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What do you think about the massive solar storm hitting us in 2010 (supposedly)?

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What do you think about the massive solar storm hitting us in 2010 (supposedly)?

Postby filbert27 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:37 pm

http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/20100826/981/tsc-massive-solar-storm-to-hit-earth-in_1.html
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What do you think about the massive solar storm hitting us in 2010 (supposedly)?

Postby hinrik3 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:48 pm

No astronomer is predicting solar storms more than a week in advance (we just can't).

The only thing we can predict is that the Solar Activity will take place in 2013 (or a bit later) and that solar storms that occur during the maximum can be more powerful than solar storms that occur at other times.

The solar storm occurs ON the Sun; the storm itself cannot hit us. Never. Ever. (unless you are making a movie like "Knowing", where, obviously, they don't know).

What a solar storm can cause is a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). These occur very often (sometimes many during the same day) and shoot off in all directions. Sometimes one comes our way and "hits" us, causing beautiful Northern Lights (and Southern Lights if you live south of the equator).

Sometimes the CME is powerful enough to cause Earth's magnetic field to sway and have what we call a Magnetic Reconnection Event, causing a geomagnetic storm. The last powerful one was in March 1989; these event can induce current in very long conductors (like power lines) and the computers that control the power distribution could interpret them like trouble.

The 1989 geomagnetic storm triggered an alert in the computers controlling the power grid in the Province of Quebec (in Canada) and the computers (not the storm) shut down the power. Result: six million people without power for nine hours. Total number of deaths = 0.

Later that same year, in August, charged particles interfered with computer chips, in computers controlling the Toronto Stock Exchange. The computers crashed and some traders had to spend hours not knowing how their shares were doing. Total number of deaths = 0.

1989 was a Solar Maximum. In between, was the maximum of the year 2000 (nothing bad happened) and the next expected maximum (2013, not 2012) is expected to be weaker than 1989.

Most countries have since installed protection for their power distribution grids (after the 1989 event). Satellites in space have a bit less protection but it is already normal practice to shut down the most sensible ones when we know a CME is coming (thanks to the STEREO probes, we can get up to one week notice).
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What do you think about the massive solar storm hitting us in 2010 (supposedly)?

Postby edmund » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:56 pm

I think you meant to say 2012 because that's what the article says. The article is also inaccurate and alarmist.
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What do you think about the massive solar storm hitting us in 2010 (supposedly)?

Postby parkins100 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:15 pm

I thought it already hit us some 25 days ago, judging from the reports of strong displays of Aurorae Borealii.
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What do you think about the massive solar storm hitting us in 2010 (supposedly)?

Postby ashburn86 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:17 pm

That article is sensationalist garbage, with no real content. Don't believe any of it!
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What do you think about the massive solar storm hitting us in 2010 (supposedly)?

Postby bradaigh » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:26 pm

I am going to send Dr Richard Reed with Ben to reverse the DNA Homeostasis.
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