Peak Solar Flares Happening Now Thru 2013
Solar flares will be the strongest in more than a decade during 2012 and 2013. Scientists expect electronic disruptions, or worse, here on earth. And authorities are preparing. Perhaps you should too.
AS DESCRIBED in earlier posts on this bog (see below), the sun is excited these days and is casting solar flares our way to prove it. NASA and NOAA have taken some amazing pictures of these solar flares, and authorities are making preparations to minimize any deleterious effects.
In two NASA photos taken Tuesday, March 6, 2012, below, the sun is seen to erupt with one of the largest solar flares of this solar cycle.
Categorized as an X5.4, this was the second-largest flare — ranking behind only an X6.9 registered on Aug. 9, 2011 — since the sun’s activity segued into a period of relatively low activity called “solar minimum” in early 2007.
The current increase in the number of X-class flares is part of a normal 11-year solar cycle, during which activity ramps up to solar maximum — a peak level that is expected in late 2013.
Some scientists expect that when these flares peak, they may have dire consequences on earth because of the disruption caused to everything reliant on electronics, like the electrical grid, automobiles, computers, etc.
I wrote about this in a few prior posts that you may like to scan:
My intent with the above posts is not to beat the drum about Armageddon, but to suggest that sometimes there are hiccups in life, and when that happens, it’s good to have a large glass of water nearby to gulp down.
Precautions make sense when the downside is deadly. For instance, FoxNews.com reported today that airlines are altering their flight patterns due to the solar storms:
“’We are flying alternate routes for seven flights,’ Anthony Black, a spokesman for Delta Airlines, told FoxNews.com. Polar flights — those with paths that cross over the North Pole — can suffer from communications issues and pilots and passengers can be exposed to radiation.”[Read more about this here: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/08/storm-watch-massive-solar-storm-reaches-earth/#ixzz1oYyyVabW]
NOAA scientist Joseph Kunches describes what’s happening in a video at MarketWatch.com. He notes that solar flares are very strong now and can be very disruptive, but that authorities are preparing. (Yeah, there’s a commercial first.)
I’ll leave you with one more picture of an active sun.
This NOAA picture shows a strong geomagnetic storm racing from the sun toward earth. The blurb under the picture says that,
“Its expected arrival Thursday could affect power grids, airplane routes and space-based satellite navigation systems, according to U.S. space-weather experts.”
It did and it has, but only modestly. So far.