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Is there actualy gonna be a masive killer solar flair in 2012?

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Is there actualy gonna be a masive killer solar flair in 2012?

Postby ashar » Mon May 06, 2013 5:21 pm

My friends were talking about it tonight and it got me paranoied but then i realized iv not heard anything about it in the news and i would have thaught the government would be sending out warnings and prepairing for somthing like this.
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Is there actualy gonna be a masive killer solar flair in 2012?

Postby zachely84 » Mon May 06, 2013 5:27 pm

We have reached the point where we can now predict solar flares a few hours in advance.
Certainly not years.

The idea of "killer solar flares" was invented for a movie (Knowing).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowing_%28film%29

In real life, flares can NEVER reach Earth. In fact, they can't even reach Mercury. A flare is a local event on (and near) the Sun's surface.

Powerful solar flares are associated with strong magnetic events that cause the Sun's magnetic field to twist in and out of the Sun's surface. Sometimes the magnetic field gets so twisted around that it short circuits itself in an event called a "magnetic reconnection". Without going into details, such an event releases a lot of energy (a LOT) and can eject a whole whack of charged particles, in something called a "Coronal Mass Ejection"

These happen all the time. They just happen to have a higher rate near the peak of the Sun's 11-year cycle. The next peak is "scheduled" to be in 2013.

We can't predict the peak, as the cycle is NOT regular. Most cycles last 11 years, but some (like the one we are in) are longer by a few years. Longer cycles often lead to weaker peaks (less chance of powerful CME's).

CME's are very common. Because they are emitted at random, they shoot off in all directions and almost all of them miss us. Still, we do get hit many times every year, and, when it happens, we get a nice display of Northern Lights (or Southern Lights if you live in the southern hemisphere).

Sometimes, a CME is powerful enough that some "things" happen (nothing like in the movie, of course). If a CME is too large, it can push the Earth's magnetosphere a bit too far. When that happens, it snaps back into place, in its own reconnection event.

This emits a pulse of electromagnetic energy that can induce long conductors (like major power lines). This happened in March 1989 and left sis million people without power for nine hours. Total number of deaths = 0.

Sometimes, it is the individual particles inside the CME that are very powerful. They can make their way through the shielding around the chips of the modern computers (they have thinner shields than the old 386s). When that happens, they can cause the computer to crash. In August 1989, a CME caused the crash of a server at the Toronto Stock Exchange. Brokers were left for hours without minute-by-minute information about their stocks. Total number of deaths = 0.

The 2013 peak is expected to be weaker than the 1989 peak.
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Is there actualy gonna be a masive killer solar flair in 2012?

Postby macalister » Mon May 06, 2013 6:27 pm

There is going to be an unusually large amount of solar activity at that period, but due to our protection from the Ozone layer it is incredibly unlikely it will be strong enough to be killer. Rather, our technology could be adversely affected which could technically cause widespread panic and disaster, so although the fact the Mayans' prediction has nothing to do with this don't laugh at the 2012 quacks just yet :P They may be right, but for the wrong reason.
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Is there actualy gonna be a masive killer solar flair in 2012?

Postby bardulph » Mon May 06, 2013 6:34 pm

While the possibility of large solar flares and coronal mass ejections exists in any given year, there is nothing special about 2012. Your instinct that the government would prepare for such an event if there were evidence that it might occur is well founded, and your friends were likely discussing the ideas proposed by some raving mad conspiracy theorist.
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Is there actualy gonna be a masive killer solar flair in 2012?

Postby apara29 » Mon May 06, 2013 6:58 pm

Your friends are wrong. They've been listening to rumors spread by scientific illiterates who somewhere at the beginning of the rumor chain half-understood something that was muttered as a what-if/maybe hypothesis by an actual scientist.

Truth of the matter is, a lot of solar astronomers are expecting a less active than normal sun next year.
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Is there actualy gonna be a masive killer solar flair in 2012?

Postby burhdon9 » Mon May 06, 2013 7:07 pm

Your friends are wrong. They've been listening to rumors spread by scientific illiterates who somewhere at the beginning of the rumor chain half-understood something that was muttered as a what-if/maybe hypothesis by an actual scientist.

Truth of the matter is, a lot of solar astronomers are expecting a less active than normal sun next year.
No. That was a completely fictional solar flare in a movie. There was a solar flare earlier today that is supposed to reach Earth on August 5, THREE days from now (not FOUR days). Please let us know how many people it killed on August 6. Thank you.

"...EARTH-DIRECTED BLAST: Magnetic fields above sunspot 1261 erupted this morning at 0619 UT, producing a long-duration M1-class solar flare. At the peak of the action, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a surge of extreme ultraviolet radiation around the sunspot:



The blast also hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) almost directly toward Earth. Space-based coronagraph images from SOHO and from STEREO-A show the cloud racing away from the sun at almost 900 km/s. Minor to moderate geomagnetic storms are possible when the CME arrives on or about August 5th. Aurora alerts: text, voice. ..."

http://spaceweather.com/ for August 2, 2011

EDIT: Solar flares CAN BE PREDICTED just from looking at the Planetary A index and sunspot number curves on http://www.solen.info/solar/.

I'm sick and tired of the SAME idiots claiming that solar flares cannot be predicted, when NASA has been predicting solar flares FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS.
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Is there actualy gonna be a masive killer solar flair in 2012?

Postby weayaya39 » Mon May 06, 2013 7:22 pm

You do understand Solar Flares and Coronal MAss Ejections are completely impossible to predict? How would we know one is going to kill us?

Both of them also cause almost NO damage to Earth. Our magnetic field protects us from almost everything. We had the biggest Solar Flare in recorded history in the 1800's. And you know what happened? Almost nothing. Telegraphs cam in a bit scrambled, some wouldn't work. The end! Even if we had a huge one, nothing would really happen that major. Don't worry about it, 2012 is bull.
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Is there actualy gonna be a masive killer solar flair in 2012?

Postby raanan76 » Mon May 06, 2013 7:41 pm

"Flair"?

Sorta like the flair these "girls" have?

http://blog.livedesignonline.com/briefingroom/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/priscilla-queen-of-the-desert-copyright-tristram-kenton-2.jpg

Pretty sure the Sun will just keep being the same as always, and you won't see it in a dress any time soon.
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Is there actualy gonna be a masive killer solar flair in 2012?

Postby chatima » Mon May 06, 2013 7:51 pm

It would be like trying to predict an earthquake, we know it's coming just not WHEN. If it were to happen, it would not be killer. It may very well damage a lot of electronic equipment and satellites though, which I'm sure you can guess the implications of that.
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Is there actualy gonna be a masive killer solar flair in 2012?

Postby marcel » Mon May 06, 2013 7:57 pm

Are you stupid? You're actually listening to your skeptic friends? Let me tell you something, your friends hang onto anything that sounds exciting. They sound like the type of people that would jump off a cliff because somebody told them they'd live through it.

We'll most likely not die from a solar flare anytime soon. LOOK AT EARTH"S HISTORY!!! Life has been thriving for a nonstop 65 million years!!! The most that could happen is some failure of some power grids leading to black outs. While that may cause pain and suffering for some, it's not the end of the world!! In fact, the end of the world has ben predicted over 300 times in the past 2000 years, and none of those predictions have turned out to be true!! There is no solar flare that is going to kill us. It's a freaking made-up story!! Get a hold of yourself and stop being so gullible.
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