posted on May, 20 2010 @ 08:59 AM
I check the Solar numbers a couple of times a day because it is part of understanding the ability of radio waves to propagate in the ionosphere. This
is for Ham Radio, one of my hobbies. I don't think there's been any solar storms (coronal mass ejections) in at least the last two weeks. The
first predictions for this Solar Cycle were varied, from an average, medium peak, to a very large peak. Some even predicted a lower than average
Solar Max. Solar scientists don't agree on when Solar Max will occur, and some are even saying as late as 2013. Let's remember that the Shuttle is
outside our atmosphere, so it is vulnerable to cosmic rays, etc. We forget space is a dangerous environment. As far as the Earth is concerned, the
orientation and strength of our magnetic field is critical to how much damage a mass ejection can produce, as well as where we are in our orbital
year, where we are in relationship to the Sun.