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Are we ready for a solar tsunami? No! ...and here's why....

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posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 06:45 AM
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Just as there is a hurricane season in the Caribbean and the United States, there is a season of solar storms, associated with the active cycle of our sun, which rises to a maximum every eleven years. The cycle "number 24", in which we are, is expected to join its smaller activity in 2013 according to astronomers forecasts. However, after three transition years (2006-2008) of very quiet solar activity, it rises slowly but surely in power, as shown by the violent signals (CME) recorded in recent months, that still occurs, independently of the general cycle.



Illustrated by the first photo above, the last event occurred in April 16th. This was an average eruption associated with a large protuberance which eventually burst like a soap bubble and sent part of its contents into space. A video (in time-lapse because this took in real a few hours) is shown below:



However, this bubble, bigger than the giant planet Jupiter, was not very wicked. In any case less than the coronal mass ejection (CME) recorded in March, which shipped its content of electrically charged particles right on the Earth.
Frequently, the Sun eject, during a CME, over one billion tons of particles, at speeds of hundreds or even thousands of kilometers per second. Fortunately, Earth's magnetic field protects us by deflecting much of this plasma. But not completely. The magnetosphere is not impervious to the particles that can penetrate the atmosphere and cause the northern and southern auroras.
During the March event, the upper atmosphere received about 26 billion kilowatt hours of energy, equivalent to 5% of the electricity consumed in France in a whole year! Much of this energy was reflected back to space and no damage was reported.



This is not the case for all CME. In March 1989, three days after leaving the Sun, a huge cloud of particles came to, as a puncher, hit Earth's magnetosphere. Northern lights were seen as far as in Texas. And, above all, electric currents induced by geomagnetic storm blew up one after the other safety power grid systems in Quebec, leaving 6 million people without power for nine hours at the end of a Canadian winter.
Long bill..... between repairs of the electrical network, the additional protections that are made on it and the lost profits of the local economy, the bill was $ 2 billion. Corollary of the incident, space agencies have temporarily lost contact with hundreds of satellites....



According to astronomers, this 1989 event was a tiny one compared to another solar storm that occurred one hundred and thirty years earlier.
At the beginning of September 1859, aurora (that we can't definitely call anymore 'Northern Lights') were seen as south down as in the Caribbean and Venezuela. At the time, the electric networks does not exist and there was therefore no risk that could came from that side. However, induced currents happily roam the lines of ... telegraph, sending up sparks poles and electric shocks to employees.
The consequences of this CME, in the middle of the nineteenth century, have been limited after all. If it happened today, the same phenomenon, exceptional, would affect far more dramatic. In one hundred and fifty years, networks of all kinds have been built....


The main body of plasma takes hours or days to reach Earth, But an advance blast of energetic particles hits almost immediately. CME arrives at Earth with a glancing blow because of the solar longitude of its source; its magnetic orientation is northward

....Not only such an event would cause many low-power systems for several weeks or months, but it also attack the oil and gas pipelines by accelerating their oxidation, it would probably destroy the satellites as well as many various electronic components of devices and temporarily cut off all radio communications and Geo-location. This last point is significant because, as noted by my colleague, Yves Eudes, in a recent "Le Monde" article (in French), "GPS systems now play a vital role in many sectors: land, air and see transport, container management, guiding agricultural machinery, electronic communications and even banks, which use satellite signals as a world clock for dating of financial transactions to the nearest hundredth of a second. "
A recent US report estimated that for the United States alone, such a solar tsunami could cost a whopping 2,000 billion, equivalent to twenty hurricane Katrina. It should further take four to ten years to restore all things back.



Why? Because we are not ready, says in substance, in a commentary published this Wednesday, April 18th in "Nature", Mike Hapgood, who heads the research unit on the space environment at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, a major British research laboratory.
For this researcher, our dependence on the electric network makes us more vulnerable than ever, because it is not configured to withstand a major CME: "Many threatened electrical systems are designed to withstand events such as those that we have seen over the last 40 years: for example it is now required that new transformers are able to withstand events such as the ones that occurred in 1989. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year show what dangers we could have to face at if we are only prepared to deal only with events similar to those of recent decades. Instead, we should prepare for a space storm unlike anything seen only once every thousand years."



