Saturday, September 10, 2005


X Class Flares Warning again!!!

Solar Flare Warnings for the last month

Planetary Cycles


Solar activity remains very high and shows no signs of abating. Sunspot
798/808 has unleashed seven X-class solar flares since Sept. 7th. Forecasters say
there's a 75% chance of more X-flares during the next 24 hours, possibly causing
radio blackouts and radiation storms.

Coronal mass ejections hurled into space by these explosions could hit Earth's
magnetic field in the days ahead. Sky watchers, particularly in northern
places like Canada and Alaska, should remain alert for auroras. The best time to
look is local midnight.

The sun's 27-day rotation is slowly turning sunspot 798 to face Earth.
Explosions in the coming week will be increasingly Earth-directed, raising the
possibility of geomagnetic storms and auroras over the continental United States,
Europe and Australia.

The Space station: Proton and gamma ray bursts. ???? How are they protecting themselves??

Space Weather News for Sept. 10, 2005

ACTIVE SUN: Solar activity is very high. Earth-orbiting satelites have detected seven X-class solar flares in recent days, including an X17-class monster-flare on Sept. 7th. NOAA forecasters say there's a 75% chance of more X-flares during the next 24 hours, possibly causing radio blackouts and radiation storms.

An ongoing series of seven major solar flares, including two on Saturday, could disrupt communications on Earth and generate colorful sky shows for people at high northern latitudes for the next several days.

Even more serious effects are possible early in the week.

The spate of activity from the Sun is being generated by a large sunspot named 798. Sunspots are cooler and darker regions of pent-up magnetic activity. When they unleash their energy, it's a bit like the top coming off a shaken champagne bottle.

The sunspot is just rotating into view, so its energy has been directed sideways and not directly at Earth. In coming days, if more major flares erupt as forecasters expect, they'll head right at us and radio blackouts, cell phone dropouts and other communications disruptions are more likely, scientists said.

Solar flares send radiation to Earth in about 8 minutes. Hours later, clouds of charged particles can engulf the planet. If the magnetic field of a storm is oriented opposite to our planet's protective magnetic field, gaps are created and radiation leaks to the planet's surface, potentially threatening astronauts aboard the
International Space Station, sometimes shorting out satellites, and even causing terrestrial power grids to trip.

Solar activity is at "very high levels," according to NOAA's Space Environment Center (SEC).

There have been seven major flares in recent days, including a tremendous X-17 eruption Wednesday. An event Friday evening was an X-6. On Saturday, an X-1 and an X-2 erupted. Even an X-1 can cause severe disruptions.

The largest flare in modern times was recorded in November 2003 and was estimated to be an X-40. It, too, was on the limb of the Sun and so its full impact was not felt on Earth. That flare was part of an unprecedented series of 10 major flares within two weeks; at least one Earth-orbiting satellite was disabled and one instrument aboard a Mars-orbiting craft was knocked offline.

This week's series is the most impressive since then.

Each storm is different, and often solar activity goes unnoticed on Earth, depending on whether a storm hits us square or makes a glancing blow and what the magnetic orientation is.

If enough storms erupt, the odds go up that there will be effects here. And the likelihood of Earth taking one directly on the chin goes up with each passing day as the sunspot takes aim.

There is a 75 percent chance of more X-class flares each day through Tuesday, the SEC says.

On Friday, a space radiation storm was captured in an image from the SOHO spacecraft, which monitors the Sun. The spacecraft has since experienced a radiation bakeout and has been unable to return its full suite of imagery.

The Sun is currently at a low point in its 11-year cycle of activity. While sunspots and flares are less common now, astronomers say they can pack plenty of punch when they do occur.


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