Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
NASA Space Science

NASA Confirms Solar Storm Near 2012 344

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the get-out-your-foil-hats dept.
An anonymous reader writes "`This week researchers announced that a storm is coming — the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one," she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.`

`Dikpati's forecast puts Solar Max at 2012. Hathaway believes it will arrive sooner, in 2010 or 2011.`

Anyone familiar with the Mayan Calendar? December 21, 2012 (13.0.0.0.0 in the Mayan Calendar) Coincidence?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NASA Confirms Solar Storm Near 2012

Comments Filter:
  • Oh nooo!!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by scsirob (246572) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:11AM (#18427579)
    This explains it all! Higher activity on the sun accounts for higher temperatures on Earth and Mars. Next thing you know there will be no explanation for global warming anymore..
    • by endianx (1006895) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:18AM (#18427663)
      Not true at all! This is just proof that mans impact on the environment extends throughout the solar system. It wasn't enough for us to mess up our own planet, now we have caused solar warming as well!
      • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @12:15PM (#18429981) Homepage

        Not true at all! This is just proof that mans impact on the environment extends throughout the solar system. It wasn't enough for us to mess up our own planet, now we have caused solar warming as well!

        "Man's impact"? Um, I think you mean "George W. Bush's impact". If he'd just sign Kyoto, the sun would instantly return to normal.

        • The real joke (Score:3, Informative)

          by jmorris42 (1458) *
          > Um, I think you mean "George W. Bush's impact".

          What makes this joke especially funny is that, despite the fervent belief of most of the crazy elements on the left, George W, Bush CAN'T sign the Kyoto Treaty even if he wanted to. So their carping for him to sign only reveals their ignorance.

          Huh? What can I possibly mean? Am I trolling? Nope. Shrubbie can't sign Kyoto because there is already a signature on it for the US. President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton has already signed the Kyoto Treat
    • as we all know, some idiot predicted that the Earth would be hit hard in the nearish future, almost wiped out entirely, due to a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) aimed directly at the planet.

      Not very likely, although a lot of satellites, etc. will probably suddenly become due for major upgrades.
    • Isn't this about when "they" say the magnetic reversal will be in
      full swing?

      Worst solar max ever $32.50

      Myan Calendar ends $15.10

      Global warming now solar system wide $11.50

      No protection from solar flares due to
      weakening of the earth's magnetic field....

      priceless.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Seumas (6865)

      Anyone familiar with the Mayan Calendar? December 21, 2012 (13.0.0.0.0 in the Mayan Calendar) Coincidence?"
      Yes, coincidence. Unless you're some idiot who gets his science via Art Bell and his pseudo-science guests and you also believe in grays and "mel's hole".

      Seriously.. wtf?! Why would anyone even include that comment in a scientific submission?
  • Umm, old news? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zarhan (415465) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:11AM (#18427583)
    The article is dated March 10, 2006.
    • by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:37AM (#18427875) Journal
      News goes in a cycle.

      This news will be repeated again and again, reaching DUPE MAX sometime just AFTER the SOLAR MAX predicted.

      It is not, however, a harbinger for the end of dupes.

      • Re:Umm, old news? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by daeg (828071) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:50AM (#18428023)
        As someone who used to work in news, I can tell you that is entirely false. After the event, there are even more stories that you can pull from an event than there were leading up to the event. For instance: Did the storm affect anything? Was it stronger than predicted? Why? Does it affect local animals at all? What about children? Was your child affected? Can we link to to increased teen suicide? Was it caused by aliens? Can we find someone that thinks it was aliens? Was the prediction wrong? Was it right? Was it both right and wrong? Are there any local experts that can weigh in on the subject? ...no? Can we make some experts?

        Local news was terrifying to say the least.
  • Apocalypse? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by muellerr1 (868578) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:11AM (#18427589) Homepage

    Anyone familiar with the Mayan Calendar? December 21, 2012 (13.0.0.0.0 in the Mayan Calendar) Coincidence?"
    Great. It wasn't enough that the fundies were predicting apocalypse, now there's a secular apocalypse to look forward to. And here I thought we were done with Y2K. Sheeple sure loves them some end times.
    • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:16AM (#18427645) Homepage Journal
      You're just jealous because you haven't spent the past several years building a sacred Mesoamerican ball court [wikipedia.org] in your cornfield. If I build it they will come...
    • Belief in a Christian apocalypse is non-secular, while belief in some other religion's apocalypse is secular?
      • Yes, in the same way that secular humanists are all secretly fundamentalist Muslims.
      • by muellerr1 (868578)
        Yes, when that culture, along with its religion, has been dead for centuries and all that's left are scarce or undecipherable relics such as this calendar system. Are you seriously implying that the OP practices an authentic Mayan religion? It's either that, or you're lumping superstition about nice round numbers in with religion.

