster dates – 2012.
Similar storms back in 1859 and 1921 caused worldwide chaos, wiping out telegraph wires on a massive scale.
The 2012 storm has the potential to be even more disruptive.
“The general consensus among general astronomers (and certainly solar astronomers) is that this coming Solar maximum (2012 but possibly later into 2013) will be the most violent in 100 years,” astronomy lecturer and columnist Dave Reneke said.
“A bold statement and one taken seriously by those it will affect most, namely airline companies, communications companies and anyone working with modern GPS systems.
“They can even trip circuit breakers and knock out orbiting satellites, as has already been done this year.”
Regardless, the point astronomers are making is it doesn’t matter if the next Solar Max isn’t the worst in history, or even as bad as the 1859 storms.
It’s the fact that there hasn’t been one since the mid-80s. Commodore had just launched the Amiga and the only digital storm making the news was Tetris.
No one really knows what effect the 2012-2013 Solar Max will have on today’s digital-reliant society.
Dr Richard Fisher, director of NASA’s Heliophysics division, told Mr Reneke the super storm would hit like “a bolt of lightning”, causing catastrophic consequences for the world’s health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken.
US government officials earlier this year took part in a “tabletop exercise” in Boulder, Colorado, to map out what might happen if the Earth was hit with a storm as intense as the 1859 and 1921 storms.
The 1859 storm was of a similar size to that predicted by NASA to hit within the next three years – one of decreased activity, but more powerful eruptions.
NASA said that a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause “$1 to 2 trillion in damages to society’s high-tech infrastructure and require four to 10 years for complete recovery”.
Staff at the Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado, which hosted the exercise, said with our reliance on satellite technology, such an event could hit the Earth with the magnitude of a global hurricane or earthquake.
The reason for the concern comes as the sun enters a phase known as Solar Cycle 24.
All the alarming news building around the event is being fuelled by two things.
The first is a book by disaster expert Lawrence E. Joseph, Guilty of Apocalypse: The Case Against 2012, in which he claims the “Hurricane Katrina for the Earth” may cause unprecedented planetwide upheaval.
The second is a theory that claims sunspots travel through the sun on a “conveyor belt” similar to the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt which controls weather on Earth.
The belt carries magnetic fields through the sun. When they hit the surface, they explode as sunspots.
Weakened, they then travel back through the sun’s core to recharge.
It all happens on a rough 40-50-year cycle, according to solar physicist David Hathaway of the National Space Science and Technology Center in the US.
He says when the belt speeds up, lots of magnetic fields are collected, which points to more intense future activity.
“The belt was turning fast in 1986-1996,” Prof Hathaway said.
“Old magnetic fields swept up then should reappear as big sunspots in 2010-2011.”
Most experts agree, although those who put the date of Solar Max in 2012 are getting the most press.
They claim satellites will be aged by 50 years, rendering GPS even more useless than ever, and the blast will have the equivalent energy of 100 million hydrogen bombs.
“We know it is coming but we don’t know how bad it is going to be,” Dr Fisher told Mr Reneke in the most recent issue of Australasian Science.
“Systems will just not work. The flares change the magnetic field on the Earth and it’s rapid, just like a lightning bolt.
“That’s the solar effect.”
By Peter Farquhar, Technology Editor
August 25, 2010 3:40PM
“The race is on for better forecasting abilities, as the next peak in solar activity is expected to come around 2012.” …and this event will be much, much more serious than you will ever be told.
The elite knows what is coming and prepares for it:
– ‘Doomsday’ seed vault opens in Arctic
– Investors Behind Doomsday Seed Vault May Provide Clues to Its Purpose (Part 2)
– African seed collection first to arrive in Norway on route to Arctic seed vault
The elite has built for themselves huge underground shelters, even cities. (Do some research.)
Now you know where all that money went that the government cannot account for.
Has the government also been preparing for the people? No, they are disposable.
A new study from the National Academy of Sciences outlines grim possibilities on Earth for a worst-case scenario solar storm.
Damage to power grids and other communications systems could be catastrophic, the scientists conclude, with effects leading to a potential loss of governmental control of the situation.
The prediction is based in part on a major solar storm in 1859 that caused telegraph wires to short out in the United States and Europe, igniting widespread fires.
It was perhaps the worst in the past 200 years, according to the new study, and with the advent of modern power grids and satellites, much more is at risk.
“A contemporary repetition of the  event would cause significantly more extensive (and possibly catastrophic) social and economic disruptions,” the researchers conclude.
‘Command and control might be lost’