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Solar Flare Interferes With Radio, But No Big Auroras

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the well-that's-no-fun dept.

NASA 37

RedEaredSlider writes "The largest solar flare in several years has disrupted some communications, though it was not in the right position to create auroral displays visible from lower latitudes. The flare, which erupted on Feb. 15, sent what is called a coronal mass ejection, or CME, towards the Earth. A CME is billions of tons of charged particles, mostly protons." Most of the reported disruptions were in China, says the article.

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37 comments

Earth (0, Flamebait)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251120)

Got facialized.

Re:Earth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251522)

You'd think the Sun would have standards, but he's just a pimp. You see, Ms. Earth isn't actually a virgin. She was raped 4 1/2 billion years ago by another planetoid. The bastard child still orbits around her to this day.

Re:Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252028)

Mother earth is pregnant for the third time, for y'all have knocked her up.
I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe
I was not offended. For I knew I had to raise above it all...or drown in my own shit

But the auroras were good still (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251264)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/02/pictures/110218-solar-flares-aurora-borealis-northern-lights-photography/?source=link_fb20110218arcticnight#/valentines-day-aurora-borealis-bo-norway_32398_600x450.jpg

Re:But the auroras were good still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251670)

shaZAM. Thanks for that link.

I heard disruptions too in Europe (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251278)

I was listening to radio in southern France, and if I'm not mistaken, that FM station I was listening to receives an uplink from a satellite and broadcast it back as is. It came out very wonky. The signal was still coming strong, but with silences and jitter.

How many warnings do we need? (2, Interesting)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251384)

And watch the share price of optical fibre manufacturers shoot up. Long thin bits of wire are bad news in the long term, especially with such a huge (if weak) magnetic field and a star that likes to slap it about occasionally. I thought we got that with the whole Carrington Event and the telegraph system? We can't keep messing about for another fifty years, we need an EM-proof(ish) replacement for LongBitsOfWire (TM).

Re:How many warnings do we need? (4, Interesting)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251508)

I recently watched an optical fibre being made. I already knew how they were made, but is was amazing how manual and labour intensive the process was.
I just assumed the process of pulling the preform would be far more automated. This looked more like a lab experiment than manufacturing.

Re:How many warnings do we need? (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252696)

We can't keep messing about for another fifty years, we need an EM-proof(ish) replacement for LongBitsOfWire (TM).

You're an idiot. This was as powerful as solar flares get, yet, from TFA:

the reported problems were with high-frequency radio communications.

HF was deprecated for just about all practical uses, as soon as viable alternatives (ie. communications satellites) were introduced. Earthbound wires have been pretty well impervious to solar flares just about forever.

The only real threat solar flares pose is to a few, already-overloaded, electrical transmission circuits which are operating at the edge of their capacity before the unexpected power-boost arrives. Other than that, it's a very insignificant bit of occasional static on the line. Nothing more.

Re:How many warnings do we need? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35253258)

If you do a bit of light reading I think you'll find that solar flares can potentially reach our orbit. Fortunately there is a lot of our orbit where the earth isn't at any given time.

Re:How many warnings do we need? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35253396)

HF was deprecated for just about all practical uses, as soon as viable alternatives (ie. communications satellites) were introduced. Earthbound wires have been pretty well impervious to solar flares just about forever.

The only real threat solar flares pose is to a few, already-overloaded, electrical transmission circuits which are operating at the edge of their capacity before the unexpected power-boost arrives. Other than that, it's a very insignificant bit of occasional static on the line. Nothing more.

What planet you on pal

Re:How many warnings do we need? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35253810)

The only real threat solar flares pose is to a few, already-overloaded, electrical transmission circuits which are operating at the edge of their capacity before the unexpected power-boost arrives.

So basically, most of the lines in the USA? And especially in California, the most populous state?

Re:How many warnings do we need? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35256056)

It's a problem, but a fixable one. And more importantly, fiber optics won't help...

sounds dirty (4, Funny)

randomned (669691) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251464)

Big auroras? Coronal mass ejections? not sure if this is safe for work.