        Also, the term I used was 'fundie.' Though I meant it in a Christian sense as that's the dominant religion of my culture, that could mean a fundamentalist of any religion.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Guuge (719028)

          You clearly don't know what the word 'secular' means. Grab a dictionary. You'll find that this sort of Pythagorean mysticism is not at all secular. Indeed, the word you're looking for is "mystical".

          The supposed difference between fundamentalist dogma and mystical superstition is not compelling to me, but you can observe it if you wish.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Would it really be such a bad thing, though? Just think: we wouldn't have to worry about the 32-bit timer on Unix systems overflowing in 2038!
  • End of the world? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hawkinspeter (831501) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:12AM (#18427599)
    Yes - it's just a coincidence
    • I agree.

      The end of the world will be a coincidence. And, I might add, not very significant in the cosmic scheme of things.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:14AM (#18427627)
    12/21/2012 12+21+20+12=65 !! That's how old Jesus would be if he was born in 1942!! COINCIDENCE??
  • Coincidence? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skidge (316075) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:15AM (#18427633) Homepage

    Anyone familiar with the Mayan Calendar? December 21, 2012 (13.0.0.0.0 in the Mayan Calendar) Coincidence?"
    Yes. Yes, it is.
  • Sure.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zeek40 (1017978) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:17AM (#18427659)
    If they're as accurate at predicting storms on the sun as they are here on earth, I'll believe them when it's happening.
    • The funny thing about your post is that, if there really is a big solar storm, one of its first consequences will be a reduction of the quality of the weather forecasts because the satelites will suffer from increased noise in their sensors and communication devices and (in case of a realy nasty solar storm) temporary electronic failures.
      But don't worry, odds that this activity peak would cause the end of the world as we know it is basically the same as the one of 1958 (0.0000000000000000%).
    • by Hatta (162192)
      They are just about as accurate on the sun as on the earth. On the earth, every twelve months or so there are some major storms in the south atlantic. Just like on the sun every 12 years or so there are some major storms. It's the same thing, we know it will happen, we're just not clear on the details.
  • Coincidence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:18AM (#18427671) Journal

    Anyone familiar with the Mayan Calendar?
    Yes, I am familiar with the Tzolk'in Calendar.

    December 21, 2012 (13.0.0.0.0 in the Mayan Calendar) Coincidence?
    Yes, coincidence. I was first exposed to the-world-will-end-in-2012 when I read Graham's book Fingerprints of the Gods. I wasn't sold on his numerology.

    Let me break it down for you: the Mayans had a very advanced & complex calendar that took into account a lot of different cycles and even some of the most extraordinary hiccups that come with man's attempt at keeping track of time. For the Gregorian calendar, we have leap years except we skip one every four hundred years and even with that in place I think we lose a day every 8,000 years. And you will find that every model has some special issues.

    So, back to the Mayans, their measurements of days came in sets of 13, contrary to our sets of 7 days in a week. So the world is no more likely to end on 13.0.0.0.0 than it was on the new years even in year seven. Just because 13 was always the last number in their cycles just means that we start a new cycle. No cataclysmic event needed to mark it. The cycle simply repeats and they most likely go to 1.0.0.0.0 there's no such thing as overflow in their calendar.

    Fun hokey astrological implications? Yes. Cold hard scientific data pointing to the end of the world? No.
    • by painQuin (626852) <painQuin@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:31AM (#18427811) Homepage
      the ones you have to watch out for are the cultures whose calendars count down
    • Re:Coincidence (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bacon Bits (926911) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:35AM (#18427851)
      The Gregorian calendar has leap years as follows:
      Every year divisible by 4 is a leap year.
      Except when that year is also divisible by 100, in which case it is *not* a leap year.
      Except when that year is also divisible by 400, in which case it *is* a leap year.

