MSN Warns Disasters

MSN Warns Disasters

 

MSN Warns Disasters by, Concept Activity Research Vault

March 7, 2012 18:22:42 ( PST ) Updated ( Originally Published: May 16, 2011 )

Los Angeles – May 16, 2011 – MSN Slate News reported ( read article below ) that a host of disasters are coming, which ‘the public should not become overly worried about’, but suggests throwing a celebration-like “18th Century Weekend” in-advance so ‘people can experience what a solar flare disaster might be like to live through’.

While the suggested Medieval celebratory affair ‘concept’ is ‘unique’, MSN suggesting the public ‘stock up on batteries’ was a bit off because apparently the journalist did not realize ‘batteries become drained’ subsequent to an environmental anomaly ‘overcharging’ from an ambient auroral current attributable to what occurs during a Solar Energetic Particle Event ( SEPE );  ‘candles’ or ‘lumeniscent gel sticks’ ( shake lights ) would work amidst such, however mainstream news media broadcasts and print media, without thoroughly researching facts first, have a habit of passing inaccurate information on to the general public, and at the same time, doing it mostly in a whimsical fashion so it can be easily swallowed by the public. That type of reporting does ‘not’ help the public, but only serves to provide the illusion that what is being reported about will probably never happen. Big mistake!

News reporting, as a public service, should take far more care when reporting about emergency disaster preparedness on ‘what to do’ and just ‘how to prepare’; especially when it comes to mentioning a ‘significant’ solar flare ( also known as ) a Solar Energetic Particle Event ( SEPE ) that could quickly and very seriously disable the national electricity infrastructure without warning.

To let CARV readers review how MSN Slate News recently put it to the general public, we cordially invite ‘you’ ( our readers ) to review the MSN Slate News report ( below ) so, you can be the judge on whom to rely on for delivering your emergency disaster preparedness information from.

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Source: MSN Slate News

Meltdowns. Floods. Tornadoes. Oil spills. Grid crashes. Why more and more things seem to be going wrong, and what we can do about it.

The Century of Disasters by, Joel Achenbach

May 13, 2011 5:56 PM ( EST )

This will be the century of disasters.

In the same way that the 20th century was the century of world wars, genocide, and grinding ideological conflict, the 21st century will be the century of natural disasters and technological crises and unholy combinations of the two.

It will be the century when the things we count on to go right will – for whatever reason – go wrong.

Late last month ( April 2011 ), as the Mississippi River rose in what is destined to be the worst flood in decades, residents of Alabama and other states rummaged through the debris of a historic tornado outbreak.

Physicists at a meeting in Anaheim, California had a discussion about the dangers posed by the Sun.

Solar flares, scientists believe, are a disaster waiting to happen. Thus one of the sessions at the American Physical Society annual meeting was devoted to discussing the hazard of electromagnetic pulses ( EMP ) caused by solar flares – or terrorist attacks. Such pulses ( EMP ) could fry transformers and knock out the electrical grid over much of the nation. Last year the Oak Ridge National Laboratory released a study saying the damage might take years to fix and cost trillions of dollars.

But maybe even that is not the disaster people should be worrying about.

Maybe they should worry instead about the “ARkStorm.” That’s the name the U.S. Geological Survey ( USGS ) Multihazards Demonstration Project ( MDP ) gave to a hypothetical storm that would essentially turn much of the California Central Valley into a bathtub. It has happened before, in 1861 – 1862, when it rained for 45-days continously. USGS explains, “The ARkStorm draws heat and moisture from the tropical Pacific, forming a series of “Atmospheric Rivers” ( AR ) that approach the ferocity of hurricanes and then slam into the United States West Coast over several weeks.” The result, the USGS determined, could be a flood that would cost $725,000,000 billion in direct property losses and economic impact.

While pondering this, don’t forget the Cascadia subduction zone, the plate boundary off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, that could generate a tsunami much like the one that devastated Japan in March 2011. The Cascadia subduction zone, runs from Vancouver Island to northern California, last rupturing in a major tsunami spawning earthquake on January 26, 1700. It could break at any moment, with catastrophic consequences.

All of these things have the common feature of low probability and high consequence.

They are known as “black swan” events.

They are unpredictable in any practical sense.

There are also things ordinary people probably should not worry about on a daily basis.

You can’t fear the Sun.

You cannot worry a rock will fall out of the sky and smash the Earth, or that the ground will open up and swallow you like a vitamin.

A key element of maintaining one’s sanity is ‘knowing how to ignore risks’ that are highly improbable at any given point in time.

And yet in the coming century, these or other ‘black swan events’ will seem to occur with surprising frequency.

There are several reasons for this.

We have chosen to engineer the planet.

We have built vast networks of technology.

We have created systems that, in general, work very well, but are still vulnerable to catastrophic failures.

It is harder and harder for any one person, institution, or agency to perceive all the interconnected elements of the technological society.

Failures can cascade.

There are unseen weak points in the network.

Small failures can have broad consequences.

Most importantly, we have more people and more stuff standing in the way of calamity.

We are not suddenly having more earthquakes, but there are now 7,000,000,000 billion of us, a majority living in cities.

In 1800, only Beijing, China could count 1,000,000 inhabitants, but at last count there were 381 cities with at least 1,000,000 people.

Many are MegaCities in seismically hazardous places like Mexico City, Caracas, Venezuela; Tehran, Iran and Kathmandu amongst those with a lethal combination of weak infrastructure ( unreinforced masonry buildings ) and shaky foundations.

Natural disasters will increasingly be accompanied by technological crises, and the other way around.

In March 2011, the Japan earthquake triggered the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant meltdown.

Last year ( 2010 ), a technological failure on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig – in the Gulf of Mexico – led to the environmental crisis of the oil spill. ( I chronicle the Deepwater Horizon blowout and the ensuing crisis management in a new book: A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher. )

In both the Deepwater Horizon and Fukushima disasters, the safety systems were not nearly as robust as the industries believed.

In these technological accidents, there are hidden pathways for the gremlins to infiltrate the operation.

