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--   Natural Catastrophes Dept. --




Solar-freaks have been watching two sunspots rotate into an earth-facing direction for about 4 days now.  One, so-called "1944," is quite huge and complex.  Just as 1944 got pointed right at the earth it peeled off what's called a Class X1.2 flare.  X is the most powerful classification, followed by M, if you can figure that out.  Worse, this flare threw a coronal mass ejection right at us.  A CME is basically a bunch of electrons and protons (mass) burped up with the usual photons. 

The wave of photons has already begun reaching the earth; the protons and electrons are due tomorrow (Weds) afternoon in the form of a magnetic storm -- which means the US will be facing into the incoming wave.  Nobody is flipping out yet but NASA, JPL are certainly taking note.

I will definitely be detaching my more delicate and valuable electronic gear from the grid for a couple of days -- computers, telephone, sonic dentures cleaner, electric pump for my blow up doll, "Nancy G."  (I'll probably just leave her inflated for the duration.)

Here's a link to a site that keeps up pretty well, and he has links to NOAA, NASA, etc. for the pretty pictures.  http://www.solarham.net/

Cold vortex, Britain getting blown off the map, magnetic storm -- that's just the first 7 days of 2014.  The year's already a disaster and the congressional campaigns haven't even started.  I think God is pissed off about the pot shops in Colorado.  I knew this would happen.

Happy New Year,
-- The Gutter Grunt

NOAA 24 hr Summary...
Solar activity was at high levels for the past 24 hours. The largest
solar event of the period was an X1/2n flare from Region 1944 (S09W03,
Fkc/beta-gamma-delta) at 07/1832 UTC. This event was associated with a
Type II radio burst (estimated velocity of 1064 km/s) and an 8,300 sfu
Tenflare. LASCO chronograph imagery was minimal at the time of this
report, however, SWPC forecasters are predicting preliminary geomagnetic
storming levels in the NOAA Scale G2 - Moderate range based on a visible
coronal mass ejection. Analysis is ongoing to further refine these
results as additional satellite imagery becomes available. Region 1944
was also responsible for an M7/2b flare at 07/1013 UTC. This flare had
an associated Tenflare (Castelli-U) radio burst with a peak flux of 409
sfu. Region 1944 continued to be the largest and most magnetically
complex region on the disk. It displayed signs of slight growth in its
leader spot group. Region 1946 (N09W07, Dac/beta-gamma) produced an
M1/1n flare at 07/0353 UTC. The other five numbered sunspot regions
where stable or in decay. No additional CMEs were detected in imagery
during the period.
Solar activity is expected to be moderate with a chance for X-class
flares on days one through three (08-10 Jan). 



Copyright, Denis O'Brien, 2005-2015 ~ ~ All rights reserved.