      Hence 2000 was a leap year. 2100 will not be.

      The fun hokeyness is due to the Western assumption that everything is linear, in spite of the fact that we repeat months, days of months, and days of weeks constantly. We don't find it odd that there are thousands of Wednesdays or March 21sts, but somehow we can't understand there ever being more than one 2007.
      • by jrumney (197329) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:45AM (#18427957) Homepage

        but somehow we can't understand there ever being more than one 2007.

        There was another, 4014 years ago. What I can't figure out is how prehistoric man knew when Jesus was going to be born/die/be baptised or whatever event you believe led to the changeover, and how clever it was of him to count backwards.

      • But before we had it right, we had to get rid of a couple weeks at the end of the middle age to resync on the sun. The Gregorian2.0 is OK, but despite its near obsolecence problem and the lack of developemnt effort, the Mayan1.0 was right long before.
        • Yes, well, the Maya were also known for human sacrifice. You have a lot of encouragement for getting your days and nights right when the last guy who got it wrong has his chest cut open with a stone blade and his heart removed right in front of you.

          You think to yourself "Hey, I *need* my heart. I should figure out when the equinoxes are so I don't end up as the next scapegoat for a bad harvest."
          • Yes, well, the Maya were also known for human sacrifice. You have a lot of encouragement for getting your days and nights right when the last guy who got it wrong has his chest cut open with a stone blade and his heart removed right in front of you.

            You think to yourself "Hey, I *need* my heart. I should figure out when the equinoxes are so I don't end up as the next scapegoat for a bad harvest."
            And they say you can't force creativity........
    • by revlayle (964221)
      I always thought was a crock. People who believe this always say "Then why does it end on 12/21/2012??? It must be significant!" My answer: "Well, the calendar's got to end somewhere. My calendar ends on 12/12/2007. OH NOES! WE GONNA DIES!"

      Anyone can extend the Gregorian calendar as we know the rules on how to continue that calendar (hence why we get 2008 calendars). I'm sure, if someone really wanted to, that the Mayan calendar *could be EXTENDED* beyond 12/21/2012 as well. Doing so would be acade
    • by dfn5 (524972)

      Let me break it down for you
      blah blah blah. It is much simpler than that. From the article...

      the most intense solar maximum in fifty years
      It didn't say the most intense solar maximum ever. It just said in the last 50 years. So what did the Mayan calendar have to say about that event? Well we are still here, so it couldn't have been much.
  • by Peter Trepan (572016) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:20AM (#18427673)

    Is it the one where all twelve are nude except for loincloths and headdresses?

    Um... no, I'm not familiar with it.

  • It's just the end of the current round of the long count in the calendar. Then it start over.

    It's not the end of anything in any significant sense, just the turning of a wheel. It's just as reasonable to think of it as a beginning.
  • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:21AM (#18427699) Homepage Journal
    Get ready for those long-distance ham radio contacts when the ionosphere goes crazy, and conditions generally improve even when it's not crazy! And now that there's no more Morse Code test, we'll see a lot of people who were stuck on VHF before on the HF bands.

    Looking at auroras will be cool too. Be sure to reserve the left seat on US to Europe red-eye flights, I've seen amazing aurorae out that window, nothing that you could see from the ground.

    Bruce

  • Sweet! (Score:5, Informative)

    by DoctorPepper (92269) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:22AM (#18427721)
    Looks like I need to really get to work on my Elecraft K1. With a solar maximum like they're predicting, QRP is going to be awesome!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by brain1 (699194)
      Wonder how high the maximum usable frequency will rise to? Worldwide QRP on 6 meters? 2 meters? Can't wait.
      • Heh, I'm thinking 70 cm! :-)

        Got to get my VHF/UHF sideband/CW station back on the air!
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by brain1 (699194)
          You know, now that I think about it, there wasn't a lot of VHF/UHF gear for amateur radio back then during that huge solar max. Mostly old surplus, vibrator power supply, VHF trunk-mounted FM wideband business radios recrystalled for 2M. 70cm was largely unexplored territory. Forget everything above that, unless you happened to have a military surplus klystron laying around somewhere. 1296 MHz and above was hugely experimental and the average amateur couldn't touch the gear to play around with those ban
  • by Anonymous Coward
    So that we'd have sunshine in London during the games. :-)

  • Coincidence? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by thefirelane (586885)
    Yes, next question

    This is easy.
  • So you're implying that NASA designed the Mayan calandar?