In the case of Deepwater Horizon, a series of decisions by BP ( oil company ) and its contractors led to a loss of well control — the initial blowout. The massive blowout preventer on the sea floor was equipped with a pair of pinchers known as ‘blind shear rams’. They were supposed to cut the drillpipe and shear the well. The forensic investigation indicated the initial eruption of gas buckled the pipe and prevented the blind shear rams from getting a clean bite on it so, the “backup” plan — of cutting the pipe — was effectively eliminated in the initial event; the loss of well control.

Fukushima also had a backup plan that was not far enough back. The nuclear power plant had backup generators – in case the grid went down – but the generators were on ‘low’ ground and were blasted by the tsunami.

Without electricity the power company had no way to cool the nuclear fuel rods.

In a sense, it was a very simple problem: a power outage.

Some modern reactors coming online have passive cooling systems for backups that rely on gravity and evaporation to circulate the cooling water.

Charles Perrow, author of Normal Accidents, told me that computer infrastructure is a disaster in the making.

“Watch out for failures in cloud computing,” he said by e-mail, “They will have consequences for medical monitoring systems and much else.”

Technology also mitigates disasters, of course.

Pandemics remain a threat, but modern medicine can help us stay a step ahead of evolving microbes.

Satellites and computer models helped meteorologists anticipate the deadly storms of April 27, 2011 and warn people to find cover in advance of the twisters.

Better building codes save lives in earthquakes. Chile, which has strict building codes, was hit with a powerful earthquake last year ( 2010 ) but suffered only a fraction of the fatalities and damage that impoverished Haiti endured just weeks earlier.

The current ( 2011 ) Mississippi flood is an example of technology at work for better and for worse.

As I write, the Army Corps of Engineers are poised to open the Morganza spillway and flood much of the Atchafalaya basin. That’s not a “disaster” but a solution of sorts, since the alternative is the flooding of cities downstream and possible levee failure. Of course, the levees might still fail. We’ll see. But this is how the system is ‘supposed’ to work.

On the other hand, the broader drainage system of the Mississippi River watershed is set up in a way that it makes floods more likely. Corn fields, for example in parts of the upper Midwest, have been “tiled” with pipes that carry excess rainwater rapidly to the rip-rap ( small stone ladden ) streams and onward down to rivers lined with levees. We gave up natural drainage decades ago.

The Mississippi is like a catheter, at this point. Had nature remained in charge, the river would have mitigated much of its downstream flooding by spreading into natural floodplains further up river ( and the main channel would have long ago switched to the Atchafalaya river basin — see John McPhee “The Control of Nature” — and New Orleans would no longer be a riverfront city).

One wild card for how disastrous this century will become is climate change.

There’s been a robust debate on the blogs about whether the recent weather events ( tornadoes and floods ) can be attributed to climate change.

It is a briar patch of an issue and I’ll exercise my right to skip past it for the most part.

But I think it’s clear that climate change will exacerbate natural disasters in general in coming years, and introduce a new element of risk and uncertainty into a future in which we have plenty of risks and uncertainties already. This, we don’t need.

And by the way, any discussion of “geoengineering” as a solution to climate change needs to be examined with the understanding that engineering systems can and will fail.

You don’t want to bet, the future of the planet, on an elaborate technological fix in which everything has to work perfectly. If failure is not an option, maybe you ‘should not’ try-it to begin-with.

So if we cannot engineer our-way out-of our ‘engineered disasters’, and if ‘natural disasters’ are going to keep pummeling us – as they have since the dawn of time — what is our strategy? Other than, you-know, despair? Well, that has always worked for me, but here are a few more practical thoughts to throw in the mix:

First [ 1st ], we might want to try some regulation by people with no skin in the game. That might mean, for example, government regulators who make as much money as the people they’re regulating. Or it could even mean a ‘private-sector regulatory apparatus policing the industry’, cracking down on rogue operators. The point is, we don’t want every risky decision made by people with pecuniary interests.

Second [ 2nd ], we need to keep things in perspective. The apparent onslaught of disasters does not portend the end of the world. Beware of ‘disaster hysteria in the news media’. The serial disasters of the 21st century will be – to some extent – a matter of perception. It will feel like we are bouncing from disaster-to-disaster in-part because of the shrinking of the world and the ubiquity of communications technology. Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta are always in a disaster zone somewhere – demanding to know why the cavalry [ emergency first responders ] has not showed up.

Third [ 3rd ], we should think in terms of ‘how we can boost’ our “societal resilience;” the buzz-word in the ‘disaster preparedness industry’.

Think of what you would do, and what your community would do, after a disaster.

You cannot always dodge the disaster, but perhaps you can still figure-out how to recover quickly.

How would we ‘communicate’ if we got [ solar ] flared by the Sun and the [ electricity ] grid went down over 2/3rds of the country?

How would we even know what was going on?

Maybe we need to have the occasional “18th Century weekend” – to see how people might get through a couple of days without the [ electricity ] grid, cell [ telephone ] towers, cable TV [ television ], iTunes downloads – the full Hobbesian nightmare. And make an emergency plan: Buy some ‘batteries’ [ < ? > NOTE: solar flare effects, during a Solar Energetic Particle Event ( SEPE ), renders ‘all batteries dead’. ] and jugs of water – just for starters.

Figure-out how things around you work.

Learn about your community infrastructure.

Read about science, technology, engineering and ‘do not worry if you do not understand all the jargon’.

And then – having done that – go on about your lives, pursuing happiness on a planet that, though sometimes dangerous, is by-far the best one we’ve got.

Reference

http://www.slate.com/id/2294013/pagenum/all/#p2

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Hopefully, people will take an opportunity to read the CARV report on Solar Energetic Particle Event Effects so they can ‘really know what to prepare for soon’,  ’before celebrating’ an “18th Century weekend” affair – complete with “batteries” – as suggested by the MSN Slate News article ( above ).

