Solar Storm No Fun in the Sun
But, This Weekend’s Solar Storm Could Splash the Night Sky With Color…
The initial blasts of a solar storm that began on Thursday 07/12/12 started slamming into the earth’s magnetic field at approximately 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time today, Saturday July 14th, 2012. As of 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time this writer has seen no collateral damage as a result of Old Sol’s temper tantrum.
Solar storms and flares can cause power blackouts, damage satellites and disrupt GPS signals and high-frequency radio communications. It could be hellish to have to endure this July’s scorching heat without electricity to power air conditioners and fans. To offer some manner of reassurance, Joe Kunches, a forecaster with the government’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado says: “This isn’t the mother of all anything. We don’t see any ill effects to any systems.”
This storm is part of the sun’s normal 11-year cycle of solar activity, which purportedly will reach peak storminess in 2013.
Still, there is a bright and beautiful side to space weather’s maelstroms: Solar storms tend to create their own versions of rainbows. The “rainbows” are colorful northern lights caused by charged particles barraging the outer magnetic field of the earth. Glimmering, glistening auroras may be visible at the U.S./Canadian border and in northern Europe this weekend, according to Kunches.
At 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time the power is still on, the cell phone is showing five bars, and obviously there is still an internet connection. I have not tuned in the TTF’s (television talking faces) on FOX, CNN, or MSNBC to get their take – but I will safely assume that the cable is up and running and the news is live.
As of this writing, the ARTIS website shows an alert condition of “yellow” and the geomagnetic field as “quiet.” By the time you read this, conditions here on the planet Earth may or may not be status quo, as this solar storm may last for the duration of the weekend.
If the opportunity presents itself, enjoy the Northern Lights and don’t be daunted by a little stormy weather. And where those aforementioned Northern Lights are concerned, you could read about a most interesting supernatural scenario involving those wondrous cosmic occurrences in my fiction trilogy The Wayfarers, linked in the “Recommended Reading” section at the right of the page →