Looks like Sol’s latest Flare may be a Herald (pun intended)

From the Sidney Morning Herald The gist of it:

Courtesy NASA

A powerful solar eruption that triggered a huge geomagnetic storm has disturbed radio comms and could disrupt electrical power grids, radio and satellite communication in the next days, NASA said.

A strong wave of charged plasma emanating from the Jupiter-sized sun spot, the most powerful seen in four years, has already disrupted radio communication in southern China.

The Class X flash — the largest such category — erupted at 0156 GMT Tuesday, according to the US space agency. “X-class flares are the most powerful of all solar events that can trigger radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms…

Geomagnetic storms usually last 24 to 48 hours — but some could last for many days…”Ground to air, ship to shore, short-wave broadcast and amateur radio are vulnerable to disruption during geomagnetic storms. Navigation systems like GPS can also be adversely affected.”

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory said it saw a large coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with the flash blasting toward Earth at about 560 miles per second (900 kilometers per second).

“The calm before the storm,” “Three CMEs are enroute, all a part of the Radio Blackout events on February 13, 14, and 15 (UTC). The last of the three seems to be the fastest and may catch both of the forerunners about mid to late … February 17.”

The China Meteorological Administration [CMA] reported that the solar flare caused “sudden ionospheric disturbances” in the atmosphere above China and jammed short-wave radio communications in the southern part of the country.  The CMA warned there was a high probability that large solar flares would appear over the next three days,

The British Geological Survey [] said meanwhile that the solar storm would result in spectacular Northern Lights displays starting Thursday.

2 responses to “Looks like Sol’s latest Flare may be a Herald (pun intended)

  1. Hi Chris, Well spotted with this link- especally topical after our dicussion about Solar Weather, and from a paper in my neck of the wood as well. (BTW aussie has a lot of media concentration, it’s hard to find an independant newspaper down here see, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_of_media_ownership#Australia)

    Once again thanks for the info, I had heard abit about solar flares but never really bothered to investigate them so your heads up was great. I also wonder if the GPS reliability will get less now that the shuttle gone? or are the satilite operations completely separate.

    Still it would be nice to have a Glonass and Galilo unit as backup…

    Had a look at the LRC specs, nice – like the liitle bowsprit, toyed with sticking one on snowpetrel to reduce weather helm and give more projected sail area, but also like being able to bash stuff with my steel stem and not worry about a bobstay..

    Fair winds


    • Ben, Shuttle not involved with GPS. They went up on Delta class boosters. WAAS is provided by small payloads on big geosynchronous satellites (one was Galaxy 15).

      Yes, I was aware of the media issues you pointed out (we have Aussie friends from joint military assignments). What I liked about the SMH article was it provided US, UK, and Chinese observations in one place. Space weather is intrinsically global and the effects are shaped by hemisphere, season, time of arrival, and duration.

      Thanks re the LRC. When moved to her from the catketch, we had a loooong lost of what we wanted. The LRC came the closest to meeting our needs without a lot of immediate and expensive mods. Several have circumnavigated. C

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