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NASA Space Communications Earth Science

Solar Flare Interferes With Radio, But No Big Auroras 37

RedEaredSlider writes "The largest solar flare in several years has disrupted some communications, though it was not in the right position to create auroral displays visible from lower latitudes. The flare, which erupted on Feb. 15, sent what is called a coronal mass ejection, or CME, towards the Earth. A CME is billions of tons of charged particles, mostly protons." Most of the reported disruptions were in China, says the article.
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Solar Flare Interferes With Radio, But No Big Auroras

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2011 @10:25PM (#35251278)
    I was listening to radio in southern France, and if I'm not mistaken, that FM station I was listening to receives an uplink from a satellite and broadcast it back as is. It came out very wonky. The signal was still coming strong, but with silences and jitter.
  • by History's Coming To ( 1059484 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @10:43PM (#35251384) Journal
    And watch the share price of optical fibre manufacturers shoot up. Long thin bits of wire are bad news in the long term, especially with such a huge (if weak) magnetic field and a star that likes to slap it about occasionally. I thought we got that with the whole Carrington Event and the telegraph system? We can't keep messing about for another fifty years, we need an EM-proof(ish) replacement for LongBitsOfWire (TM).
  • by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @11:08PM (#35251508) Homepage

    I recently watched an optical fibre being made. I already knew how they were made, but is was amazing how manual and labour intensive the process was.
    I just assumed the process of pulling the preform would be far more automated. This looked more like a lab experiment than manufacturing.

  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Saturday February 19, 2011 @04:54AM (#35252696) Journal

    We can't keep messing about for another fifty years, we need an EM-proof(ish) replacement for LongBitsOfWire (TM).

    You're an idiot. This was as powerful as solar flares get, yet, from TFA:

    the reported problems were with high-frequency radio communications.

    HF was deprecated for just about all practical uses, as soon as viable alternatives (ie. communications satellites) were introduced. Earthbound wires have been pretty well impervious to solar flares just about forever.

    The only real threat solar flares pose is to a few, already-overloaded, electrical transmission circuits which are operating at the edge of their capacity before the unexpected power-boost arrives. Other than that, it's a very insignificant bit of occasional static on the line. Nothing more.

"Only a brain-damaged operating system would support task switching and not make the simple next step of supporting multitasking." -- George McFry