Although the aforementioned Slate News article indicates, “Solar flares, scientists believe, are a disaster waiting to happen. Thus one of the sessions at the American Physical Society annual meeting was devoted to discussing the hazard of electromagnetic pulses ( EMP ) caused by solar flares – or terrorist attacks. Such pulses ( EMP ) could fry transformers and knock out the electrical grid over much of the nation. Last year the Oak Ridge National Laboratory released a study saying the damage might take years to fix and cost trillions of dollars. But maybe even that is not the disaster people should be worrying about,” – we actually ‘may’ have ‘something “people should be worrying about,” as MSNBC puts it, or “concerned about,” according to NASA, in-lieu of the following MSNBC Space.Com report ( below ):

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Source: MSNBC.COM

 

Huge Solar Flare’s Magnetic Storm May Disrupt Satellites, Power Grids

 

March 7, 2012 13:19 p.m. Eastern Standard Time ( EST )

 

A massive solar flare that erupted from the Sun late Tuesday ( March 6, 2012 ) is unleashing one of the most powerful solar storms in more than 5-years, ‘a solar tempest that may potentially interfere with satellites in orbit and power grids when it reaches Earth’.

 

“Space weather has gotten very interesting over the last 24 hours,” Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ), told reporters today ( March 7, 2012 ). “This was quite the Super Tuesday — you bet.”

 

Several NASA spacecraft caught videos of the solar flare as it hurled a wave of solar plasma and charged particles, called a Coronal mass Ejection ( CME ), into space. The CME is not expected to hit Earth directly, but the cloud of charged particles could deliver a glancing blow to the planet.

 

Early predictions estimate that the Coronal Mass Ejections ( CMEs ) will reach Earth tomorrow ( March 8, 2012 ) at 07:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time ( EST ), with the ‘effects likely lasting for 24-hours and possibly lingering into Friday ( March 9, 2012 )’, Kunches said.

 

The solar eruptions occurred late Tuesday night ( March 6, 2012 ) when the sun let loose two ( 2 ) huge X-Class solar flares that ‘ranked among the strongest type’ of sun storms. The biggest of those 2 flares registered as an X Class Category 5.4 solar flare geomagnetic storm on the space weather scale, making it ‘the strongest sun eruption so far this year’.

 

Typically, Coronal Mass Ejections ( CMEs ) contain 10,000,000,000 billion tons of solar plasma and material, and the CME triggered by last night’s ( March 6, 2012 ) X-Class Category 5.4 solar flare is ‘the one’ that could disrupt satellite operations, Kunches said.

 

“When the shock arrives, the expectation is for heightened geomagnetic storm activity and the potential for heightened solar radiation,” Kunches said.

 

This heightened geomagnetic activity and increase in solar radiation could impact satellites in space and ‘power grids on the ground’.

 

Some high-precision GPS ( Global Positioning Satellite ) users could also be affected, he said.

 

“There is the potential for ‘induced currents in power grids’,” Kunches said. “‘Power grid operators have all been alerted’. It could start to ’cause some unwanted induced currents’.”

 

Airplanes that fly over the polar caps could also experience communications issues during this time, and some commercial airliners have already taken precautionary actions, Kunches said.

 

Powerful solar storms can also be hazardous to astronauts in space, and NOAA is working close with NASA’s Johnson Space Center to determine if the six ( 6 ) spacecraft residents of the International Space Station ( ISS ) need to take shelter in more protected areas of the orbiting laboratory, he added.

 

The flurry of recent space weather events could also supercharge aurora displays ( also known as the Northern Lights and Southern Lights ) for sky-watchers at high latitudes.

 

“Auroras are probably the treat that we get when the sun erupts,” Kunches said.

 

Over the next couple days, Kunches estimates that brightened auroras could potentially be seen as far south as the southern Great Lakes region, provided the skies are clear.

 

Yesterday’s ( March 6, 2012 ) solar flares erupted from the giant active sunspot AR1429, which spewed an earlier X Class Category 1.1 solar flare on Sunday ( March 4, 2012 ). The CME from that one ( 1 ) outburst mostly missed Earth, passing Earth by last night ( March 6, 2012 ) at around 11 p.m. EST, according to the Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ), which is jointly managed by NOAA and the National Weather Service ( NWS ).

 

This means that the planet ( Earth ) is ‘already experiencing heightened geomagnetic and radiation effects in-advance’ of the next oncoming ( March 8, 2012 thru March 9, 2012 ) Coronal Mass Ejection ( CME ).

 

“We’ve got ‘a whole series of things going off’, and ‘they take different times to arrive’, so they’re ‘all piling on top of each other’,” Harlan Spence, an astrophysicist at the University of New Hampshire, told SPACE.com. “It ‘complicates the forecasting and predicting’ because ‘there are always inherent uncertainties with any single event’ but now ‘with multiple events piling on top of one another’, that ‘uncertainty grows’.”

 

Scientists are closely monitoring the situation, particularly because ‘the AR1429 sunspot region remains potent’. “We think ‘there will be more coming’,” Kunches said. “The ‘potential for more activity’ still looms.”

 

As the Sun rotates, ‘the AR1429 region is shifting closer to the central meridian of the solar disk where flares and associated Coronal Mass Ejections ( CMEs ) may ‘pack more a punch’ because ‘they are more directly pointed at Earth’.

 

“The Sun is waking up at a time in the month when ‘Earth is coming into harms way’,” Spence said. “Think of these ‘CMEs somewhat like a bullet that is shot from the sun in more or less a straight line’. ‘When the sunspot is right in the middle of the sun’, something ‘launched from there is more or less directed right at Earth’. It’s kind of like how getting sideswiped by a car is different than ‘a head-on collision’. Even still, being ‘sideswiped by a big CME can be quite dramatic’.” Spence estimates that ‘sunspot region AR 1429 will rotate past the central meridian in about 1-week’.

 

The sun’s activity ebbs and flows on an 11-year cycle. The sun is in the midst of Solar Maximum Cycle 24, and activity is expected to ramp up toward the height of the Solar Maximum in 2013.

 

Reference

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46655901/

 

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Do we need “Planetary Protection?” NASA has a specific website, referenced here ( below ) as do others ( below ), including The Guardians of the Millennium.

