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Commentary #53 Change in Magnetosphere

This had been mentioned years back on Randy's FaceBook page and had stuck in my mind, so Skipper’s commentary sparked my interest again.

Pages I looked at that are worth sharing.... and a journey I took that got more interesting at each step.

Wikepedia page on Geomagnetic Reversal

Wikepedia page on Geomagnetic Excursions

Article in Fox News, shows that it was worth investigation in 2010

These pages all talk about the poles shifting as a norm, made me feel reassured...but they do not talk about a full reversal of the magnetosphere for a day. As a layman, the causes seems to be changes in the Earth's core, changes in solar wind and many technical things I really do not understand.

What was the sun doing on that day ? Thanks to goggog for this wonderful site.....

The day before

The day after

Sun Weather Forecast for that period

Some solar flare activity but nothing alarming

Medium flare the next day (and the next and then back to ‘normal’)

On the 07th March there were 2 largle flares, followed by some medium ones the next few days.

So, I thought, how long does it actually take the particles emmitted in those flares to reach us ? closest answer I could find to that question is (appreciate any expert opinions who may know better)

  • For the light from the event to reach us, about 8 1/3 minutes. For the actual particles to reach us, it depends on the ferocity of the explosion, and how direct the blast is, but about 4 days. They leave the surface of the sun moving a few million miles per hour, but the solar gravity slows it down as it travels, and it takes about 90 to 100 hours to reach us.

In the same blog they are speaking about a ‘long-duration M1 class solar flare’. That’s a medium flare, so how strong is an X flare is my next question ?

Bingo ............

So, I started looking for warnings and found an interesting site where NASA predicted an enormous solar storm in 2012 (this was back in 2006 !!)

And then NASA upgrades that warning as covered in Project Avalon....

What the ........ !!!!!!!!!!! This is NASAty that we’re talking about, the same people that would not admit to Water on the Moon/Water on Mars/Life on Mars (choose one) until backed into a corner and surrounded by cameras and microphones with absolutely no squirm-room to escape to. Now suddenly you are telling me that they have magically arrived at a date and are forecasting something that historically seems impossible to forecast....and now in 2012 they seem to be right.....what do they know that we don’t.....

And NASA are telling us

* NASA warns public to prepare for a, "once in a lifetime super solar storm event." This event can start at anytime with little to no warning.
* NASA's Heliophysics Division said: "We know it's coming but we don't know how bad it's going to be."
* Are you ready and know what to expect, let alone how to prepare?
* Do you know how to make a special safe room to protect you and family from prolong electromagnetic radiation which can be deadly?
* Do you understand that most anything electronic will no longer work? This effects computers, phones, satellites, hospitals, even the electronic ignition system for cars and trucks.
* Do you know what steps to take to protect your car from permanently breaking down from a powerful super solar storm?
* Did you know that a super solar storm would knock out most power world wide for months and take years to repair it all, costing trillions in damages world wide?
* Are you prepared with at least twelve to twenty four months of previsions for food, water, medicine and heating?
* Are you aware that a killer super solar storm would lock down modern countries like the United States, Europe, Asia, and Canada for months?
* Are you aware of that countries like the U.S. have an Anti Hoarding Act that effects you during a national crises? ((Learn how not to have your food purchases tracked))
* Are you ready to fend for yourself as food stores most likely will not be in operation for months because of looters, gangs and no power, and especially a lack of food supplies?
* Well... are you???

OK, so then I remembered the strangest warning on the 12th March about solar activity where South Africans were told via radio broadcasts to get out of the sun and inside for a specific time, this has NEVER happened in my lifetime so it was really creepy !

It was on the 12th March and our local Spaceweather had this on their site.... I do not know what this means.

SANSA Space Science@SpaceweatherSA

The vertical component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is down to -20nT.

SANSA Space Science@SpaceweatherSA

A coronal hole visible on the disk could elevate solar wind over the next 24 hours causing a general increase in geomagnetic conditions


And this from the 10th April


SANSA Space Science@SpaceweatherSA

Solar activity has been very low with X-ray flux below C-class levels. Only two C-class flares where detected for the past 24 hours.

And this on the 5th April (CME means Coronal Mass Ejection)


SANSA Space Science@SpaceweatherSA

Interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions are at unsettled levels due to a glancing blow of the CME that erupted on April 2.

So what is a CME ?

Coronal mass ejections release huge quantities of matter and electromagnetic radiation into space above the sun's surface, either near the corona (sometimes called a solar prominence) or farther into the planet system or beyond (interplanetary CME). The ejected material is a plasma consisting primarily of electrons and protons, but may contain small quantities of heavier elements such as helium, oxygen, and even iron. It is associated with enormous changes and disturbances in the coronal magnetic field.

Impact on Earth

When the ejection is directed towards the Earth and reaches it as an interplanetary CME (ICME), the shock wave of the traveling mass of Solar Energetic Particles causes a geomagnetic storm that may disrupt the Earth's magnetosphere, compressing it on the day side and extending the night-side magnetic tail. When the magnetosphere reconnects on the nightside, it releases power on the order of terawatt scale, which is directed back toward the Earth's upper atmosphere.

This process can cause particularly strong aurorae in large regions around Earth's magnetic poles. These are also known as the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) in the northern hemisphere, and the Southern Lights (aurora australis) in the southern hemisphere. Coronal mass ejections, along with solar flares of other origin, can disrupt radio transmissions and cause damage to satellites and electrical transmission line facilities, resulting in potentially massive and long-lasting power outages.[4]

Humans in space or at high altitudes, for example, in airplanes, risk exposure to intense radiation. Short-term damage may include skin irritation with potential increased risk of developing skin cancer, but it is likely that any affected individuals would recover from any such exposure.[5]

CMEs typically reach Earth one to five days after the eruption from the Sun

So now if I understand correctly, a CME ‘glanced’ off the magnetosphere on about 05 April.

This seems to somehow weaken the magnetosphere which about 7 days later is then assaulted by the solar flare activity.

And on that day, the magnetosphere reverses.........and I take shelter from the sun for three hours (after being warned to) for the first time in my life and NASA knew this would happen as far back as 2006. worship.gifyawn.gif

-- Edited by Chandre on Wednesday 30th of May 2012 10:21:54 AM

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