So, it's gone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251550)

So, it's over already?
Not that I planned to troll, but, cool story, bro.
Should anybody not in the professional tinfoil-hat-construction or space-weather-observation business (no, I do not want to trivialize or merge them) actually care about it?
Seriously. I'm not trying to troll here. I just want to point out that location-wise, this wasn't as big a deal as some people will want to make it out to be.

Re:So, it's gone? (2)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251602)

Some people look up, rather than look at their shoes.

Re:So, it's gone? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252210)

And was any of this expected to be visible in town? If you happen to live in a small town, I suppose you might see it, but I can't imagine seeing it in a city.

Oddly enough... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251594)

...myself and a couple other friends & family members have been having absolute shit for reception on our Satellite radios since at least Wednesday. I can't help but wonder if it's related.

Dated a girl with big auroras once (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251674)

Looked great in a sweater, but naked they looked like damn pepperonis!

Auroras reported in Northern Canada (3, Informative)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251788)

CBC reports Solar storm delivers auroral show [www.cbc.ca] .

Re:Auroras reported in Northern Canada (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251892)

Auroras reported in Northern Canada? You mean, on an almost nightly basis throughout the year?

Re:Auroras reported in Northern Canada (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251934)

Point is that the observed Aurora in Yellowknife is abnormal, so just 'cos y'all can't see it down in Texas doesn't mean the solar flare had no effect. But nice troll.

Re:Auroras reported in Northern Canada (1)

jcarkeys (925469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35254088)

The site records the aurora each night

No, not abnormal

Re:Auroras reported in Northern Canada (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35254492)

Not abnormal that they occur. What was abnormal was the intensity... Were you born this stupid or did you have to study?

Sweeeet. Weeks worth of excuses (1)

TeamGracie (891099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251802)

Sweeet, I'm going to blame all the next weeks unexplained network outages on "Atmospheric Radiation", and then I'm going to sight slashdot for proof.

Re:Sweeeet. Weeks worth of excuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35254152)

I'm going to sight slashdot for proof.

Not "sight".... "cite".

You have to cite this site. (^_^)

Re:Sweeeet. Weeks worth of excuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261466)

Which you read by sight?

Power problems? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251932)

Any problems reported on anyone's power grids? Extra credit for links to wonky looking oscillograph data.

My PS3 died in China (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252098)

I'm in China. My 60GB PS3 that ran perfectly for four years started doing the flashing red light. Stupid sun.

XM was wonky late afternoon (1)

thefuz (1076605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252146)

I knew it wasn't just the black heli's trying to block out my Boneyard! Something was definitely up w/SiriusXM reception around 6PM EST today... unless it was something else that has nothing to do with the flare. IANAAstrophysicist.

Re:XM was wonky late afternoon (2)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35253154)

GPS went wonky on Friday for me, too, around 4PM.

Terrible accuracy with lots of jitter. That is, when it even worked -- it would drop periodically, sometimes for several minutes. Very strange behavior for a day with clear, blue skies while driving on flat terrain with no obstructions.

great HF propagation though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252654)

yea but it made for some great HF propagation on the 12m through 20m amateur bands.

Re:great HF propagation though (1)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 3 years ago | (#35256272)

Unfortunately, my feed line broke when the roof dropped a slab of ice on it a couple days ago -_-

Auroras reported in Northern Ireland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252764)

Auroras were also spotted in Northern Ireland, which is unusual as they are not usually seen this far south of the polar regions in Europe http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-12487551 [bbc.co.uk]

We had issues in the US too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252832)

In Florida, my VOIP connection went off and on. The phone system at work also had went haywire. They told me that they thought that they had power related issues there too (while at home power seemed normal).

Just my experience

Thats nice (0)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35253056)

but when will we see user friendly features like "delete my pr0n (history/cache) when I close Chrome" or "do not fail miserably at importing my firefox profile data" or "do not block any ports, i know what i am doing"...

How about VLF? (1)

Mad-Bassist (944409) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260188)

My Casio Wave Ceptor radio-controlled watch has been having a hard time receiving WWVB's 60KHz signal for the last week. I'm in Oregon, but then late night long-distance transmissions are squirrely by nature.

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