Submitted for review and commentary by,

Concept Activity Research Vault E-MAIL: ConceptActivityResearchVault@Gmail.Com WWW: http://ConceptActivityResearchVault.WordPress.Com

Reference

http://planetaryprotection.nasa.gov/about/ [ Planetary Protection ) http://www.lpi.usra.edu/captem/ [ CAPTEM ] http://www.nrl.navy.mil/pao/pressRelease.php?Y=2008&R=39-08r [ U.S. Naval Research Laboratory ] http://hesperia.gsfc.nasa.gov/sftheory/imager.htm [ RHESSI ]

 

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Satellites Critical Data Problems

Satellites Critical Data Problems

 

Satellites Critical Data Problems by, Concept Activity Research Vault [ ConceptActivityResearchVault@Gmail.Com ]

April 10, 2012 22:42:08 ( PST ) Updated ( Originally Published: May 18, 2011 )

CALIFORNIA, Los Angeles – April 10, 2012 – In 1997, NASA could provide Earth with “space weather” ( also known as ) “solar wind” (aka) “solar flare” disturbances ‘early warning’ of between 15-minutes to 45-minutes from the Advanced Composition Explorer ( ACE ) spacecraft satellite probe that detects inbound solar geomagnetic storm streams of highly excited and disorderly flowing ‘electron particles’ ( invisible to the naked eye ), the effects thereof wreak havoc on national electricity grid system transformers and satellites that both burn-out if they are not ‘shutdown’ beforehand because they both become overly loaded from what are called ‘significant’ Solar Energetic Particle Event ( SEPE ) effects above Earth, on the ground, and underwater.

The environments of near-Earth space and the upper atmosphere pose unique challenges for the design and deployment of satellite systems. Highly energetic solar Coronal Mass Ejections ( CME ) from the Sun can penetrate spacecraft disrupting critical electronic systems and interfere with or damage electronic switches and memory devices onboard satellites. Large electrostatic charge potentials can build up on the surface of spacecraft and suddenly discharge, damaging or destroying sensitive electronic instruments.

The Advanced Composition Explorer ( ACE ) spacecraft satellite probe onboard sensing camera detectors, however rely on the ‘orderly flow of electrons’ for it to function properly in sending signals back to Earth station receivers, but amidst a Solar Energetic Particle Event ( SEPE ) from an ‘extremely fast’ Coronal Mass Ejection ( CME ) solar flare, the highly excited electrons from the Sun will cause ACE and other satellite monitors to experience electrical power outages that could take NASA longer than 15-minutes to determine ‘why’ the ACE spacecraft went out. Advanced Composition Explorer ( ACE ) was only built to withstand the effects from ‘average solar flare’, not a ‘significant solar flare’. NASA knows ACE 13-year old sensors will ‘cease to function before a significant solar flare even passes ACE in space’. NASA Advanced Composition Explorer ( ACE ) sensing detectors are now 13-years old, not as sensitive as newer technology detectors today, plus ACE has exceeded its NASA calculated life expectance.

– –

Source: Source: National Aeronautic and Space Administration ( NASA ) National Space Science Data Center ( NSSDC )

The objective of the Advanced Composition Explorer ( ACE ) is to collect observations of particles of solar [ Sun ], interplanetary, interstellar, and galactic origins, spanning the energy range from that of KeV solar wind ions to galactic cosmic ray nuclei up to 600 MeV/nucleon.

Definitive studies will be made of the abundances of essentially all isotopes from H to Zn ( Z = 1-30 ), with exploratory isotope studies extending to Zr ( Z = 40 ).

ACE payload includes six [ 6 ] high resolution spectrometers, each designed to provide the optimum charge, mass, or charge-state resolution in its particular energy range.

Each spectrometer has a geometry factor optimized for expected flux levels, so as to provide a collecting power greater by a factor of 10 times to 1000 times that of previous or planned experiments.

The payload also includes three [ 3 ] additional instruments of standard design to monitor ‘energetic electrons’, H and He ions, and a magnetometer.

ACE spacecraft is based on the design of the Charge Composition Explorer [ CCE ], built at JHU/APL for the Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorer ( AMPTE ) program.

The spacecraft ( ACE ) spin-axis is pointed towards the Sun ( to within +/- 20 degrees ), and it [ ACE ] occupies a halo orbit about the L1 Earth-Sun libration point.

Powered by solar cells, the spacecraft [ ACE ] has a design life of ‘at least 5-years’, and it returns data in daily tape recorder dumps, received through the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory ( JPL ) Deep Space Network and initially processed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center ( GSFC ).

The average data telemetry rate is 6.7 Kbs.

Reference

http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1997-045A

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National Security Electricity Infrastructure Concerns

While the ‘official report’ ( above ) states, “… the spacecraft [ ACE ] has a ‘design life’ of at least 5-years …,” a ‘national security concern’ in yet another ’official report’ ( see below ) states, the “… Advanced Composition Explorer …” ( ACE ) “… exceeded …” its “… 2-year ‘design life’ …”

How long ’really’ was the ”design life” of the Advanced Composition Explorer ( ACE ) spacecraft satellite probe that to-date ( 2011 ) was still operating.

Do U.S. government federal agencies ‘really mean’ what they ’officially state’, or when it comes toU.S. federal budget justification ‘needs’ does mentioning a ‘national security concern’ reveal credibility gaps between one ‘official statement’ and another ‘official statement’?

Inconsistencies in ‘official statements’ directed to U.S. federal government elected officials within the U.S. Congress – as well as what the public – is told to believe according to U.S. government ‘official statements’, such as this ( above and below ), demonstrateshow U.S. ’official statements’ can so easily mislead a nation and its people unable to recall earlier official statements from newer official statements they hear during current time periods.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) National Environmental Satellite Service ( NESS ) budget justification report for Fiscal Year 2012 ( FY 2012 ) indicates a ‘serious national security concern’ specifically mentioning ‘critical data’ the United States receives from the NASA Advanced Composition Explorer ( ACE ) spacecraft satellite probe ( below ):

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Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA )

Fiscal Year 2012

National Environmental Satellite Service ( NESS )

… [ EDITED-OUT FOR BREVITY ] …

Early warning of major weather events saves countless lives and prevents substantial property damage. Billions of dollars in damage and hundreds of lives are lost each year due to natural disasters. These losses would be significantly worse if NOAA satellite data and services were unavailable due to interference with, or the failure of, critical satellite command and data acquisition infrastructure.

… [ EDITED-OUT FOR BREVITY ] …

The NOAA Satellite Command and Control program forms the backbone of the ground systems that command, control, and acquire data from NOAA satellites on orbit 24-hours per day, 365-days per year.

