Showing posts with label space. Show all posts
Showing posts with label space. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2013

Uh Oh: Massive Sunspot Spewing at Earth

X1.2 class solar flare on May 14, 2013
X1.2 class solar flare on May 14, 2013 - NASA/SDO
May 17, 2013 - Okay, this might be bad. There's a big, very active sunspot called "Region AR1748" that's been spitting some very big solar flares over the past week. "A huge explosion on the sun will deal Earth a glancing blow today (May 17)," says (See video below.)

"The sun storm erupted late Tuesday during a powerful solar flare -- the fourth unleashed by a single sunspot in just 48 hours -- and hurled a massive cloud of charged particles out into space at millions of miles an hour."

AR1748 produced four X-class flares within 48 hours
Busy, very busy. Region AR1748 produced the first four X-class solar flares of 2013 in less than 48 hours. That's no small feat (see image, left).

The big blob of particles and stuff is called a coronal mass ejection (CME), and it's really a lot -- a lot -- of stuff.

In fact, it was "billions of tons of solar particles" worth of stuff, reports UPI. And it's traveling at extreme speeds. "The CME which erupted at 5:24 a.m EDT left the sun at speeds of around 745 miles per second, and could cause a space weather phenomenon called a geomagnetic storm when it connects with the outside of the Earth's magnetic envelope known as the magnetosphere."

But should we be afraid? says that "this one isn't aimed directly at us," says, "so there's no cause for alarm, experts say." Whew. That's better, but.... what about next time?

Also See:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Stunning: Two M-Class Solar Flares Within An Hour (Videos)

Solar flares, 03 May 2013
May 3, 2013 - Two flares in under an hour! First came a "long duration, moderate, solar flare" reaching M1.3 peaked at 16:53 UTC on May 3. "The source of the event was Region 1731 still classified as Beta-Gamma-Delta and capable of more strong eruptions. This region has rotated out of the Sun’s central disk area toward western limb," reports The Watchers website.

But wait, there's more! "Before that event ended," The Watchers continued, "an impulsive and strong M5.7 solar flare erupted and peaked at 17:32 UTC." That's roughly half an hour later, and that's astounding. "A Type II radio emission was associated with the event which typically indicates Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)." But don't panic: Experts say that if a CME was shot into space it probably was not in our direction. Below,  two great videos explain the May 3 double solar flares.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How About a Coronal Mass Ejection With Your Thanksgiving Turkey?

CME on Nov. 20, 2012 at 8:54 a.m. EST. Image Credit: NASA/STEREO
Nov. 21, 2012 - Will your post-Thanksgiving Day festivities be ruined by a solar flare? Maybe, possibly, because a sizable flare (video below) on the Sun shot off a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) yesterday and it's headed straight toward Earth. The flare occurred on Nov. 20, 2012, at 7:09 a.m. EST and is expected to strike our planet on Friday, Nov. 23.

"Not to be confused with a solar flare," notes NASA, "a CME is a solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and can reach Earth one to three days later. When Earth-directed, CMEs can affect electronic systems in satellites and on Earth."  NASA says that the coming CME could cause a geomagnetic storm, but it will probably not be strong enough to disrupt satellites, power grids or electronics.

According to NASA, "the Nov. 20 CME left the sun at speeds of 450 miles per second, which is a slow to average speed for CMEs. CMEs can cause a space weather phenomenon called a geomagnetic storm, which occurs when CMEs successfully connect up with the outside of the Earth's magnetic envelope, the magnetosphere, for an extended period of time. In the past, CMEs of this speed have not usually caused substantial geomagnetic storms. They have caused auroras near the poles but are unlikely to cause disruptions to electrical systems on Earth or interfere with GPS or satellite-based communications systems."

So, enjoy your turkey and don't worry about all that deadly stuff hurtling at you through space. In fact, you might even enjoy a beautiful sky show.

