Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sun, Solar Storms 2012, Particles To Hit Earth Tues Morning, 11 year Sun Cycle

Strongest solar radiation storm since 2005 

We are entering the eleven year sun cycle peak activity. This current storm is only a warm up for what we can expect by late summer, fall 2012. More than likely this storm will have little impact but we can expect a severe escalation in intensity as we move further into the year. Keep in mind that the one strong storm has the potential to take everyone off the grid for a long time.  
If you don't have NOAA Alerts setup you should do so. You can find a link in the sky links page above. We will keep you posted as activity picks up throughout the year. 

A powerful solar eruption is expected to blast a stream of charged particles past Earth on Tuesday, as the strongest radiation storm since 2005 rages on the sun.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory caught an extreme ultraviolet flash from a huge eruption on the sun overnight (10:59 p.m. ET Sunday, or 0359 GMT Monday), according to SpaceWeather.com.

The solar flare spewed from sunspot 1402, a region of the sun that has become increasingly activelately. Several NASA satellites, including the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the Solar Heliospheric Observatory and the STEREO spacecraft, observed the massive sun storm.

A barrage of charged particles triggered by the outburst is expected to hit Earth at around 9 a.m. ET Tuesday, according to experts at the Space Weather Prediction Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA Alert
NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center – the nation’s official source of warnings and alerts about space weather and its impacts on Earth – has issued a watch for a geomagnetic storm associated with a bright flare on the sun Sunday evening. The storm could arrive Tuesday morning, with possible impacts to navigation, the power grid and satellites.

Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) forecasters have also issued a warning for ongoing "strong" solar radiation storming. Radiation storms are a concern for astronauts, communications at high latitudes, satellites in space and rocket launches. Geomagnetic storms (G-scale) and solar radiation storms(S-scale) range from 1 (minor) to 5 (extreme).

NOAA’s space weather experts are available to discuss this event, which represents the strongest radiation storm in more than six years, and potential impacts.

Associated with Sunday’s flare was a “coronal mass ejection,” a burst of charged particles and magnetic field that streamed out from the sun at about four million miles an hour. The coronal mass ejection (CME) is heading toward Earth. NOAA’s SWPC predicts it will trigger onset of a geomagnetic storm on Tuesday morning EST, with storm intensity likely to be moderate (G-2), possibly strong (G-3).
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