Massive Solar Flare Will Deliver Glancing Blow to Earth on Feb. 26

Rhykker

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Feb 28, 2010
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Massive Solar Flare Will Deliver Glancing Blow to Earth on Feb. 26


The most intense solar flare of 2014 has been recorded, and the ensuing solar winds will deliver a glancing blow to Earth, resulting in a weak impact on Feb. 26.

A long-lived sunspot rotated into view today and erupted in a massive solar flare - the strongest of the year. The last recorded flare of a similar magnitude happened on March 7, 2012.

A solar flare is a sudden and explosive release of energy on the Sun that produces bursts of radiation, and they tend to occur above sunspots - regions of intense magnetic activity. Today's flare was big enough to cause planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms - had it been aimed toward Earth. Fortunately, the radiation emitted from the shockwave - which has been estimated to be traveling at nearly 4.4 million mph - is following a trajectory that is far enough away from us that it will result in only a glancing blow. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects a weak impact late in the day on Feb. 26.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a video of the solar flare revealing just how the hot plasma blasts off the Sun's surface. The largest flare ever observed was in 1859; visible to the naked eye, it produced stunning auroras and set telegraph systems on fire in what is known as the "Carrington event," or the "1859 Solar Superstorm."

Source: Spaceweather.com [http://spaceweather.com/]

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Roxas1359

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Of course, a solar flare would occur...the day I don't have my dang Astronomy class at SDSU! >.<
What's with astronomical events happening the days I don't have my class in which we talk about this stuff.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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Brian Tams said:
So, this happens on my birthday.

...Happy Birthday to me I guess : /
How many people have the Sun send them a birthday present? Sheesh, I'd expect you to be more grateful.

Sure, the gift is a burst of deadly radiation, but it's not like the Sun can run out to Aeropostale and pick you up a couple shirts or anything.
 

Zeraki

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The Rogue Wolf said:
Brian Tams said:
So, this happens on my birthday.

...Happy Birthday to me I guess : /
How many people have the Sun send them a birthday present? Sheesh, I'd expect you to be more grateful.

Sure, the gift is a burst of deadly radiation, but it's not like the Sun can run out to Aeropostale and pick you up a couple shirts or anything.
Sun: Hey there buddy! I heard it was your birthday so I sent you a little present.

Brian: Oh hey thanks I really appreciate- Oh god it burns! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

Sun: Awwww, not again! Why does everybody I love disintegrate into radioactive ash?
 

MrHide-Patten

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So we just have to be high enough in our atmosphere to earn SUPERPOWERS!? Or have books been lying to me, wouldn't be the first... crummy Bible, water to wine bullwinkle.
 

Squilookle

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Specifying who's Feb 26 would have been nice.

Deciding whether to say 1895 or 1859 and sticking to it would have been nicer still.

That aside, awesome stuff. I don't know about everyone else, but I can never get enough of those flare videos.
 

FalloutJack

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the solar flares have an adverse effect upon electronics sometimes?
 

J Tyran

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FalloutJack said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the solar flares have an adverse effect upon electronics sometimes?
They can do, big ones can disrupt satellites and knock out power grids. A powerful enough Geomagnetic Storm could (hypothetically) also fry electronics as well, the intense and fluctuating magnetic fields would cause random currents in the wiring and circuits which would cause damage for obvious reasons.

Satellites and power grids are the only thing to ever really be affected up to this point though, we never had consumer electronics and computers etc when historical Coronal Mass Ejections and subsequent Geomagnetic Storm have been big enough to cause damage like that.
 

CriticalMiss

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Hopefully it won't mutate the neutrinos.

Valderis said:
A glancing hit, is that all you've got? Come on, hit us with your best shot ya big pussy!!

I dare you to hit us right in the offices of EA, at full power, come on that'll teach us, you can do it!
Maybe it could stop by the King.com offices too. Just to say hello.
 

M0rp43vs

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Brian Tams said:
So, this happens on my birthday.

...Happy Birthday to me I guess : /
Hey, Same here. Come, Let us both celebrate our forward step towards the grave with this event that is certainly the opening scene to an apocalypse film. Or something. I skimmed through the article, saw the words "science" , "solar flare" and "blow" then the movie trailer "BWAAAAAS" started playing in my head....
Also, I wanted to take the time to tell people it's my birthday too.....
 

Sacman

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A Solar Flare has already given a glancing blow to earth, an emotional one...


Sad Boys 2002...
 

putowtin

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Que the "Did the world move for you too darling" jokes

What?
None?

I'll get me coat!
 

J Tyran

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wombat_of_war said:
J Tyran said:
FalloutJack said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the solar flares have an adverse effect upon electronics sometimes?
They can do, big ones can disrupt satellites and knock out power grids. A powerful enough Geomagnetic Storm could (hypothetically) also fry electronics as well, the intense and fluctuating magnetic fields would cause random currents in the wiring and circuits which would cause damage for obvious reasons.

Satellites and power grids are the only thing to ever really be affected up to this point though, we never had consumer electronics and computers etc when historical Coronal Mass Ejections and subsequent Geomagnetic Storm have been big enough to cause damage like that.
you arent wrong it would overload transformers worldwide and considering there arent exactly alot of manufacturers of those it could take months alone before power was restored in western countries completely probably years in developing. instant 19th century
One estimate I saw in a mainstream documentary claimed it could take six to nine months to get the grid back up and running in the USA, years even if the storm was bad enough and an article I read gave a similar time frame for my own Country (UK). The problem is the power companies and governments around the world are not doing enough to protect the vulnerable infrastructure, there is more research being done now and forecasting is getting more reliable and more precise but corporations being corporations they simply don't want to spend money. They always put their bottom line first yet protecting electrical infrastructure from Geomagnetically Induced Currents should be as important as protecting it from Earthquakes or other natural disasters, I do not usually sign up for a lot the "Doomsday" fears and scenarios but I wonder how well developed nations could cope with a crippled electrical grid.

Even a few days is enough for things to fall to pieces the way we saw in the 2003 North Eastern blackout in the USA, if it went on for month after month for a year or more our countries might actually begin to collapse.
 

rofltehcat

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So... about when will this miss us and and which side of the planet will point toward the sun at that time?
It doesn't sound dangerous but I'd hate to miss Aurora Borealis if we get it in Central Europe. Though for that it'd probably have to hit a little closer.
 

LordLundar

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Valderis said:
A glancing hit, is that all you've got? Come on, hit us with your best shot ya big pussy!!

I dare you to hit us right in the offices of EA, at full power, come on that'll teach us, you can do it!
Stop taunting the Sun Dragon! I don't want to be caught in it's margin of error.