Originally posted by prophetboy12
reply to post by happykat39
Even though the huge complex of sun spots is not flaring or very active, on the 21st those spots will be lined up with us like the barrel of a
shotgun. Any extra influence, say a large body could be devastating. Not much mention on what they are doing.
Originally posted by TauCetixeta
reply to post by prophetboy12
A large biosphere placed between Earth and the sun could shield us from our sun.
As of now 1633 looks like a dud.
I don't buy into the 12/21/2012 hype but sunspots and solar activity can be unpredictable. More than once something that was supposed to be a dud
turned out to be anything but. On the other hand, solar activity that was supposed to fry us fizzled out before it even got a good start.
But I am always concerned when we are looking down the barrel of a set of sunspots. In the last few years we have had plenty of solar flares and
coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that could have been extremely damaging. They just weren't aimed our way. I remember one a year or so back that had been
aimed right at the earth but didn't really go off until it had rotated about 30 degrees past us. But when it did go off it swamped the solar
observation satellites so badly that scientists had to estimate it's strength. That one, if it was aimed directly at earth when it went off would
have, at the very least, fried many of our satellites and caused scattered power outages.
To understand how the odds of the earth being hit work let's do the following thought exercise...
We know, in somewhat simple terms, that the sun is nothing more than a huge ball of very hot gas. Now imagine that ball enclosed in a huge spherical
shell whose diameter coincides with the earth's orbit. BTW, there is a name for a spherical shell that encloses a star. It is called a
. The next thing to imagine is a solar flare
or CME being shot out from the surface of the sun. It will always be shot out at or near to perpendicular to the suns surface at the point of origin.
When you consider that the sun is large enough to hold a million earths inside of it and the imaginary sphere mentioned above has a radius 93 million
miles (on average) larger than the radius of the sun, what you end up with is a sphere with a truly humongous inner surface area. The place the earth
occupies on the surface of that sphere is a very tiny spot by comparison to the size of the imaginary sphere. Think of something like a marble glued
to the inside of a very large beach ball.
Now when you consider that a solar flare/CME event can originate from just about anywhere on the sun's surface and be aimed just about anywhere on the
inside of our imaginary sphere you can begin to see just how little the odds are that any one solar event will be aimed at earth directly enough to be
Since most of the solar flares/CMEs are not large enough to do any real damage the odds are that most of the ones that actually hit earth will also be
small as well. But lets throw out all the small ones and just concentrate on the big events like the
1859 Carrington Event
The fact that it happened once means, given enough time, it will happen again. The earth is a sitting duck in the solar shooting gallery. The only
thing that has saved us so far is that the sun is shooting blindly. And eventually one of the big ones will be headed our way again. It's only a
matter of time.
edit on 18-12-2012 by happykat39 because: clarified a point