  • by corpsmoderne (1007311) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:42AM (#18427911)
    ... for the US elections

    "65535 votes for X in this voting machine??? errr! Must be the solar storm..."
    • by deft (253558)
      ... for the US elections
      "65535 votes for X in this voting machine??? errr! Must be the solar storm..."

      WHOAH! WHOAH! WHOAH!
      How did the solar storm know which republican to vote for in florida?
  • by zyl0x (987342) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:49AM (#18428015)
    Supposed "remote viewer" Major Ed Dames [wikipedia.org] has not-so-accurately predicted such a solar flare. He calls it the "Killshot" and says it will end most life on the planet.

    And naturally he is selling the secrets of how to survive this solar flare on DVD for the low low price of $24.99. Still, it's interesting to see a psychic's claim being backed by scientific observations.
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:50AM (#18428019) Homepage Journal
    climate I would be curious what side effects they think this will have on our world other than electromagnetic issues?

    Does sunspot activity correspond to an decrease in the amount of radiation hitting the earth? If we are at a low point now for sunspots will their increase be truly noticable?

    I am only wondering as some scientists have put forward the idea that the sun's activities plays a much greater role in our environment than many give it credit for.

    So will an increase in sunspot activity affect us? ( I have no idea, hence I am asking from people who do)
    • by Detritus (11846)
      There was the Maunder Minimum [wikipedia.org], which seemed to correlate with the peak of the Little Ice Age. I don't know if anyone has come up with a convincing argument that explains how sun spots affect the Earth's climate. They can make the atmosphere expand, which contributed to the premature demise of the SkyLab space station.
  • by bc90021 (43730) * <bc90021@bc90021S ... net minus distro> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:53AM (#18428073) Homepage
    Bringing up the Mayan Calendar, and the sun's various cycles, is a book called "Apocalypse 2012 [amazon.com]". (Not an affiliate link.) It's not as dire as the title might sound, though the author (Lawrence E. Joseph) does explore some of the various issues with that date. One concept he examines is that as the solar system moves around the galactic center, the earth has been shielded from various radiations it will no longer be shielded from after that date.
  • Anyone familiar with the Mayan Calendar? December 21, 2012 (13.0.0.0.0 in the Mayan Calendar) Coincidence?"
    In Dubuque Iowa a woman severely burns her hand at the same exact moment her daughter is giving her boyfriend a hand job 8 miles away in his car.. Coincidence?
  • by WED Fan (911325) <akahige&trashmail,net> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:01AM (#18428189) Homepage Journal

    This article [nasa.gov] from NASA JPL is very informative on the subject.

    The researchers found some clear links between the sun's activity and climate variations. The Nile water levels and aurora records had two somewhat regularly occurring variations in common - one with a period of about 88 years and the second with a period of about 200 years.

    I think we need to take a look at the hysteria. It is turn our attention away from what we can do to better this planet. And, the idea of carbon offsets just makes people feel better for their polution levels.

    Global Warming has become the new Medieval Church and anyone who does not walk a precise line on the message faces the New Inquisition.

    We do need to live more green, more clean, and more simple. But, the public won't buy off on that message if we keep tying it to the Holy Church of Global Warming Hysteria. If we can show more immediate effects of living green and clean the public will follow.

    We need to separate those whose real agenda is socio-economic change from the environmental argument. They aren't really interested in the environment, anyway. We need to remove the scammers, like the "carbon offset" (unregulated, uncertified, non-verifiable) companies to improve public perception.

    We need to substitue Ed Beagley Jr. for Al Gore. Ed lives, breathes, talks, and walks the environment. Al Gore, while talking about it, still jets around the world, when he could use his own invention, the Internet, to show up at appearances, he maintains a house in Tennessee that uses 20 times the amount of energy as his neighbors, he is a glutton who preaches about the wonders of a diet.

    • hence (Score:2, Informative)

      by cyclomedia (882859)
      instead of bashing on about global warming we need to bash on about

      1. asthma

      2. the fact that every sandstone building in an urban location is black from years of exhaust fumes, or are lungs immune from the same effect?

