More solar flare stuff in the news. I don't know if it's always been this way or we just now hear about it a lot nowadays.
I'm not familiar with the Toronto Sun, so I wanted to check with a couple of other sites. SpaceWeather.com is a pretty decent site focusing mainly on "space things" (not UFO stuff) and is mentioning it.
Also a projection graphic predicting when this "hits" the earth from the Goddard Space Weather Lab.
Solar flare could wreak havoc on Earth
Survivalists are watching the sky, wondering if doom will come from above.
They aren't just worried about an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, they are concerned that the sun could suddenly cause the end of the world as we know it.
"It's one of the biggest natural disaster threats to the developed world," said John Kappenman, an electrical engineer who specializes in solar storms and the impact they would have on the Earth.
"We've been doing nothing in regards to understanding the true severity of these storms, in fact, we are just building bigger and bigger antennae that makes us more closely coupled with severe space weather events."
Space weather emanating from the Sun affects humans all of the time, we just don't notice it unless it disrupts our smartphones or puts on a pretty northern lights show.
Experts warn though that at some point in the future an eruption of radiation and energy from the sun will be so massive, when hits the Earth it could send modern civilization into a long and deadly electrical blackout by frying all of the interconnected power grids.
"If you lose electricity you lose the ability to pump and create clean water, treat and pump sewage, to maintain any perishable foods, all perishable medications, and you lose the ability to manufacture new things, like replacement parts for the things that were damaged," Kappenman warns. "The phone and Internet systems are only backed up by a few days worth of standby generation with very limited fuel.
"The ability to pump fuel is lost, the ability to produce new fuel is lost. Transportation systems would be severely compromised, if not totally lost. It's something we really don't want to experience on a wide scale."
The Japanese nuclear plants at Fukishima melted down because the backup generators were swamped by tsunami water, but experts warn that a similar thing could happen in Canada and the U.S. during a massive grid failure.
The U.S. federal regulatory and nuclear regulatory commission are considering new rules.
"We have some fuel on hand for cooling the reactor cores and the spent fuel pools, but they require much more backup fuel than what they have on hand. Right now they only have to have seven days worth of fuel, that is not nearly enough," Kappenman said.
He says the impact of a solar superstorm would be very similar to an EMP attack and it's best to prepare in the same way.
Many preppers are bracing for an EMP attack on the U.S., thinking that a lone nuclear weapon detonated high in the atmosphere by an enemy state would short-circuit everything electronic from power grids to toasters to cars to planes.
Many are preparing by forming alliances and stocking up on food, water, medicine, manual tools, older cars and ammo. They are also urging the government to protect the grid.
The U.S. Congress passed a bill in June 2010 to protect the power grid and nuclear power plants, which could melt down in the event of a prolonged blackout, but it was never passed by the Senate in time and died before it could come into effect.
With the lack of protection from the state, Arthur Bradley says it's smart to prepare for yourself.
"Individuals need to really think about food, water, shelter, off-grid power and medications because if a very large storm does hit, the power could be off for weeks or months, many in the United States have had a small taste of this with the recent blackout and heat. Imagine it lasting much much longer," said Bradley, an electrical engineer and author of the book, Disaster Preparedness for EMP attacks and Solar Storms.
"If everybody in the nation, both in the U.S.A. and Canada were prepared for an emergency that lasted 30 days, they could provide their own food, water, medicines, their own needs, we would be so strong, no small event would upset our countries, but in reality most people have four or five days worth of food in the house, no stored water they have very few provisions for any kind of emergency."
Otherwise, he says, you could wind up like the Hurricane Katrina victims, a refugee in your own city, at the mercy of the state.
"If you have no preparation, no way to feed your kids, you have no choice. If you have nothing you are going to head down to the Astrodome or whatever is there, hoping someone can take care of you because that's all there is."
- Solar flares are quick bursts of powerful radiation caused when the sun's magnetic loops snap together, putting out high-energy photons that leap out into space, sometimes, colliding with planets, including Earth.
- Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are blasts of magnetized plasma travelling at millions of kilometres per hour out of the sun. Both can have devastating results.
- In 1859, a solar superstorm happened when a massive blast of plasma burst from the sun and hurtled towards Earth. It was observed by sky-watcher Richard C. Carrington and has since been known as the Carrington event. Electricity was only in its infancy then and one of the only noticeable changes after the storm was to the telegraph service. When the radiation hit the telegraph conductors, they overloaded them with so much energy that operators could unplug their batteries and "go wireless" off of the sun's charge.
- In 2003 a solar flare struck a glancing blow to our planet, grazing Sweden and taking out the power system in the city of Malmo.
- In 1989, Hydro Quebec's power grid was blacked out by a solar storm much more mild than the Carrington Event. Electricity was out for more than nine hours and it cost millions of dollars to repair.
- Preparing: for urbanites in an emergency, Arthur Bradley recommends a battery inverter over a large gasoline generator. Battery inverters can be attached to lead acid car batteries to charge small appliances, converting DC voltage into AC voltage.
Solar flare could wreak havoc on Earth | Home | Toronto Sun
X-FLARE! Big sunspot AR1520 unleashed an X1.4-class solar flare on July 12th. Because the sunspot is directly facing Earth, everything about the blast was geoeffective. For one thing, it hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) directly toward our planet. According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME will hit Earth on July 14th around 10:20 UT (+/- 7 hours) and could spark strong geomagnetic storms. Sky watchers should be alert for auroras this weekend. Geomagnetic storm alerts: text, voice.
The explosion also strobed Earth with a pulse of extreme UV radiation, shown here in a movie recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:
The UV pulse partially ionized Earth's upper atmosphere, disturbing the normal propagation of radio signals around the planet. Monitoring stations in Norway, Ireland and Italy recorded the sudden ionospheric disturbance.
Finally, solar protons accelerated by the blast are swarming around Earth. The radiation storm, in progress, ranks "S1" on NOAA space weather scales, which means it poses no serious threat to satellites or astronauts. This could change if the storm continues to intensify. Stay tuned.
SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
From Goddard--we're the "yellow" planet..
Here's the direct link to this in case it is too big to see on here. http://www.spaceweather.com/images20...ul97s2f2anqi94