… [ EDITED-OUT FOR BREVITY ] …

Satellite Operations Control Center ( SOCC ) / Command and Data Acquisition ( CDA ) Facilities command and control both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) and non-NOAA environmental satellites … and pass these data to other National Environmental Satellite Service ( NESS ) offices, primarily the Office of Satellite Data Processing & Distribution ( OSDPD ). The SOCC/CDA provides the vital link between the satellites and every data user.

… [ EDITED-OUT FOR BREVITY ] …

Statement of Need and Economic Benefits:

… [ EDITED-OUT FOR BREVITY ] …

“Currently, the only data source for geomagnetic storm warnings ( providing 15-minute to 45-minute lead times for impending space weather storms ) is the NASA Advanced Composition Explorer ( ACE ) satellite, which is operating 12-years past its design life. The geomagnetic storm forecasts, which provide 1-day to 4-day warnings of impending space weather storms, use Coronal Mass Ejection [ CME ] imagery received now from NASA / ESA SOHO and NASA STEREO satellites. Launched in 1995, 1997 and 2006, all of these satellites have exceeded their 2-year design life.

Without immediate action, NOAA wll lose two [ 2 ] of its most critical space weather observation data sources when the NASA ACE and the NASA / ESA SOHO satellites fail.

Low reliability of the satellites and sensors and the high risk of unavailability of the data pose one [ 1 ] of the ‘most serious gaps’ for NOAA space weather services.

… [ EDITED-OUT FOR BREVITY ] …

In 2005, NOAA issued a press release informing its geomagnetic storm warning customers that the alert might be discontinued at any time due to the current data source of solar wind, the ACE satellite, being years beyond its design life. Customers were invited to respond to NOAA documenting the impact of the loss of the warning on them. Their responses were summarized in a report “Evaluation of Public Response to the Termination of Solar Wind Data”, October 2006.

Members of the ‘electrical power industry’, which is vulnerable to ‘geomagnetic storm induced blackouts and transformer damage’, have ‘repeatedly corresponded’ with the Department of Commerce, White House, and U.S. Congress regarding their concerns for the ‘risk posed by the potential loss in geomagnetic storm forecasting data’.”

… [ EDITED-OUT FOR BREVITY ] …

Reference

http://www.corporateservices.noaa.gov/~nbo/fy12_presidents_budget/Climate_Service_FY12.pdf http://www.corporateservices.noaa.gov/nbo/fy12_budget_highlights/NESS_FY12_One_pager.pdf http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/hearings/NOAA%20EPA%20FY12%20Budget%20Hearing%20Charter%20FINAL.pdf

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Upon a ‘significant’ Solar Energetic Particle Event ( SEPE ), predicted by NASA to occur sometime between 2010 and 2013, the NASA ACE spacecraft – and others – will become overloaded and burn-out from solar electron particle disruption and shut down in space ‘before a significant solar flare even passes its sensors’. No time soon could a replacement, for the NASA Advanced Composition Explorer ( ACE ), launch another into space.

There is no intelligence in relying on ACE because in addition to all of the aforementioned, ACE is positioned 92,000,000 million miles away from the Sun and only 900,000 miles away from Earth making it about 93,000,000 million miles away from the Sun, meaning that within only a few seconds after a ‘significant solar flare’ passes ACE detection sensors – a large geomagnetic storm will have already shutdown other satelllites, hit Earth and wiped-out national electricity infrastructure grids to many people.

Other solar observation satellites, such as Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ( SOHO ) only provides ‘some warning’, but with ‘far less detailed information’ than the NASA Advanced Composition explorer ( ACE ).

In the wake of the recent NASA ‘predicted’ ( depending on ‘which NASA report’ one reviews ) Solar Energetic Particle Event ( SEPE ) coming to Earth sometime between 2011 and 2013.

After reading the following, you will see the conflicting bafoonery of reports issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ) and U.S. National Weather Service ( NWS ) to the public ( below ) when between May 17, 2011 and May 18, 2011 they are told everything remains calm, but then the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ) reports to the public that the ACE spacecraft satellite probe has been disrupted as have other satellites. Why?

Well, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ) and U.S. National Weather Service ( NWS ) reports to the public that the reason why they are ‘not posting’ “critical data” publicly anymore is because, of the:

1. Japan tsunami on March 11, 2011; and,

2. ACE satellite and other spacecraft disruptions.

What does a March 11, 2011 Japan tsunami have anything to do with spacecraft outages and NOAA SWPC NWS failure to report “solar flare” data on their website anymore?

Has a ‘significant’ solar Coronal Mass Ejection ( CME ) from the Sun occured recently? The image ( above ) plus the data ( near the bottom of this report ) would be considered “Space Weather,” however National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ) ‘official reports’ of May 16, 2011 thru May 18, 2011 ( see further below ) indicate something entirely contrary with, the following ( below ):

1. “No space weather storms were observed for the ‘past’ 24-hours;” and,

2. “No space weather storms are predicted for the ‘next’ 24-hours.”

The ‘official reports’ ( see further below ) indicate only solar flare “A-index” but on the ‘same day’ a “K-index” was ‘officially reported’ when ACE and the other satellites and NOAA quit providing “critical data” – blaming the lack of public information on a March 11, 2011 Japan tsunami occurring months before now ( May 18, 2011 ).

– –

 

May 16, 2011 thru May 17, 2011 ( below ) –

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC )

WWV

Product: Geophysical Alert Message Issued: May 17, 2011 21:05 UTC

Prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center

Please send comments and suggestions to SWPC.Webmaster@noaa.gov

3-hourly messages issued this UT [ Universal Time ] day.

Geophysical Alert Message

Solar-terrestrial indices for 16 May 2011 follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 10.

The mid-latitude K-index at 0000 UTC on 17 May 2011 was 2 ( 18 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 16 May follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 10.

The mid-latitude K-index at 0300 UTC on 17 May 2011 was 1 ( 8 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 16 May follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 10.

The mid-latitude K-index at 0600 UTC on 17 May 2011 was 2 ( 18 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 16 May 2011 follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 10.

The mid-latitude K-index at 0900 UTC on 17 May 2011 was 3 ( 32 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 16 May 2011 follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 10.

The mid-latitude K-index at 1200 UTC on 17 May 2011 was 2 ( 15 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 16 May follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 10.

