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NASA Communications Earth Space Science

NASA Warns of Magnetic Storm After Huge Solar Flare 84

Posted by timothy
from the nothing-wrong-with-a-little-glow-ball-warming dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA today said a strong-to-severe geomagnetic storm is in progress following a massive solar flare and coronal mass ejection (CME). CMEs are a solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and affect electronic systems in satellites and on Earth. Simulations indicate that solar wind plasma has penetrated close to geosynchronous orbit starting at 9am today. Geosynchronous satellites could therefore be directly exposed to solar wind plasma and magnetic fields. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras after nightfall, NASA stated."
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NASA Warns of Magnetic Storm After Huge Solar Flare

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  • by Jedi Holocron (225191) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @10:21AM (#37526214) Homepage Journal

    Spaceweather.com is reporting this as subsiding....

    SUBSIDING STORM: A severe geomagnetic storm (Kp=7-8) that began yesterday when a CME hit Earth's magnetic field is subsiding. At the peak of the disturbance, auroras were sighted around both poles and in more than five US states including Michigan, New York, South Dakota, Maine, and Minnesota:

    • by Iskender (1040286)

      While Slashdot is late to the party here Spaceweather does say that people near the poles should still keep an eye out.

      So the story essentially becomes: "If you're in Alaska, Northern Europe or somewhere similar there is a greater than usual chance of auroras today."

      In the southern hemisphere only Antarctica is south enough and the people there probably don't need outside help in spotting auroras. =)

    • by xmorg (718633)

      THE END IS NEAR!!! bring out your dead!!!

    • Make that six states, then. I saw the aurora last night, just before midnight, in Alaska.
      • I think that was only the list of locations that were reporting photos to Spaceweather.com....at the time of the post.

  • Considering /.'s lead time this warning would have been helpful last week.

    I jest, I jest, this sounds cool. I hope I can see some of the show in the North East.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Good thing they discovered superluminal neutrinos last week because you'll need a time machine.

      • Oh you were lucky enough to actually find out from TFA when the storm will impact Earth..
      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Well, that is part of my question around superluminal neutrinos. If they really worked that way, then couldn't you potentially detect a supernova weeks or months before it becomes visible via light/radio? The speed difference is small, but when the travel time is measured in decades to centuries a tiny percentage adds up.

        • Except that they don't, in fact, observe neutrinos before supernovae. They arrive right when they "should", at or slightly after the light arrives. Bear in mind that \Delta t is 6x10^{-8} seconds over 500 miles. A light year is roughly 6 x 10^12 miles, so a supernova from hundreds to millions of LY away would produce neutrinos that arrive anywhere from hours to days or months before the light. And they don't, or at least no one has yet observed that they do. That is, it isn't really a tiny percentage,
          • by Rich0 (548339)

            Yup, that was basically what I was getting at...

          • Except that they don't, in fact, observe neutrinos before supernovae. They arrive right when they "should", at or slightly after the light arrives. Bear in mind that \Delta t is 6x10^{-8} seconds over 500 miles. A light year is roughly 6 x 10^12 miles, so a supernova from hundreds to millions of LY away would produce neutrinos that arrive anywhere from hours to days or months before the light. And they don't, or at least no one has yet observed that they do. That is, it isn't really a tiny percentage, not tiny as in at all difficult to resolve. 60 nanoseconds is hundreds of CPU clock cycles -- your computer could resolve the timing to a couple of significant figures and I'm guessing state of the art clocks and transducers can do at least orders of magnitude better.

            It's one of several reasons that people are skeptical about the superluminal result, one of several things that will ultimately have to be explained if the superluminal result is eventually validated.

            The only supernova where neutrinos could be assigned to was 1987A, and the number counts (detailed on Wikipedia) were too low to state anything significant. However, there was a increase in neutrino counts 3 hours before the light arrived.

            You also have to keep in mind that process producing the neutrinos in a SN could just be earlier. Yes, neutrino speed should be verified.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The storm had already passed by the time this article was posted.
    This is something that should have been posted on Sunday.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @10:49AM (#37526522)

    I got this shot of an aurora over Karlstad, Sweden last night http://i.imgur.com/fnbS4.jpg

    • by Teun (17872)
      Nice!
    • by ndap (141358)

      First time I've seen Karlstad mentioned on Slashdot :) Was it taken on Kronoparken?

    • by 6Yankee (597075)
      Meanwhile, here in Oulu it was 8/8 cloud cover and lashing it down...
  • I always love international websites posting things like "9 a.m.", because we only have 24+ timezones you know..

    Say "a.m." again. Say "a.m." again. I dare you. I double-dare you, motherfucker. Say "a.m." one more goddamn time.

    • A.M. !

    • by daid303 (843777)

      Make that "we have only 1852 timezones you know..."

      daid@DavidUbuntu:~$ find /usr/share/zoneinfo/ | wc -l
      1852

      • Come now! Time zones have been updated several times since 1852. I mean, it's fine and dandy to commemorate when time signals were first telegraphed from Greenwich Royal Observatory, but for the most part cities were still on local solar time in 1852.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        That includes MANY duplicates, example: UTC-6 aka CST in North America is listed well over a dozen times not even counting cities listed (which would likely triple that or more).

        The tz database lists 405 here:
        https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/List_of_tz_database_time_zones

    • by lgarner (694957)
      Nothing wrong with AM & PM, and it's unrelated to UTC. But, knowing the timezone would help, considering that the summary says it "has penetrated close to geosynchronous orbit starting at 9am today", while it's 8:10am here now. Must be those damn neutrinos again.
    • Well I don't know how or why you got modded flaimebait. That was pretty much my response, "9 AM? Where? How does that tell me anything?"

      And yet, some moderator who has apparently never seen Pulp Fiction is too busy on his holy crusade for ambiguous units to figure out you were making a joke. Ah well, I giggled.
    • by raluxs (961449)
      Be thankful that he is not posting in swedish. No crees?
    • by brainboyz (114458)

      Because something coming from an administration of the US government on a very US-centric website won't be in one of about 4 time zones. Something coming from CERN or EU in general is in about 5 time zones. If the event is important enough, it's fairly easy to find out which of those time zones it applies to.

    • by foog (6321)

      Try chewing on: "Sunrise is at about 7 A.M. in autumn"

    • by lahvak (69490)

      From the reactions of other posters, it seems that the submitter not only failed to specify which "9 a.m." he is talking about, he also didn't properly specify which "today" he is talking about.

  • ..thanks NASA.. my ISP appreciate the excuse to give crappy internet service.
  • I just don't buy the idea that a CME can really effect my interne,,@#!@@$@#$@#NO CARRIER
  • ... and its raining magnets.

  • Knowledge and technology are all well and good, except when used for evil or to sell advertising, I guess...

    A Solar Storm Strikes Earthâ"and Provides a Warning for the Future [time.com]

    New Forecast: Sun's 'Superstorms' Could Doom Satellites [space.com]

    Could The Sun Set Off The Next Big Natural Disaster? [smithsonianmag.com]

    PS: The sun will go supernova in the near future. Please panic accordingly. :-)

  • We don't need the news as it's happening. We just need it on a timely enough basis to form excuses based on it.
  • ... I unplugged my Dishnet.

  • I wonder what she said.

  • Remember this kids while you go to sleep every day of your life you're about 8 minutes from getting fried by a massive Superflare from that big fusion engine up in the sky. Sleep well!

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