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  1. #1
    Fizban "The Fabulous" Guest

    Anatomy of a Solar Storm

    Anatomy of a Solar Storm

    By Rena Marie Pacella
    May 2007

    The worst solar-storm season in half a century starts this year. These fiery explosions—which unleash as much energy as a billion hydrogen bombs-could, under the right conditions, black out cities and fry satellites. But new solar scopes can give us advance warning



    Last December, a colossal wave swept across the entire solar surface within minutes, bulldozing everything in its path. The rare tsunami-like shockwave formed on the heels of a major flare that erupted from an Earth-size sunspot 15 minutes earlier. Though that storm didn't have a major impact on Earth, we aren't always so lucky.

    The Earth's magnetic shield protects us from the worst effects of solar storms (and even astronauts on the International Space Station can take cover in a heavily shielded module), but technology suffers greatly. Atmospheric and magnetic fluctuations that the storms cause can also disable satellites, burn out transformers, and take down power grids. One CME in 1989 left all of Quebec without power for nine hours.

    The frequency and intensity of storms varies depending on the solar season, which waxes and wanes in 11-year cycles. We will soon be entering into a new season of high solar activity, and experts predict - by crunching data on the long-term behavior of the sun's convection currents - that it will be the stormiest in half a century.

    Though we can't yet predict such storms, it's only a matter of time. Space-weather forecasters use satellites and ground-based scopes to monitor sunspots for flares and CMEs but can't tell with certainty if or when they will hit Earth. The STEREO satellites will help scientists determine whether a particular storm is headed for us and, hopefully, will give satellite and energy-grid minders enough warning to prepare for a hit.

    Read on for to learn how solar storms work.


    Bob Sauls

    1. Sunspots
    Sunspots form where intense magnetic field lines twist and poke up through the surface. These knotted fields shut down the normal flow, or convection, of hot plasma from the sun's interior to the surface, making the region cooler and darker than its surroundings.

    2. Field Lines
    Sunspots explode when the field lines twist to the point of snapping, like a rubber band wound too tightly. They link up again to form a new shape, but not before releasing enormous amounts of stored energy and hot gas into the sun's outer atmosphere, or corona.

    3. Solar Flare
    The resulting eruption, called a solar flare, heats the surrounding gas to 180 million degrees Fahrenheit. The explosion accelerates subatomic particles to near light-speed and spews radiation (mostly ultraviolet and gamma rays and x-rays) into space.

    4. Plasma Burst
    Flares are sometimes followed by coronal mass ejections (CMEs), in which billions of tons of the sun's plasma are flung into space en masse. These huge bubbles of matter travel relatively slowly (1,000 miles a second); even the fastest ones take a day or so to reach Earth.

    5. Earth Impact
    Eight minutes after a flare erupts, Earth's atmosphere absorbs the radiation pulse. This pulse produces extra ions and electrons, causing the atmosphere to puff out. The expanded atmosphere increases drag on satellites and degrades radio and GPS signals. But the worst is yet to come. Potentially more destructive than a flare's radiation pulse, CMEs boost the speed of the solar wind and create a shockwave of energetic protons. That shockwave distorts Earth's magnetic shield, and the protons stream down on the poles creating geomagnetic disturbances like the Northern Lights. The shockwave can also destroy the electronics in satellites.

  2. #2
    Fizban "The Fabulous" Guest

    Re: Anatomy of a Solar Storm

    The worst solar-storm season in half a century starts this year. These fiery explosions—which unleash as much energy as a billion hydrogen bombs-could, under the right conditions, black out cities and fry satellites. But new solar scopes can give us advance warning
    I wonder what this could do to the American war system since the whole thing is run by GPS satalites for communications, information, targeting and missile defence ect..

    If the American missile defence was down what would China do ?

    Also would these solar storms easy destroy every satalite orbiting the earth?
    If so what would the effect be ?


    Global Positioning Systems

    Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are vulnerable to sun flares, and sun spots and magnetic bursts from space that could make things suddenly go wrong. I've seen loads of visions that suggest it is about to happen on a massive scale, including one vision where an aircraft landed at the wrong airport. And I saw another vision a while ago, where a man on an airport roof was signaling to planes with flags. It all looked rather silly and unlikely, but it seemed to be saying that navigational systems would falter.

    The sweetest and strangest GPS vision I saw came to my mind's eye as a short video clip. I watched as five tanks rushed across a desert in a line, moving at top speed. They were about two hundred yards away. In the foreground of the shot a butterfly appeared, it stayed there for a second or two and then it flew off into the distance towards the tanks. The strange thing was that when it got over there I could somehow still see the butterfly quite clearly. It landed on the back of one of the moving tanks and seconds later the weight of the butterfly caused the nose of the tank to rise up in the air and eventually the tank did a complete back-flip, landing on its roof.

    The entire video clip lasted maybe thirty seconds at the most. I think it was a way of saying that the systems that allow these killing machines to run can be flipped over by the slightest impediment. The butterfly in the mirror-world is a symbol of the Lion of Judah. Sometimes we see the lion yawn and butterflies come from its mouth. I don't know how the world will react to the failure of satellite systems, but if tanks are wandering about not knowing where they are that might halt the speed of the killing, without ever hurting the soldiers; our collective human soul might breathe a sigh of relief on that day.

    Stuart Wilde

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