The mid-latitude K-index at 1500 UTC on 17 May 2011 was 2 ( 14 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 16 May follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 10.

The mid-latitude K-index at 1800 UTC on 17 May 2011 was 2 ( 15 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 17 May 2011 follow:

Solar flux 92 and estimated mid-latitude A-Index 6.

The mid-latitude K-index at 2100 UTC on 17 May 2011 was 2 ( 12 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

Reference

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/forecasts/wwv/0517wwv.txt

– –

May 17, 2011 thru May 18, 2011 ( below ) –

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC )

Product: Geophysical Alert Message wwv.txt Issued: May 18, 2011 18:05 UTC

Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center

Please send comments and suggestions to SWPC.Webmaster@noaa.gov

3-hourly messages issued this UT [ Universal Time ] day.

Geophysical Alert Message

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 17 May 2011 follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 8.

The mid-latitude K-index at 00:00 UTC on 18 May 2011 was 3 ( 28 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 17 May 2011 follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 8.

The mid-latitude K-index at 03:00 UTC on 18 May 2011 was 2 ( 17 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 17 May 2011 follow. Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 8. The mid-latitude K-index at 06:00 UTC on 18 May 2011 was 2 ( 17 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 17 May 2011 follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 8.

The mid-latitude K-index at 09:00 UTC on 18 May 2011 was 2 ( 10 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 17 May 2011 follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 8.

The mid-latitude K-index at 1200 UTC on 18 May 2011 was 1 ( 5 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 17 May 2011 follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 8.

The mid-latitude K-index at 1500 UTC on 18 May 2011 was 2 ( 13 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

#—————————————————————–

Solar-terrestrial indices for 17 May 2011 follow:

Solar flux 92 and mid-latitude A-index 8.

The mid-latitude K-index at 1800 UTC on 18 May 2011 was 2 ( 14 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

Reference

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/forecasts/wwv/0518wwv.txt

– –

May 18, 2011 ( below ) –

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC )

May 18, 2011

NOAA Scales Activity:

LEGEND: Range 1 ( minor ) to 5 ( extreme )

NOAA Scale…………….Past 24-hrs…..Current

Geomagnetic Storms………- none -……- none – Solar Radiation Storms…..- none -……- none –  Radio Blackouts…………- none -……- none –

Reference

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SWN/index.html

– –

May 17, 2011 thru May 18, 2011 ( below ) –

 

Product: Geomagnetic Data Issued: 22:29 UTC 18 May 2011

Prepared by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center

Please send comments and suggestions to SWPC.Webmaster@noaa.gov

Updated every hour beginning at 00:29 UTC.

Values shown as reported, SEC does not verify accuracy.

Missing Data = -1

Geomagnetic A indices and K indices from the U.S. Geological Survey [ USGS ] Stations:

#               Geomagnetic #                 Dipole      A   ————- 3 Hourly K Indices ————– # Station        Lat. Long. Index 00-03 03-06 06-09 09-12 12-15 15-18 18-21 21-24 #——————————————————————————-

May 17, 2011

Boulder          N49 W 42    8     1     2     3     2     2     2     2     3 Chambon-la-foret N– E—   15     2     2     2     3     2     2     2     2 College          N65 W102   17     1     2     5     5     3     2     1     2 Fredericksburg   N38 W 78    8     1     2     3     2     2     2     2     2 Kergulen Island  S57 E130   -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1 [ -1 = missing data ] Learmonth        S22 E114   -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1 [ -1 = missing data ] Planetary(estimated Ap)     10     2     2     3     3     2     3     3     3 Wingst           N54 E 95   13     2     2     3     3     3     3     3     3 May 18, 2011

Boulder          N49 W 42    5     2     2     2     1     2     2     1    -1 [ -1 = missing data ] Chambon-la-foret N– E—   -1     2     2    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1 [ -1 = missing data ] College          N65 W102   -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1 [ -1 = missing data ] Fredericksburg   N38 W 78   -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1 [ -1 = missing data ] Kergulen Island  S57 E130   -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1 [ -1 = missing data ] Learmonth        S22 E114   -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1 [ -1 = missing data ] Planetary(estimated Ap)     -1     2     2     1     1     1     2     1    -1 [ -1 = missing data ] Wingst           N54 E 95   -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1    -1 [ -1 = missing data ]

Reference

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/lists/geomag/AK.txt

– –

The ‘official chart’ ( immediately above ) is ‘missing data’ ( -1 ). All data ( further above ) indicates the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ) and U.S. National Weather service see ‘no significant’ “space weather,” right? Then again, who really knows because ‘those official reports’ are ‘missing’ an awful lot of “critical data” – none of which was released to the public.

What is indicated ( above ), however is ‘not what’s indicated’ ( below ) on these ‘other official reports issued on the exact same day’ by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ) and U.S. National Weather service ( NWS ) as were ‘posted on their official website’, which begins revealing ‘contradictory information’ about a significant solar Coronal Mass Ejection ( CME ) “solar flare” event ( below ):

– –

May 12, 2011 thru May 18, 2011 ( below ) –

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC )

Alerts / Bulletins:

Latest Alert: May 17, 2011 07:44 UTC [ Universal Time ]

WARNING: Geomagnetic [ “Sudden Impulse” ( solar flare storm ) ] “K-index” of “4″ [ ” S 4 ” ] expected

Reference

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SWN/index.html

– –

To ‘view the official’ NOAA chart on how it ranks a Geomagnetic Storm K-index category 4 [ “Extended Warning” ], click on: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/AlertsTable.html

The “officially stated effects” on the “K-index” for “4″ ( also known as ) “S4″ is ( below ):

– –

[ NOTE: Bracketed [ information ] ‘added information detail’ ( below ) was obtained from additional ’official source’ research. ]

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA )

[ SPECIFIC INFORMATION EXCERPT ONLY ( BELOW ) ]

Space Weather Scales

S 4 = SEVERE

BIOLOGICAL: ‘unavoidable radiation hazard to astronauts’ on EVA; ‘passengers and crew in high-flying aircraft’ at high latitudes [ ‘polar regions’ and ‘equator’ ]may be ‘exposed to radiation risk’. ***

SATELLITE OPERATIONS: may ‘experience memory device problems’ and ‘noise on imaging systems’; ‘star tracker problems’ may ’cause orientation problems’, and ‘solar panel’ [ batteries using solar cells ] efficiency can be ‘degraded’.

