Dawn was clear and bright, but fog arrived silently to steal the thunder. Another Friday here on California’s north coast and this morning keeps the weather pattern alive — bright and warm early on, then sunshine and a brisk-chilled wind in the afternoon.
As there’s already a shitload of crap news caused by asshole earthlings, there’s also this coming:
Two coronal mass ejections (CME’s) erupted from the surface of the Sun, placing residents of Earth on alert for a possible pair of geomagnetic storms. Electrically-charged material from our home star is headed toward collisions with the Earth.
No worries, though, say the brainiacs — yeah right! We sarcastically scream right back.
(Illustration: Salvador Dali’s ‘The Giants,’ found here).
Earth itself is in a worrisome place, so anything ‘foreign’ should be suspect. And the science guys claim we shouldn’t be alarmed:
New calculations from satellite data show that the worst of the energetic particles streaming from the sun likely will go north or above Earth this time, , said Tom Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center late Wednesday.
So while the power grid may see fluctuations because the storm will cause changes in Earth’s magnetic field, it won’t knock power systems off line, Berger said.
It may cause slight disturbances in satellites and radio transmissions but nothing major.
“We’re not scared of this one,” Berger said.
This is kind of a rare deal, however.
On Wednesday, an active region on the sun erupted with an X1.6 flare.
Although more powerful eruptions have been observed in recent months, this flare was Earth-directed, quickly deluging our atmosphere with ionizing radiation that blocked global high-frequency radio communications for a short time.
Now, space weather forecasters have confirmed that active region (AR) 2158 also produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) that is now racing through interplanetary space.
And Earth is in its cross-hairs.
Wednesday’s flare was the second of two significant eruptions from AR2158 this week.
On Tuesday, the same active region generated a less powerful M-class flare that also generated an Earth-directed CME.
Therefore, Earth’s space weather environment is about to become pretty choppy — two CMEs will hit us over the coming days, creating a high probability of geomagnetic storms.
“The two solar storm clouds were launched on Sept. 9th and 10th by strong explosions in the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2158,” writes NASA’s Tony Phillips on Spaceweather.com.
“NOAA forecasters estimate a nearly 80 percent chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Sept. 12th when the first of the two CMEs arrives.”
“Radio emissions from shock waves at the leading edge of the CME suggest that the cloud tore through the sun’s atmosphere at speeds as high as 3750 km/s (over 8 million miles per hour),” Phillips adds.
“That would make this a very fast moving storm, and likely to reach Earth before the weekend.”
As the solar plasma gets funneled toward higher latitudes by the Earth’s magnetic field, it will rain down through the upper atmosphere and interact with atmospheric gases, such as oxygen.
This interaction can generate aurorae, which, in turn, can induce powerful electric currents through our atmosphere.
Depending on the geomagnetic storm’s ferocity, national power grids on the ground can be affected.
So far, so good — but it ain’t the weekend yet.