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Gee Whillickers

Massive solar flare released by the sun - will hit glancing blow on earth tomorrow

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Now don't panic. Solar flares have been happening forever, and have been hitting earth forever. This will have almost no impact on anything living or the earth itself.

But...

This is one of the first times a flare of this magnitude has hit us with all of our technology in place. It's not us that's in danger. It's our electronics. This could cause temporary outages or major damage to lots of satellites, including GPS, communications, etc. It could cause large electric grid blackouts. It could fry our Iphones and cell networks. Or, it could do nothing.

The problem is, governments have been very reluctant to pay for the proper shielding necessary for our electric systems, satellites, etc. Because this hasn't happened. Yet. Typical government planning. Wait until after the major problem to fix it. At 100 times the cost.

One thing it probably will do, however, is give us one spectacular light show. People all the way down to the mid latitudes should be able to see the Northern and Southern Lights Thursday and Friday evening, and they may be something spectacular. For those of you who've never seen them, this may be your chance.

Here's the article:

http://www.weather.com/outlook/weather-news/news/articles/sunspot-1429-solar-flare_2012-03-07

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Now don't panic. Solar flares have been happening forever, and have been hitting earth forever. This will have almost no impact on anything living or the earth itself.

But...

This is one of the first times a flare of this magnitude has hit us with all of our technology in place. It's not us that's in danger. It's our electronics. This could cause temporary outages or major damage to lots of satellites, including GPS, communications, etc. It could cause large electric grid blackouts. It could fry our Iphones and cell networks. Or, it could do nothing.

The problem is, governments have been very reluctant to pay for the proper shielding necessary for our electric systems, satellites, etc. Because this hasn't happened. Yet. Typical government planning. Wait until after the major problem to fix it. At 100 times the cost.

One thing it probably will do, however, is give us one spectacular light show. People all the way down to the mid latitudes should be able to see the Northern and Southern Lights Thursday and Friday evening, and they may be something spectacular. For those of you who've never seen them, this may be your chance.

Here's the article:

http://www.weather.c...lare_2012-03-07

Should we unplug our computers? How long will it last? When will it start and end? And don't give me a lot of crap about now knowing these things. If you raise the alarm, you must have some answers. :angry:

Aw, just kidding.

C

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Don't forget the talking wildlife!

Solar flares.... I'm not making fun, I'm not. This is actually a possibility where shielded electronics are a good idea. Why? Because solar flares and EMP's and various other odd things are real possibilities, and though some are usually harmless, others are not, nor do we know for sure how severe a bad one might be, because we haven't experienced them during the modern communications and electronics era.

I do recall a couple of 60's and 70's science fiction movies that had some sort of event, natural or man-made, that took out major sections of humanity world-wide, leading to the survivors having to make their way in the post-apocalyptic world. (I am trying to remember the name of those.) (Alas, Babylon is another, as is On The Beach.) (I might be thinking of Damnation Alley. I'll have to look them up.)

Wild-eyed hysterics or a call of "the sky is falling!" aside, just be careful out there and do what you usually do. If a truly bad solar flare can do what we think it could, then your electronics won't be too safe anyway, and neither will you or I. The possible safety zones? Massive, thick shielding through lead or concrete or stone. But if some of the more exotic rays are really in that, then even that might not do it. -- In other words, don't worry too much about something you can't do a whole lot about anyway. Be aware though. And be thinking about what to do if there were to be a problem with electronics suddenly not working.

You can watch for the Northern / Southern Lights (aurorae) if you want, those could be cool.

I went through Hurricane Ike and after. Our major city was without any and all services, I mean absolutely *anything* for weeks, and electricity, gas, phones, clean water, food, medicines, took literally weeks to be restored. Over a month and a half, nearly two months, before it was all back to normal. Imagine going from the 21st century in one of the world's most modern cities, to the 19th century or earlier, in terms of technology and resources, overnight, and staying that way for nearly two months. Yes, I made it. Most people made it, oddly enough. (And it got almost no attention, while Katrina and Rita did.)