...to be continued...
edit on 23-4-2012 by elevenaugust because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-4-2012 by elevenaugust because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 06:57 AM
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In the same way that, through the development of meteorology, we organize alerts with thunderstorms, storms, hurricanes, floods or avalanches, we must invest in space weather.
It starts, says Mike Hapgood, by learning about the risks and phenomena. However, if the satellite data dedicated to the study of the Sun are increasingly provided, they only cover the recent period. Data exist on the ionosphere over 80 years and those on the magnetic field has more than 170 years. The problem is that they exist only on paper ... Therefore the need to scan them; that's why Mike Hapgood guess that anyone could, via the Net, distribute this immense task among many volunteers, like the Solar Stormwatch that asks users to dissect the CME events recorded by satellites by following simple instructions.
Another task, which falls this time to 100% for scientists: to create better CME patterns to understand how they travel in the interplanetary medium and how they inject their energy in the Earth's atmosphere. According to Mike Hapgood, existing patterns are comparable to those of climatology that prevailed half a century ago. Finally, and this is both the simplest and most complicated (because the more expensive), we must strengthen the protection of networks and their hardware. Just because our society has become more vulnerable, dependent on the way these systems works. Their weaknesses are our weaknesses.




posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 07:02 AM
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i totally agree!
good thing i can make fire and have a wood stove!
i also have a cool b.b.q. to cook on and a couple full tanks of propane

when that runs out i can use hard wood to make coals to cook on the b.b.q.!!!



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 07:28 AM
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reply to post by elevenaugust
 


Good thread...

Except 2013 will be a quiet year:



Not saying there can't be a huge CME, as that could occur at anytime, just that this solar maximum is going to be very quiet.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 07:29 AM
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AWESOME thread OP! Love it and love the details within in.

So true.... we are not ready for what will come our way.

Are the Elite?

My answer is ...probably.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 07:32 AM
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reply to post by MamaJ
 


Don't have to be elite to own a backup generator and last time I checked the elite don't have their own CME proof satellites either...



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 08:07 AM
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I keep meaning to make some kind of a Faraday cage for my electronics and stuff.

If you don't know what this is, I suggest looking in to it.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 08:29 AM
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reply to post by SpearMint
 


You won't need a faraday cage for a geomagnetic storm.

If you don't know why, I suggest looking into it.




posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 08:34 AM
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reply to post by Chadwickus
 


A Faraday cage is basically a eletromagnetic shield, they'll protect electronics if there's a CME.
Am I missing something? (Apart from them possibly not being as effective if there's a HUGE CME)

Also, what's with the "I suggest looking in to it" thing? I'm just trying to help people, not patronize.
If I'm wrong you could at least tell me why.

edit on 11/27/10 by SpearMint because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 08:38 AM
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Originally posted by Chadwickus
reply to post by elevenaugust
 


Good thread...

Except 2013 will be a quiet year:



Not saying there can't be a huge CME, as that could occur at anytime, just that this solar maximum is going to be very quiet.

Thanks!


I've changed my thread title and some contents at the beginning in concordance of this important info.
....And took the NOAA graph you showed above in my first post as well...



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by SpearMint
 


A CME wont damage your electronics.

A power surge fron transmission lines that are affected from the CME might, but a faraday cage wont protect from surges.

Best thing to do is just unplug from the power during a geomagnetic storm, but a decent surge protector will do too.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 08:28 PM
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reply to post by Chadwickus
 


They most certainly can damage electronics,...

There's a low risk with an average CME, but they can, especially a BIG one.
edit on 11/27/10 by SpearMint because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 08:34 PM
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im sure i read somewhere last week that the solar maximum is this year
they got the dates wrong or something



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by nofear39
 


Looks like currently they are calling for Feb/March 2013. The maximum's year/month is chosen by a panel of NASA scientists.

The solar cycle takes an average of about 11 years to go from one maximum to the next, with an observed variation in duration of 9 to 14 years for any given solar cycle. Last one was in 2000.
en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by Cyprex
 


yea that was the date i had in my head until i read somewhere that it had changed ....

thks 4 the info and links



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