Sunday, June 19, 2022

Super Solar Storms -- How Do They Affect You?

 By Cal Orey

 Super Solar Storms

 Back in January, the Oracle 20/20 annual forecasts column included solar events. I wrote: “What else is in the stars” – and surprises are in store. I’m talking a major, earthshaking solar event--solar flares may be the culprit or something related. Now this could be a minor solar storm or a shutdown the Earth event. That means, blackouts, communication lines affected, to disturbance for airline flights and road travel. The solar storm may wreak havoc for a while that’ll affect the world.”

     Indeed, my projection came to fruition, sort of. In the month of April it happened! A solar event made international news. We got forecasts just like before a thunderstorm. Then, we got lights and action! Read on to find out more about the solar event that everyone was talking about.


So, What Happened in April 2022?

According to one internet article headline: “NASA: Massive solar storm hits Earth, sparks VHF radio blackout in Asia, Australia.” Evidently, a huge solar flare erupting on the surface of the Sun sent a solar storm toward the Earth on April 17.

Meanwhile, the author of The Evolutionary Cosmos: Outside-In Thinking the Universe explains the solar storm: “Scientists know that our Sun had just past a solar minimum, so they were expecting to see increased sunspots and other solar activity like flares and coronal mass ejections (CME).” he explains. “Solar flares are constantly observed by the GOES spacecraft which detects the X-rays that always come with solar flares. M-level and X-level flares are of the most concern because they can be associated with large CMEs that can hit the Earth and destroy electrical systems in space and on the Earth’ s surface.” 

Furthermore, Westberg notes that between March 30th and April 30th, 2022, there was four of the strongest X-level flares which was unusual because none happened in the previous three months. He points out, “Three of the four X-level flares happened in the last half of April, which also had many M-level flares. It was like the Sun had lit up all over its surface in the last half of April. This is something that would not be surprising at or near a solar maximum, but the Sun is just coming out of a solar minimum.”

     Westberg continues, “Based on what was happening on the sun our scientists knew that CMEs could reach Earth between 14 hours and three days after the associated flare happens. So, they let us know that there was a good chance that we could get hit-- and we were hit. In the last half of April there were three radio blackouts and disruption of phone services along with satellite systems.”

     What’s more, blame it on the unique alignment of planets and stars with our Sun. “What was unknown to most of our scientists is this was caused by an unusual conjunction of six of our eight solar system planets with 31 nearby stars.” Adds Westberg who calls this a conjunction swarm, “This scenario may not ever happen again because it will take so long for the planet alignment to make a repeat performance, that the stars will have moved. The planets and nearby stars conjunction cluster peaked on about April 15th of 2022 and this was the cause of the unusual solar activity in the last half of April.” But solar storms and their effects have a history way, way back to the 19th century.


The Carrington Event

As the story goes, a British astronomer named Richard Carrington saw a sudden flash of intense white light from the areas of sunspots. The Carrington Event was an intense geomagnetic storm in September 1859.

During this event, as history tells it, the night sky in North America lit up like daylight. Spikes of electricity surged in the world’s telegraph system (used for transmitting messages from a distance along a wire) and nobody could communicate. It created auroral shows around the globe and caused sparking to fires in telegraph stations. The storm was the result of a CME from the Sun colliding with the Earth's magnetosphere (a strong magnetic field that surrounds our planet).

Solar storms, like the Carrington Event, can blast out huge clouds of electrified gas and dust up to two million miles an hour. If high-energy blasts of particles reach Earth, they can distort and disrupt Earth’s magnetic field. Indeed, a solar event of this magnitude in the 21st century could cause widespread changes and damage as well as visual effects that are amazing…


Sensational Solar Light Show

The Sun has fascinating features: solar flares, coronal mass ejections, action regions, and solar wind. Solar flares happen in areas that have active regions and will out of the blue appear as bright spots. According to NASA experts, these flares can cause high-energy particles to emit from the Sun, which can wreak havoc on astronauts and cause damage to satellites orbiting Earth. Solar flares emit bursts of electromagnetic radiation, including high-energy X-rays and gamma rays. The energy released by one flare can be more powerful than a million nuclear bombs. These particles can also damage electronic components and affect radio signals.

Next up are solar winds. The Sun is so powerful and energetic that it creates a type of wind that travels through the Solar System. The power of the solar wind varies on the activity of the surface on the Sun, whereas Earth is protected from solar wind by its strong magnetic field.

Finally, are the beautiful Northern Lights aka aurora borealis. These lights seen in the dark on a clear night are caused by the solar wind hitting Earth's atmosphere. The vibrant, moving colorful lights--green, purple, and white--are usually visible in the northern hemisphere. Northern Lights are often viewed in regions such as Alaska and Canada, in November to March. The auroras happen in a band know as the auroral zone, which happens when solar activity is high. It's bet to check out the kp index (a measurement of electromagnetic activity in the atmosphere). If a reading is of two or higher, you're more likely to view a solar light show. Note: It was reported in the news that on April 9 an airline passenger saw the light show while in flight to Anchorage, Alaska. (Sadly. in December 2019 I missed the show due to extreme cloud cover.)

            As you can see clearly now, solar storms are nothing new. While April 2022 was an intriguing month due to the storm hitting our planet Earth, this is not the first time a solar event occurred, nor will it be the last one.


6 Strange Universe Anomalies Linked to the Sun

So, if a geomagnetic solar event happens on Earth—how will it affect life as we know it.? Well, glitches could happen on Earth. Here is what may happen during the next solar storm in the twenty-first century:

·       A mega internet outage, which means computers at home and work can be affected causing problems for lack of communication and its effects…

·       And cell phone outages are not unusual.

·       Possible damage to satellites can occur.

·       Disabled communications by radio and TV are not impossible.

·       Blackouts can happen. (In the thriller film Trigger Effect, it shows the dire consequences of society and its chain reactions during a widespread and long power outage in Southern California.

            Excerpts from The Evolutionary Cosmos: Outside-In Thinking the Universe (Published by AuthorHouse, 2022) by Richard Westberg and Cal Orey.

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