SYSTEMS ( OTHER ): blackout of HF [ High Frequency ] radio communications through the polar regions and ‘increased navigation errors’ over ‘several days are likely’.

*** High energy particle measurements ( >100 MeV ) are a better indicator of radiation risk to passenger and crews. ‘Pregnant women are particularly susceptible’.

Reference

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/NOAAscales/

– –

What makes matters even more difficult for ‘public comprehension’ is that ‘on the exact same day’, then the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ) issued another ‘official report’ minimizing a ‘significant’ solar Coronal Mass Ejection ( CME ) from the Sun in a particular solar flare ( below ):

– –

May 18, 2011 ( below ) –

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC )

SWPC Anonymous FTP Server

Latest Solar-Geophysical Data

WWV

Product: Geophysical Alert Message Issued: 2011 May 18 21:05 UTC

Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center

Geophysical Alert Message

Solar-terrestrial indices for 18 May 2011 follow:

Solar flux 91 and estimated mid-latitude A-Index 5.

The mid-latitude K-index at 21:00 UTC on 18 May 2011 was 1 ( 5 nT ).

No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours. No space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.

Reference

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/latest/wwv.txt

– –

We now see ( immediately above ) that a “K-index” of only “1″ was ‘underestimated’ and turned-out being a “4″ ( S4 ), which is “Severe.”

What makes matters worse for the public is that ‘on the exact same day’ ( May 18, 2011 ), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ) issued its ‘official’ “Top News Of The Day” announcement, but dated it “May 19, 2011″ ( tommorrow ); providing ‘no indication’ as having being according to “Universal Time” ( UT / UTC ) that might have made sense except for one ( 1 ) thing – it was posted ‘early’ on “May 18, 2011″ in the “United States.”

It gets worse, then on the ‘exact same day’ ( May 18, 2011 ) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ) and U.S. National Weather service ( NWS ) goes even further by providing ‘extremely bizzare rationale information’ that somehow ( they don’t say ‘how’ ) the ACE spacecraft satellite probe and other satellites had “Tracking Outages” that were in-part affected by the March 11, 2011 Japan tsunami. The image ( above ) does ‘not appear’ to indicate any Earth ground stations receiving any critical data link from “Japan.”

How does a 60-day old tsunami in Japan affect satellites in space ( ACE, etc. ) that are ‘supposedly observing the Sun’ is publicly incomprehensable – unless the ‘all satellites depended on only one ( 1 ) ground receiver on Earth ( in Japan ) connected in some way with something in Japan that is somehow supposed to be wiped-out ‘tommorrow’ ( May 19, 2011 )?

A more sensible public explanation might be if a solar flare, having a K-index and category 4 rating, shutdown ACE and other satellites observing the Sun.

The public is ‘not stupid’ and can detect ‘when’ the U.S. government is trying to hide a ‘secret’. What is that ‘government secret’?

A massive earthquake in Japan, ‘sometime tommorow’ ( May 19, 2011 ), bringing a ‘significant tsunami in Japan‘ on May 19, 2011?

Is a significant Coronal Mass Ejection ( CME ) from the Sun going to send a ‘significant solar flare’ into outerspace – or to Earth – with a consequential Solar Energetic Particle Event ‘tommorrow’ ( May 19, 2011 )?

Are any of the ‘aforementioned speculations’ a reason ‘why’ the government may have ‘secretly shutdown satellites’ ( including ACE ) to prevent NASA spacecraft electronics from being ‘burned-out’ from the highly excited or ‘high-energy electron burst’?

If all of the aforementioned was not bad enough for the public, again on the ‘exact same day’ ( May 18, 2011 – today! ) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ) and U.S. National Weather service ( NWS ) drops their hammer on the public stating, it will not be providing any further “critical data” – then ‘never mentions when they might ever again provide this information’.

Nothing like a government bureaucracy – once again – leaving the public hanging to guess what all this means, but one thing is for sure – a public information back-out – if the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ) and U.S. National Weather service ( NWS ) is ever to be publicly believed again!

All of the aforementioned and on the ‘exact same day’ ( May 18, 2011 ) or if you can believe them ( May 19, 2011 ), makes absolutely ‘no public sense’ whatsoever ( review immediately below ):

– –

May 18, 2011 [ publicly provided by NOAA SWPC dated May 19, 2011 ]  ( below ) –

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC )

“Top News of the Day:

May 19, 2011 – ACE [ Advanced Composition Explorer ] Tracking Outages: We have experienced recent outages from ACE due to several stations having problems that are expected to continue for some time. Solar radio interference, on the one hand, and equipment problems exacerbated by the continued effects of the recent Japan tsunami on the other. SWPC [ Space Weather Prediction Center ] and our partners in the Air Force and at NASA [ National Aeronautics & Space Administration ] are working hard to fill the gaps in these critical data.”

Reference

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov

– –

According to NASA this ( current ) Solar Maximum Cycle 24 is “something we all need to be concerned about” so, sooner or later a significant Solar Energetic Particle Event ( SEPE ) will be an experience facing the World.

From the aforementioned information, now ask yourself:

1. When is the ‘significant’ Solar Energetic Particle Event ( SEPE ) ‘coming to Earth’?

2. Who will you be able to obtain ‘quick, accurate and thoroughly understandable information’ from?

3. Can you wait until the last minute for an ‘official government detailed public report’?

4. Do ‘you’ know ‘what to do’ about a ‘significant solar flare’ right ‘now’?

5. Do ‘you’ know ‘how to prepare’ for what ‘government officials’ say is ‘coming soon’?

5. Do ‘you’ have a ‘plan’ and a ‘back-up plan’ established?

If you either ‘do not understand’or ‘have no meaningful answer’ for any one ( 1 ) of the aforementioned six ( 6 ) questions, ‘at-least begin preparing’ by easily reviewing the ‘detailed color images’ and ‘color video clip entertainmant’ within the ‘official information based’ report “Solar Energetic Particle Event Effects” at: http://conceptactivityresearchvault.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/solar-energetic-particle-event-effects

Learn the ‘history’ of what occurred to others encountering in the ‘past’ what officials are warning about what’s coming again ‘now’, and discover ‘critical details’ others wished they had known about on ‘this subject’.

