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  1. #1

    Default Biggest solar storm in years nears Earth, may disrupt power

    Biggest solar storm in years nears Earth, may disrupt power

    WASHINGTON – 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 solar storm is likely to last through Friday morning, but the region that erupted can still send more blasts our way, Kunches said. He said another set of active sunspots is ready to aim at Earth right after this.

    But for now, scientists are waiting to see what happens Thursday when the charged particles hit Earth at 4 million mph.

    NASA solar physicist Alex Young added, "It could give us a bit of a jolt." But he said this is far from a super solar storm.

    The storm is coming after an earlier and weaker solar eruption happened Sunday, Kunches said. This newer blast of particles will probably arrive slightly later than forecasters first thought.

    That means for North America the "good" part of a solar storm — the one that creates more noticeable auroras or Northern Lights— will peak Thursday evening. Auroras could dip as far south as the Great Lakes states or lower, Kunches said, but a full moon will make them harder to see.

    Auroras are "probably the treat we get when the sun erupts," Kunches said.
    But there is the potential for widespread problems. Solar storms have three ways they can disrupt technology on Earth: with magnetic, radio and radiation emissions. This is an unusual situation when all three types of solar storm disruptions are likely to be strong, Kunches said.

    That means "a whole host of things" could follow, he said.

    The magnetic part of the storm has the potential to trip electrical power grids. Kunches said power companies around the Earth have been alerted for possible outages. The timing and speed of the storm determines whether it will knock off power grids, he said.

    In 1989, a strong solar storm knocked out the power grid in Quebec, causing 6 million people to lose power.

    Solar storms can also make global positioning systems less accurate, which is mostly a problem for precision drilling and other technologies, Kunches said. There also could be GPS outages.

    The storm also can cause communication problems and added radiation around the north and south poles, which will probably force airlines to reroute flights. Some already have done so, Kunches said.

    Satellites could be affected by the storm, too. NASA spokesman Rob Navias said the space agency isn't taking any extra precautions to protect astronauts on the International Space Station from added radiation from the solar storm.
    --Just sensationalizing or will there be any interesting events/effects?
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  2. #2
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    I was watching a programme about solar storms last night. Apparently the last big flare was in October 2003 not that i remember anything significant happening. Didn't something happen more recently than 1989 in Canada with regards to solar storms/flares? Hmmm

    I think it would be cool to work for the NOAA.
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

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    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    I noticed two street lamps out earlier this evening, that count?


    UPDATE

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46664100...e#.T1lG_HlUGSp
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

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    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saslou View Post
    I was watching a programme about solar storms last night. Apparently the last big flare was in October 2003 not that i remember anything significant happening. Didn't something happen more recently than 1989 in Canada with regards to solar storms/flares? Hmmm

    I think it would be cool to work for the NOAA.
    I remember what happened. We could see the aurora all the way here in Georgia, and...that was all I noticed. There might have been a couple of satellites that needed to be replaced and a number that malfunctioned during the storm, but that's it.

    I don't know where they're getting this doomsday bullshit from. We're not going to notice anything major on the surface, and if we do, it would probably only be for no more than half a second.
    "I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

    Robert Frost

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    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Didnt see any northern lights
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    Didnt see any northern lights
    Me either, only northern lights i have seen are of the weed variety in Dam. Not even close.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

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    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelenOfTroy View Post
    Me either, only northern lights i have seen are of the weed variety in Dam. Not even close.
    I only saw some once when i was a kid, would had been nice to see them again, but they are hard to see this south, especially with all the light pollution . I have seen the same thing you saw in dam few times, but its boring compared to the real thing, or other strains of the same thing
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    The first and only time I viewed the Northern Lights I heard a constant hissing sound the whole time.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal12345 View Post
    The first and only time I viewed the Northern Lights I heard a constant hissing sound the whole time.
    Was there an angry snake next to your ear?
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

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    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelenOfTroy View Post
    Was there an angry snake next to your ear?
    No, but 30 years after the fact, I googled for the cause and found out why it sounded like that.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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