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Strong Solar Flare

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posted on Aug, 7 2010 @ 11:16 PM
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reply to post by HimWhoHathAnEar
 

The past solar minimum was not the deepest ever witnessed though it was the deepest in about 100 years. You are confusing solar flares and CMEs, they are two different things. Flares are classed according to their xray intensity. CMEs are not classed.

There is no reason to expect an escalation in intensity of solar activity, only in quantity. The predicted quantity for this cycle is less than average and there is no prediction for intensity. X class flares are not rare at all; in 2002 there were 12 recorded, in 2001 there were 22, in 2000 there were 18.

A CME on the level of the Carrington Event in 1859 would be devastating due to our dependence on satellites and electrical power but that activity of that type occurs once in about 500 years. We probably don't have to worry about it...but you never know.




[edit on 8/7/2010 by Phage]




posted on Aug, 7 2010 @ 11:32 PM
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SAME magnitude hit june 12th 2010 and nothing happened?..

www.google.ca...:en-US
fficial&client=firefox-a



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 01:13 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 

So CMEs are not classed and there are no predictions for intensity? Seems a bit ambiguous to me. How will they know if an event the size of the one in 1859 has happened if they don't class them? How do we know that they only happen every five hundred years with our limited time frame having studied the sun?



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 01:29 AM
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strong solar flare is strong



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 01:33 AM
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reply to post by HimWhoHathAnEar
 


I thought that a Solar Flare was the product of a CME.

The way I thought it worked was like this analogy a CME is a gun and the Solar Flare is the bullet. So when the CME happens (gun gets fired) the Solar Flare goes out into space (bullet travelling)

Which is why they only rate the Flares as the CME's aren't really important to us as they start & stop at the sun.

Or could someone more knowledgable tell me I'm wrong ?



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 01:52 AM
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reply to post by HimWhoHathAnEar
 

We have no ability to predict the intensity of solar activity. We have a rudimentary ability to predict sunspot numbers for the current solar cycle.

The effects of a CME are quantified by the intensity of the geomagnetic storms they produce when they encounter the magnetosphere. There are two scales. The planetary K index(Kp) and the NOAA scale. The NOAA scale classifies geomagnetic storms on a scale of G1 to G5. The storm last week was a G2. The Kp index goes from 1 to 9, last week's storm hit 6. The Carrington event would have pegged both scales.

Very strong events such as the Carrington event produce what is known as a proton storm. Such storms leave evidence in the form of radiation products which can be dated in ice cores from glaciers.


[edit on 8/8/2010 by Phage]



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 01:54 AM
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reply to post by Discotech
 

Flares and CME are commonly associated with each other, but not always. There can be CMEs with no flare and flares with no CME.

CMEs are plasma ejected by the Sun, it travels to Earth and when it encounters the magnetosphere can cause geomagnetic storms.

Flares are primarily electromagnetic radiation. They can damage satellites and increase ionization in the upper atmosphere but have little or no effect on the surface. Their high energy radiation (UV and higher) is absorbed by the atmosphere.


[edit on 8/8/2010 by Phage]



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 02:03 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Thanks for that info, so what exactly causes a flare & a CME ? I gather there's different factors which cause each type and which would be more dangerous to us?



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 02:14 AM
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reply to post by Discotech
 

Both are caused by interactions between the incredibly intense and somewhat chaotic magnetic field of the Sun and the plasma of which it is composed. Beyond that you're going to have to consult a solar scientist.

The effects of each are different so it's hard to say which is more "dangerous". The radiation of powerful flares pose a danger to anything outside of the Earth's atmosphere, including astronauts. They are also dangerous because we have no warning, they arrive at the speed of light.

The geomagnetic storms produced by CMEs pose a danger to objects in Earth orbit as well as to our power grids. But at least we do get some advance notice (thanks to the satellites we have watching the Sun). A CME takes a couple of days (at least) to reach us. Satellites can take measures to protect themselves (like going into a standby mode). Power companies are trying to figure out the best way to deal with it.



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 12:12 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 

Thanks for the info. Do we have any idea how this storm will rate on those scales yet? It sounds like we have very little understanding of the suns activities at this point. It would be nice if they would start hardening electronics to deal with it going forward. I know that the EMP threat has brought it to the fore, but the costs were prohibitive. Of course the costs of not doing it may be far higher.



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by HimWhoHathAnEar
 

We can't really tell until the CME arrives how strong its effects will be. It depends on a number of factors; the density, speed, and magnetic orientation. We don't get any of that information until it gets to the ACE satellite (1.5 million kilometers out there) which gives us about a one hour heads up.

Since the CME was not directed toward Earth and since it was not a very strong one as seen here (to the right of the Sun) it is unlikely to have much effect.



Here's a pretty big CME, but they come bigger:


But there is no EMP from solar flares. It is not electronics which are affected (except for those in space), it is power grids.


[edit on 8/8/2010 by Phage]



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 02:30 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Wow, look at the size of that thing! It's the same size as the sun. I can't begin to imagine what the carrington event would look like!



posted on Aug, 9 2010 @ 07:58 PM
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INCOMING CME: The solar eruption of August 7th might affect Earth after all. Newly-arriving data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) show a CME heading our way with a significant Earth-directed component. Click on the image to launch a "difference movie" of the expanding cloud:



The impact of this lopsided CME probably won't trigger a major geomagnetic storm---but the SOHO data show it could be bigger than expected. High latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the cloud arrives probably on August 10th.



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