The report is ‘not a religious experience’ or ‘metaphysical enlightment’, it’s just cut-to-the-chase facts you will walk away with, as one of a few who know, realizing it ‘truly is a matter of life or death’ – sooner for more than a few who took the time to review the Concept Activity Research Vault ( CARV ) report on Solar Energetic Particle Event Effects ( SEPE ).

Review it for yourself, your loved ones, or anyone you care to give ‘half a chance to survive’.

Although lengthy, as it initially appears, it is colorfully entertaining, filled with ‘official facts’ and more from a variety of credibly recognizeable sources you are familiar with. Report, click here:  Solar Energetic Particle Event Effects

– – – –

Source: MSNBC.COM

Huge Solar Flare’s Magnetic Storm May Disrupt Satellites, Power Grids

March 7, 2012 13:19 p.m. Eastern Standard Time ( EST )

A massive solar flare that erupted from the Sun late Tuesday ( March 6, 2012 ) is unleashing one of the most powerful solar storms in more than 5-years, ‘a solar tempest that may potentially interfere with satellites in orbit and power grids when it reaches Earth’.

“Space weather has gotten very interesting over the last 24 hours,” Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ), told reporters today ( March 7, 2012 ). “This was quite the Super Tuesday — you bet.”

Several NASA spacecraft caught videos of the solar flare as it hurled a wave of solar plasma and charged particles, called a Coronal mass Ejection ( CME ), into space. The CME is not expected to hit Earth directly, but the cloud of charged particles could deliver a glancing blow to the planet.

Early predictions estimate that the Coronal Mass Ejections ( CMEs ) will reach Earth tomorrow ( March 8, 2012 ) at 07:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time ( EST ), with the ‘effects likely lasting for 24-hours and possibly lingering into Friday ( March 9, 2012 )’, Kunches said.

The solar eruptions occurred late Tuesday night ( March 6, 2012 ) when the sun let loose two ( 2 ) huge X-Class solar flares that ‘ranked among the strongest type’ of sun storms. The biggest of those 2 flares registered as an X Class Category 5.4 solar flare geomagnetic storm on the space weather scale, making it ‘the strongest sun eruption so far this year’.

Typically, Coronal Mass Ejections ( CMEs ) contain 10,000,000,000 billion tons of solar plasma and material, and the CME triggered by last night’s ( March 6, 2012 ) X-Class Category 5.4 solar flare is ‘the one’ that could disrupt satellite operations, Kunches said.

“When the shock arrives, the expectation is for heightened geomagnetic storm activity and the potential for heightened solar radiation,” Kunches said.

This heightened geomagnetic activity and increase in solar radiation could impact satellites in space and ‘power grids on the ground’.

Some high-precision GPS ( Global Positioning Satellite ) users could also be affected, he said.

“There is the potential for ‘induced currents in power grids’,” Kunches said. “‘Power grid operators have all been alerted’. It could start to ’cause some unwanted induced currents’.”

Airplanes that fly over the polar caps could also experience communications issues during this time, and some commercial airliners have already taken precautionary actions, Kunches said.

Powerful solar storms can also be hazardous to astronauts in space, and NOAA is working close with NASA’s Johnson Space Center to determine if the six ( 6 ) spacecraft residents of the International Space Station ( ISS ) need to take shelter in more protected areas of the orbiting laboratory, he added.

The flurry of recent space weather events could also supercharge aurora displays ( also known as the Northern Lights and Southern Lights ) for sky-watchers at high latitudes.

“Auroras are probably the treat that we get when the sun erupts,” Kunches said.

Over the next couple days, Kunches estimates that brightened auroras could potentially be seen as far south as the southern Great Lakes region, provided the skies are clear.

Yesterday’s ( March 6, 2012 ) solar flares erupted from the giant active sunspot AR1429, which spewed an earlier X Class Category 1.1 solar flare on Sunday ( March 4, 2012 ). The CME from that one ( 1 ) outburst mostly missed Earth, passing Earth by last night ( March 6, 2012 ) at around 11 p.m. EST, according to the Space Weather Prediction Center ( SWPC ), which is jointly managed by NOAA and the National Weather Service ( NWS ).

This means that the planet ( Earth ) is ‘already experiencing heightened geomagnetic and radiation effects in-advance’ of the next oncoming ( March 8, 2012 thru March 9, 2012 ) Coronal Mass Ejection ( CME ).

“We’ve got ‘a whole series of things going off’, and ‘they take different times to arrive’, so they’re ‘all piling on top of each other’,” Harlan Spence, an astrophysicist at the University of New Hampshire, told SPACE.com. “It ‘complicates the forecasting and predicting’ because ‘there are always inherent uncertainties with any single event’ but now ‘with multiple events piling on top of one another’, that ‘uncertainty grows’.”

Scientists are closely monitoring the situation, particularly because ‘the AR1429 sunspot region remains potent’. “We think ‘there will be more coming’,” Kunches said. “The ‘potential for more activity’ still looms.”

As the Sun rotates, ‘the AR1429 region is shifting closer to the central meridian of the solar disk where flares and associated Coronal Mass Ejections ( CMEs ) may ‘pack more a punch’ because ‘they are more directly pointed at Earth’.

“The Sun is waking up at a time in the month when ‘Earth is coming into harms way’,” Spence said. “Think of these ‘CMEs somewhat like a bullet that is shot from the sun in more or less a straight line’. ‘When the sunspot is right in the middle of the sun’, something ‘launched from there is more or less directed right at Earth’. It’s kind of like how getting sideswiped by a car is different than ‘a head-on collision’. Even still, being ‘sideswiped by a big CME can be quite dramatic’.” Spence estimates that ‘sunspot region AR 1429 will rotate past the central meridian in about 1-week’.

The sun’s activity ebbs and flows on an 11-year cycle. The sun is in the midst of Solar Maximum Cycle 24, and activity is expected to ramp up toward the height of the Solar Maximum in 2013.

Reference

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46655901/

– – – –

Submitted for review and commentary by,

Concept Activity Research Vault E-MAIL: ConceptActivityResearchVault@Gmail.Com WWW: http://ConceptActivityResearchVault.WordPress.Com