But -- a solar flare? These things happen often. This one's bigger than normal. The scientists aren't sure what's going to happen. So the best plan is not to panic, but to be smart and go on as normal. Chances are slim it'll be a major catastrophe. If it is, well, I've been through those too and I got very frazzled, but made it fine.

(Having said that, don't be like the idiots on various coastal islands and beaches, who refused evacuation orders and they and all they had were washed out to sea, just completely wiped clean. I don't mean I have no sympathy. I mean, if you get an order to evacuate, if people (neighbors and authorities) come around and offer to get your butt out of there well beforehand and you refuse common sense, then, well...that's not a smart decision, I'm sorry.)

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Most likely the effect will be temporary issues with satellite TV reception, long distance calls, and maybe internet. Worst scenario is frying all the sats, and several major urban power grids. This event isn't a direct hit though, so that's unlikely as I understand it. It might be the warning needed though, the sun has seasons, and it is entering a season of very high liklihood of these events for the next few years, for the first time since the electronic age. If we don't make sure our stuff is shielded, this is gonna be expensive and very problematic.

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Solar flares typically affect the ionosphere which is what lower frequency radio waves bounce off of for 'skip communications.' Although solar flares can occur at any time, the eleven year sunspot cycle is a factor ham operators have used to predict the years they'll have good or propagation and contact lots of distant stations.

Satellite waves are much, much higher in frequency, however, and have an even shorter wavelength... so should not be affected as much if at all. During autumn and spring television satellite reception is interrupted for brief periods as the sun moves behind the satellite and overpowers the satellite signal at any given receiving point.

Solar flares, however, might exacerbate the disruptions by making them persist longer but as the sun moves away satellite signals should return to normal. It has yet to be determined however what might be the physical effects on the satellites themselves, as almost all of them are solar powered.

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Blue: Nurse Ratched once ordered me to evacuate my bowells or she would do it for me...I complied.

As for the Sun spot, don't you people know anything? It's all a prelude to the Mayan calendar 'doomsday' on 21st December. Not to mention the Rapture which must be due by now.

Don't worry about shielding anything but the family jewels. If they go then your brain has already been insolated, and if you don't know that that has happened then life isn't worthwhile anyway.

Contact the mothership Now.

"Jim Beam me up."

Sheilds Up, Warp factor 6 Mr. Spock, get us outta here.

"Gort...Klaatu barada nikto"

Think I'll just put a sign out the front door, "Fun end times here...no charge."

And the secret of life is...zap!

Okay it's been fun guys. Just in case, Hail and Farewell.

:wav:

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Oh-là-là!

Hmm, and to quote Monty Python and the Holy Grail, regarding protecting the menfolk, "But, I don't want to be rescued!" OK, in fairness, that was a young lad being, ah, nursed back to health, by a bevy of quite attractive young lady nurses who had been too long deprived of, ah, friendly companionship.

What happened to me being shy and playing hard to get? It's the sunspots, baby, ever'body have a real good time, to quote Bob Seeger. No, it's more like I'm getting much less picky (and more desperate) as time goes on.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm just as reserved as usual. Only...my subconscious really wishes for this nice guy who...but I've said too much, alas!

It appears I'm still here and still have an active web connection. I haven't grown a third eye yet, or any extra "appendages" (one for each hand, maybe?) or anything else too grotesque (or any more so than usual, at any rate). At least, not so far. -- Anyone who might find such extras more intriguing than repelling, well, I don't know. As I said, perhaps I'm less picky or more desperate.

LOL. Where's that collander, blast it?

Please Note: If you hadn't figured out that this post is all just a bunch of malarkey purely for humor value, then please go see a doctor about your sense of humor immediately. While there might be a grain or two of truth in there...oh, never mind, where's your sense of fun and adventure. Laugh a little. Please.

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