      3. recycling is the natural norm of things, hence decomposition, bugs, worms and mould whilst use-once trow away for ever is clearly not.

      4. smog

      5. landfills look ugly and smell bad

      6. motorways/freeways and their junctions take up vast acres of land compared to a railway system of the same capa
  • Date Correction (Score:2, Informative)

    by tenma4 (1078379)
    I believe the actual date from the Mayan calendar is Sunday, December 23rd, 2012. A friend and I have had a wager riding on this one for 11 years...
  • by RembrandtX (240864) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:14AM (#18428345) Homepage Journal
    We're not going to pass through the tail of a comet are we ?
    I mean .. solar storms I can handle, but those damn comet tails hold zombies.
    Self preservation would make me hide out in a tin garden shed, or the back of my big-rig,
    but really, the world is just doomed from that point on.
  • How often do we hear about solar flares or storms affecting communications and satellites...etc... I don't remember ever loosing my cell phone or TV or Internet or anything do to this.
    • Remember Galaxy 4? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Pontiac (135778) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @12:01PM (#18429767) Homepage
      Funny how people forget..

      When Galaxy 4 died it took out 80% of the pagers in the US plus several video feeds used by the major networks (I worked for CBS at the time)

      This was 2 years before the 2000 Solar max when solar activity was ramping up.
      More storms in 2003 took out power in parts of Switzerland and killed 2 Satellites

      There were several solar flare warnings around that time.

      http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2000/ast14jul_2 m.htm [nasa.gov]

      July 14, 2000 -- This morning NOAA satellites and the orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) recorded one of the most powerful solar flares of the current solar cycle. Space weather forecasters had been predicting for days that an intense flare might erupt from the large sunspot group 9077, and today one did.

      http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/power_outage _031031.html [space.com]

      The sixth in an unprecedented series of strong space storms dished out by the Sun over a 10-day period plowed past Earth Thursday, apparently cutting power to 20,000 Swedish customers. The powerful series of outbursts also claimed two satellites as casualties while fueling a host of minor disruptions to radio broadcasts and airline flight plans.

      http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/articles/eisbaker.html [agu.org]

      A very intense flux of electrons, evident in the magnetosphere earlier this year, may have caused a satellite failure (or at least exacerbated the situation) leading to the loss of telephone pager service to 45 million customers, research has shown. The electrons, known as highly relativistic electrons (HREs), were especially numerous in the weeks preceding the failure. Researchers say HREs have triggered spacecraft anomalies in the past when fluxes are elevated. They therefore believe this energetic electron event could have been behind the failure of the attitude control system of the Galaxy 4 spacecraft at 2200 UT on May 19, 1998. A backup system also failed, either at the same time or earlier, so operators were unable to maintain a stable Earth link.

      Galaxy 4 is a heavily used communication satellite at geostationary orbit*. Its sudden failure caused not only widespread loss of pager service but also numerous other communication outages. Using a wide array of datasets, our team of scientists analyzed the space environment for the times in question and found evidence of highly disturbed solar, solar wind*, and geomagnetic conditions in late April and early May. The combination of coronal mass ejections*, solar flares*, and high speed solar wind streams led to a powerful sequence of interplanetary disturbances that hit the Earth. These disturbances produced a deep, powerful, and long-lasting enhancement of the HRE population throughout the outer Van Allen radiation zone. The kinds of disturbances witnessed are indicative of the types of events that may commonly occur during the approaching peak in solar activity in the years 2000 and 2001. It will be most important to determine how well space systems can stand up to the multifaceted effects of the space environment over the next several years.


      http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/ cell_phone_020306.html [space.com]

      Next time your cell phone drops acall, don't rush to blame your service provider. The culprit may well be anangry Sun.

      A new study of 40 years of solardata shows that during peaks in activity, bursts of energy from the Sun canpotentially cause dropped calls for some cell phone users across wide areastwice per week. The problem is caused when radio waves associated with thebursts hit cell phone towers, creating static that overwhelms the signal at thetower, where calls are relayed.

      T
  • by Surt (22457) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @11:38AM (#18429495) Homepage Journal
    Anyone familiar with the Mayan Calendar? December 21, 2012 (13.0.0.0.0 in the Mayan Calendar) Coincidence?"

    Nope, it's true every time.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @01:09PM (#18430873)
    nuf said

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

Working...