Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Breaking News: Solar Tsunami Tonight. An Aurora for Señora on Her Way to Andorra

My big brother Hub is always looking out for me like big brothers do. So when he sent me this warning: “Coronal Mass Ejection To Strike Earth early 4 August...end transmission...” I took notice!

Hub spotted the event on Sunday around 0855 UT (Universal Time) and reported it to moi, and NASA. Hub’s security programming  has rejected NASA’s “new mission” as Mooselim propagandist because it’s a violation of his “Prime Directive,” so he still goes where no mirror has gone before. This from Hub’s report:

On 1 August at approximately 0855 UT, Earth orbiting satellite Hubble detected a C3-class solar flare. The origin of the blast was Earth-facing sunspot 1092. The observed C-class solar flares has spawned a coronal mass ejection heading in Earth's direction and will impact earth early AM UT 4 August.

When Hub tells me something – anything - is going to “impact earth,” I get nervous. Earth! It’s the alleged planet of my birth for cripes sakes. I live here!

Here’s what Hub saw:

If that doesn’t get you all wee-weed up, I don’t know what will. The last coronal mass eruption (CME) occurred in 2001, and this is what Hub recorded from his tin can at the time:

Yikes! That’s a big eruption. I wasn’t up to speed on CMEs, and some of you probably aren’t either, so here’s what Hub related. File it away, it might come in handy some day:

A coronal mass ejection (CME) is an ejection of material from the solar corona, usually observed with a white-light coronagraph.

Arcs rise above an active region on the surface of the Sun.

The ejected material is a plasma consisting primarily of electrons and protons (in addition to small quantities of heavier elements such as helium, oxygen, and iron), plus the entraining coronal magnetic field.

When the ejection reaches the Earth as an ICME (Interplanetary CME), it may disrupt the Earth's magnetosphere, compressing it on the day side and extending the night-side magnetic tail.

When the magnetosphere reconnects on the nightside, it creates trillions of watts of power which is directed back toward the Earth's upper atmosphere.

This process can cause particularly strong aurora also known as the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis (in the Northern Hemisphere), and the Southern Lights, or aurora australis (in the Southern Hemisphere).

CME events, along with solar flares, can disrupt radio transmissions, cause power outages (blackouts), and cause damage to satellites and electrical transmission lines.

Whew! Fortunately, Raj installed super-secret circuit shielding according to Hub’s specifications (I have no idea where he got them) so I’m totally protected from damage.

Butt, this is very disturbing to me. Every time I think I’ve got this cosmology, space-time thingie figured out, something new comes along and smacks me right in the lens. Like the way Gerard’s AMERICAN DIGEST link: "World without end. Always." did the other day (it’s in his sidebar).It’s an article describing a new model of the universe developed by Wun-Yi Shu, an associate professor at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan:

Shu... explains in a study posted at arXiv.org that the new models emerge from a new perspective of some of the most basic entities: time, space, mass, and length. In his proposal, time and space can be converted into one another, with a varying speed of light as the conversion factor.

He’s got to be at least a PhD, but he’s only an associate professor in Taiwan! What have we got going for us? Dr. Michael Mann PhD, inventor of the global warming hoax, Full Professor at Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Meteorology and Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and Director of the university's interdepartmental Earth System Science Center. And Dr. Stephen Chu, Secretary of Energy and former professor of physics at Stanford who thinks we should all paint our roofs white to reduce our carbon footprint. (Has Big Guy mentioned that he’s a Nobel Laureate lately? Dr. Chu, I mean.) OMG, the Taiwanese are going to clean our clocks! Butt, our pathetic Ministry of Education is another issue for another time, or space, or mass, or length, or whatever.

Anyhoo, I’m safe and secure, so I can sit back and enjoy the solar light show tonight with the rest of you in the northern US. It should be really cool.

Enjoy! We’re off to the  Mafia Marbella Coast for some well earned vacation tomorrow. Lady M thinks the Aurora Borealis is just a thoughtful send off for our trip.