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Thread: HUGE sunspot & solar flares...

  1. #1
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    HUGE sunspot & solar flares...

    Hey, in the 60's when there was potentially dangerous sunspot activity we were warned to stay inside....don't you think that the current X Class flare situation warrants some advice from the scientists or our government? Has anyone seen or heard any advisories or warnings? Or is it just limited to the military & the satellite community?

  2. #2
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    Geomagnetic storms.

    I have another question:

    Do huge multiple geomagnetic storms cause earthquakes, and if they do, about how long after?

  3. #3
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    I didn't want to bite but .. I'm old enough to remember the '60's and I don't remember a Solar Storm advisory of any sort here in the "Keystone State." Our atmosphere protects us from solar flares. They play havoc with radios, satellites, and even an electrical grid in Canada a few years back, but nothing like a scene from "The Outer Limits." Astronauts would be at risk, being above the protective atmosphere, but that's about it. Sounds like more "Godlike" spew .. here's a site that deals with these kind of things: http://spaceweather.com/

  4. #4
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    Sunspot and solar flare activity really is not all that harmful to humans. A few decades ago (I think it was in the 70's) there was quite a bit of solar activity. So much, in fact, that it completely wiped out the electrical grid in the Canadian province of Quebec for about a week. Now, even though this was a massive solar flare, nobody was hurt from solar radiation. Certainly long term exposure to solar radiation is not very good for you, but the Earth does a pretty good job of stopping most harmful radiation from reaching the surface. Also, I seriously doubt that solar radiation could have anything to do with earthquakes or tectonic activity.

  5. #5
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    thank you but I don't feel that you two are quite qualified to answer my questions, as evidenced by your lack of knowledge. I would like someone who actually knows something about the current geomagnetic storms to reply, please.

  6. #6
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    Maybe you ought to ask Nancy Lieder then. When you post to the board that us Pennsylvanians were told to stay inside during the '60's because of a Solar storm, you show YOUR lack of knowledge .. I guess a reputable site like 'spaceweather.com' doesn't agree with your leanings either. I'm done with you .. my post was mainly aimed at those non-members (mainly kids) who read your ** and might not have known any better.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by doubtful
    thank you but I don't feel that you two are quite qualified to answer my questions, as evidenced by your lack of knowledge. I would like someone who actually knows something about the current geomagnetic storms to reply, please.
    You would probably do better posting that question in the General section. You could also do a year by year comparison of magnetic storms and earthquakes. Someone posted a very nice list of earthquakes recently and here's a chart I made from that list: Earthquakes.
    Like the others, I have not made a specific study of this. But just thinking in terms of common sense, this idea doesn't make any sense. How could the extremely small electromagnetic effect that reaches the earth possibly make an earthquake. It would be a bit like saying that earthquakes increase in number around radio towers. For that matter I think a solar flare causing an earthquake would be unlikely even if earth had no atmosphere. There are no quakes or even dust storms on the moon during these solar flares. Again it makes no sense to me, but if you find out otherwise from a qualified scientist please let us know.

  8. #8
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    The only time the sun would hurt us directly (rather than our technology)more than usual (UVB, UVA radiation etc.), I think would be when it novas. You got a few billion years to get off world :wink:

  9. #9
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    Re: Geomagnetic storms.

    Quote Originally Posted by doubtful
    I have another question:

    Do huge multiple geomagnetic storms cause earthquakes, and if they do, about how long after?
    The giant clouds of particles that are sometimes ejected by the Sun are extremely dilute. There are usually less than about 1600 particles per cubic inch in such clouds, while the air on Earth has about 420 000 000 000 000 000 000 particles per cubic inch. These clouds are probably many times bigger than the Sun by the time they pass the Earth, so the Earth intercepts only a very small fraction of their mass, perhaps something on the order of about 50,000 pounds, which is equal to the weight of a stone with a diameter of about 8 feet, or to the weight of a layer of air around the whole world at sea level with a thickness of about a millionth of the thickness of a human hair.

    Something with little mass has trouble pushing something with lots of mass. The mass of the Earth is about 300 million million million times as much as the captured mass of a cloud of particles coming from the Sun, so obviously such a cloud passing by the Earth cannot do anything dramatic such as change the orbit of the Earth or cause earthquakes or anything like that. These clouds are just too dilute to have much effect.

    As for the Astronauts, they rarely venture outside the Van Allen belts which protect them from most of the harmful effects of cosmic rays and geomagnetic storms.

    I hope that answers your question, Doubtful. These things don't cause earthquakes, don't worry about it.

  10. #10
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    I am an amateur solar enthusiast. Can't say I've had any formal training but I have kept close track of the Sun's activity for years.
    • X flares are fairly common.
      There is no link between earthquakes and solar activity.
      There is a link between solar activity and the weather but it is not well understood yet. It is apparent that solar cycles mirror weather cycles like changing drought conditions.
      Solar storms can impact satellites and electric power grids by overloading them with electrons causing circuits to fry.
      Solar radiation storms could cause harm to humans if they were not protected by the Earth's magnetic field. The ozone in the upper atmosphere also blocks a large amount of solar radiation.
      Maybe you were told in the 60s there would be some risk but it was not a recommendation made to the general public and it wouldn't have been correct at least as you are describing it.
      Sunspots correlate with solar activity.
      The Sun has a regular 11 year cycle from peak to peak in solar activity.
      It has had cycles with double peaks instead of single ones and this cycle had a double peak. We have passed the second peak and activity is decreasing.
      Just because total activity decreases, doesn't mean single events such as an X flare stop altogether.
      Some time in the past sunspots were absent for about 70 years. That mystery is not understood. But, we survived just fine.


    I learned much of this at some excellent web sites. You can start here http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/spaceweather/ and link to lots of other great sites. I check activity often so I can watch for auroras when they occur. I just missed one tonight. It started this afternoon but stopped just as it got dark. But a second X flare and a coronal hole, (sends solar winds our way that also trigger auroras), are due tomorrow so I will be watching again.

  11. #11
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    I apologize for the unprofessionalism I showed in my previous post in this thread. I gotta practice what I preach. It won't be repeated.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archer17
    I apologize for the unprofessionalism I showed in my previous post in this thread. I gotta practice what I preach. It won't be repeated.
    as evidenced by your lack of knowledge
    wasn't the nicest way for doubtful to put his/her request either.

    I try not to let statements trigger a reaction because there is always the possibility I have misunderstood. Written communication lacks the cues we get when we are talking to people. It is easier to get the wrong meaning of comments on the net.

  13. #13
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    X Class flares

    FYI: I am not a PA native. The warning to stay out of the sun was announced in school, on the radio, & probably on TV, although I was too young to watch the news. My father was an engineer at Bell Labs, and also would tell us to stay inside. Anyway, thanks for the info. I did post these questions on a different board, but moved it here for quicker answers...PS. I don't know NL, but would be interested to see an analysis of her personality, as I am a retired psychiatric RN.

  14. #14
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    Re: X Class flares

    Quote Originally Posted by doubtful
    FYI: I am not a PA native. The warning to stay out of the sun was announced in school, on the radio, & probably on TV, although I was too young to watch the news. My father was an engineer at Bell Labs, and also would tell us to stay inside. Anyway, thanks for the info.
    My parents made us go to the movies when I was a kid to save us from being blinded by the solar eclipse. :roll: Was it a one day event or longer?

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