"Rapid growth from Active Region 11618 produced a moderate Impulsive M1.4-Class Solar Flare at 06:56 UT Today," noted SolarWatcher on YouTube, "this followed two filament eruptions which were both in earth facing positions. A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is expected to impact the earth in sometime November 23rd and may spark a G1 or G2 class geomagnetic storm will be possible. more news shortly."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Solar Storm Hitting Earth Now!

August 3, 2010 - In light (no pun intended) of the big solar blast heading Earth's way‎ tonight, and in anticipation of the resulting, extended auroras, we thought we'd put together a quick sampler of Sun-related items for your reading and viewing pleasure. The coronal mass ejection (CME) burst from the Sun on Sunday, and is now striking Earth with full force. The CSMonitor tells us where to best see the Aurora Borealis ("Northern Lights"), while the (New Zealand) tells us about the Aurora Australis, ("Southern Lights"). is reporting (at 8:30 p.m. EDT) that "The first of possibly two incoming CMEs hit Earth's magnetic field today at approximately 1730 UT (1:30 pm EDT). As a result of the impact, a polar geomagnetic storm is brewing. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras after nightfall."

This event will be fun and non-destructive (we're told), but the truth is that nobody knows how damaging it might be to satellites and other electronic systems, such as power grids. As sure as the Sun will rise tomorrow, you can bet that one day the Sun will destroy this planet. When? Probably not in our lifetimes, but according to NASA the Sun could bring civilization-destroying havoc as early as 2012. FoxNews also has a good report about the potentially destructive solar storms predicted for 2012.

  Heliophysics is not something I excelled at in college. The fact that I didn't take any physics classes probably had something to do with that, but it hasn't curbed my enthusiasm for the subject. (True geeks will love this site: Below is a video that explains how the Sun works and its effects on the solar system, of which you and I are but tiny parts. (Also See: Interstellar Energy Cloud + Sun = Uh Oh!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Sky Might Glow Green Tonight

There will be a huge comet streaking through the sky late tonight. You may not be able to see it if you're in a city. We have known of its existence for only two years. But if you raise your eyes heavenwards tonight, you might just catch a glimpse of the comet Lulin. Glowing green, it will come within 38million miles of Earth, the closest it has ever been, and about the same distance away as Mars. More at MORE: Naked eye comet graces the skies Stargazers in for a treat as green comet 'the size of Jupiter ... Comet Lulin arrives tonight - break out your telescopes CNB RSS Feed

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Indian Lunar Mission Making Me Laugh

I guess everything old is new again. The recent "news" about India's unmanned Chandrayaan moon mission it that it found - hold your breath - iron on the moon. That would be important news if only this hadn't already been discovered nearly 40 years ago by US lunar missions. First, the "news" today, from Commodity Online: NEW DELHI: What have minerals to do with India's maiden moon mission Chandrayaan-1? Initial experiments that Chandrayaan have carried out suggest iron-bearing minerals in abundance on the lunar surface. (Source) Next, consider the thousands of articles written about NASA's Apollo 15 mission (photo) in the summer of 1971, which brought back a lot of data about lunar minerals and confirmed an abundance of iron on the moon back then. So, what's the "news" about the Indian mission? What did I miss? RELATED: Apollo 15 Experiments -Gamma-Ray Spectrometer Experiment - "This experiment found high iron abundances over all mare regions and lower abundances elsewhere. Thorium and titanium abundances were also highest over mare regions..." Apollo Expeditions to the Moon: Chapter 14 - "The Apollo 15 astronauts placed instruments on the Moon which, ... There are also many reasons now to believe that the Moon has an iron-rich core from about ..." MINERALOGICAL ANALYSIS OF LUNAR ROCK PARTICLES (PDF) (Or view as HTML) Lunar mineralogy - "More ferrous olivines (with less than 30% forsterite) are rarer, although crystals of an almost pure fayalite were found in the most recent basalts of the lunar mare which are also richer in iron..." Lunar Materials - Minerals - "Free iron averages about half of one percent of average lunar soil. The grain sizes are generally less than a few tenths of a millimeter..." One giant leap for lunar minerals

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Outa This World! Indian Satellite Orbits Moon

India's spacecraft enters lunar orbit. Welcome to the space race India! I look forward to tandoori chicken in the Sea of Tranquility before I die. India has done it. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday successfully took India’s unmanned satellite to the moon, Chandrayaan-1, into a lunar orbit through a tricky maneouvre. The 675 kg satellite is now elliptically orbiting the moon from pole to pole with the closest distance to the lunar surface being 504 km and the farthest being 7,502 km. Each orbit at this stage takes 11 hours. It is 400 km short of its final lunar orbit. More at DNA...

