Staring at the Sun

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Posted December 27, 2011 by Johnny2x in Science

One of my favorite new hobbies is to obsess over the idea that the sun will be killing us sooner than later. Maybe it is Hollywood that has me wanting this awesome end of days situation where a giant solar flare takes out our power grids and destroys satellites knocking us back to the stone age.

Imagine how crazy everyone would be, especially since they wouldn’t be able to post to facebook how crazy everyone is. I can see post like:

Joey Facebook User: Don’t you love how you go looting for food and run into a bunch of dummies looting TVs…there is no electric people!
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While Joey Facebook User is a dumbass, it’s not the most unrealistic thing that could happen to us. In fact there is a relatively large CME heading towards us right now.

from spaceweather.com:
CMEs TARGET EARTH, MARS:
The odds of a geomagnetic storm on Dec. 28th are improving with the launch of two CMEs toward Earth in less than 24 hours. NASA’s STEREO-B spacecraft photographed this one on Dec. 26th.

According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the cloud should squarely strike Earth’s magnetic field on Dec. 28th at 20:22 UT (+/- 7 hours). Another CME could deliver a glancing blow a few hours earlier on the same date. The double impact is expected to spark mild-to-moderate geomagnetic storms at high latitudes.
 

I don’t think anything like what happens is the movie Knowing would ever happen in our life time but if it was I do agree with the idea that we would never know about it. It would be kept a closely guarded secret until it is about to happen. Maybe I am giving the government to much credit in their secret keeping department.

The idea if a flare that could really send us into a blind panic with destroying satellite communications, causing catastrophic power failures, and just making it a pretty crappy day for everyone on the planet however is not crazy at all. On August 28th 1859 a storm was observed world-wide and is, historically, one of the greatest events recorded in the last 150 years.  Extensive eyewitness accounts and scientific studies, telegraph disturbances and the unique sighting of a spectacular solar flare make this event one of the most interesting solar storms to read about. It would take someone with a whole lot more knowledge than me to tell you how a flare like this would effect us today and I am sure comparisons are out there…go find them yourself.

Or watch a really cool video by Tv on the Radio

(some info taken from http://www.solarstorms.org/SRefStorms.html)

 

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About the Author

Johnny2x

John created the HowsYourRobot.com just because he cares about each and everyone of you. He likes science, technology, movies, and music. He also likes long walks in the park but only at night and in most dangerous park he can find AND he discovered the internet while playing in his back yard as a child. Some of this is true and some of it is not.

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