Friday, August 1, 2008


Is petroleum a "fossil fuel?" Maybe, but new evidence from Saturn's moon Titan indicates that it may well not be. In fact, everything you think you know about petroleum is likely to be wrong. LAKES OF LIQUID ETHANE (a component of crude oil) have been confirmed on Titan. [Source: Wired] In fact, Titan has more liquid hydrocarbons than Earth is known to have. [Source:] One of the lakes is about the size of Lake Ontario. This gives strong support to the argument that oil (petroleum) is not a fossil fuel after all, not the product of rotting vegetation and dead dinosaurs. Rather, it indicates that it is abiotic, produced by planetary processes not dependent on once-living materials. All the talk about peak oil, therefore, is probably utter nonsense. As B. McDonald writes, "This story establishes once and for all that the notion that oil is a "fossil fuel" is pure B.S. There aren't any ancient forest or dinosaurs that have rotted into oil on Saturn's moon Titan. Oil and natural gas is an abiotic planetary process. Oil and gas are not finite resources. They are in fact being constantly produced. The oil and gas industry has perpetrated the myth that oil is a fossil fuel for obvious reasons. They wish you to believe there is scarcity. This is what all large cartels do. Creating the perception of scarcity is key to controlling markets, pricing, etc." [Source] [Emphasis added] "Creating the perception of scarcity" is a useful propaganda tool. It is a scare tactic, and many of us seem to have swallowed it hook, line and sinker. RELATED: Scientists discover cosmic 'Lake Ontario' Huge Space Lake Confirmed on Saturn's Moon Titan Oil Is Mastery: NASA Confirms Hydrocarbon Lakes On Titan NASA Confirms Hydrocarbon Lakes On Titan "There has not been any 'debate' about the origin of hydrocarbons for over a century. Competent physicists, chemists, chemical engineers and men knowledgeable of thermodynamics have known that natural petroleum does not evolve from biological material since the last quarter of the 19th century." -- Jack F. Kenney, 2002

Monday, May 5, 2008

Be Prepared, Denver!

You don't have to have been a Boy Scout to know that being prepared is a good idea. Jeff Peckman wants to be prepared. Really, really, really prepared... Whether they come in peace or to destroy us, Jeff Peckman said the aliens are on their way and we need to be ready. "If some of these human beings become traumatized especially in any significant numbers, local authorities, emergency responders are just not prepared to deal with that, it's a unique situation." FULL STORY... RELATED: Denver man seeks support for citywide panel on space aliens Man asks Denver to prepare for Aliens

Monday, April 28, 2008

Interstellar Frat Boy Pranks

Worth reading: A wonderful, funny and thought provoking piece by J. Scott Wilson , Staff Writer at WXII-2.
"Maybe the thousands of lights, shapes and shadows seen by millions of people in the skies all over the world over the last century or so have all been weather balloons, swamp gas, pranks, hallucinations and/or cloud formations. "Maybe."
READ the full article...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Iran Going Off World

But not nearly as fully as we'd like. Unfortunately, only a teeny tiny chunk of Iran will eventually be thrown off of this planet. Why? Cuz they have a space program now! They can't even brew up their own freeking gasoline but they want to orbit the frikkin' Earth? Talk about effed up priorities. More about this from an off-Bench blog: Just like the nuclear program is only-- only -- for electricity, this is only about launching a satellite. A cover for ballistic missile development? Nah. READ ""It's life, Jim, but not as we know it": Iran launches space program NOW, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.