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Friday's Solar Flare Twice As Energetic As Monday's; Earth Safe

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the keep-those-welding-goggles-handy dept.

Space 39

The Bad Astronomer writes "The sunspot cluster that erupted in a solar flare and coronal mass ejection last Monday burst into life again on Friday, blasting out an X2 class solar flare, twice as energetic as the last one. This one was on the Sun's limb and was pointed away from us, so we're in no danger; all we got was a very minor radiation storm that's on the lowest ranking of such things. But it did put on quite a light show, which you can see in a video created with images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory."

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Bllody Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38850809)

Effing cool!!

Re:Bllody Cool (2)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38850839)

We havenâ(TM)t seen much of an effect from this flare â" just a minor radiation storm thatâ(TM)s at the lowest end of the scale, nothing to worry about

Somebody you do not know talking to you about an event that is not your specialty. When do doctors, lawyers, bankers, physicians, counselors, and especially managers at work use the line "nothing to worry about"?

Re:Bllody Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38850889)

When do doctors, lawyers, bankers, physicians, counselors, and especially managers at work use the line "nothing to worry about"?

Is it when someone's worrying over nothing?

Re:Bllody Cool (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38851485)

Responding to an AC? Your intentions are good, but are casted like pearls.

But consider, it might be useful if the Pentagon increased its spending on forward bases like on Titan, Mars, and Pluto? Because every morning we wake up, is one morning the Sun hasn't flatulated on Earth; yet.

Re:Bllody Cool (1)

laederkeps (976361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38852755)

When do ... physicists... use the line "nothing to worry about"?

When it's, uuuuuh, probably not a problem. Probably.

Of course there was no danger (2, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38850863)

Everyone knows that the truly dangerous solar flare will happen in December. :-)

Re:Of course there was no danger (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38850983)

I think you mean November 6?

Re:Of course there was no danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38850995)

You mean the day after Solar Taco Bell Day?

Re:Of course there was no danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38852777)

Yes, the 21st and like the last time life evolved to this stage our scientific progress and recent history will be erased, because we ONCE AGAIN stored everything on.... EOF

Sun's limb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38850917)

Anyone care to explain to the unwashed masses why a sphere has limbs?

Re:Sun's limb? (4, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38850975)

the word "limb" has alternative definitions than the usual use of "branch of tree" or "member of animal's body other than head or trunk". These alternatives come from Latin "limbus", meaning border. In astronomy, the definition is "The circumferential edge of the apparent disk of a celestial body." There is a related definition in mathematics: "The edge of a graduated arc or circle used in an instrument to measure angles" --http://www.thefreedictionary.com/limb

Re:Sun's limb? (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#38851723)

As a mathematician, I've never heard the graduated arc or circle definition. I would swap "mathematics" for "metrology".

Re:Sun's limb? (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38851939)

As a mathematician, I've never heard the graduated arc or circle definition.

Well, hey, now you have. As have I. Rejoice, don't defecate.

Re:Sun's limb? (1)

Dantoo (176555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38853921)

When using a sextant you take 2 sights at sunrise (and sunset). These are known as first limb and second limb. Been like this for centuries I'm told. I'm sure you can infer when these are taken.

Re:Sun's limb? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38868933)

sorry, but "mathematics" includes use of things like protractors, which have a limb. funny you think you have encycopedic knowledge of your field.

Re:Sun's limb? (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#38871045)

I don't quite know why you think mathematics includes "things like protractors," or why you think I think I have an encyclopedic knowledge of my field. I only meant to imply that if I haven't heard the phrase even though I've worked with protractors and am a mathematician, it's probably uncommon amongst mathematicians, so it probably doesn't belong to mathematics. This is merely suggestive, not conclusive. I never pretended otherwise.

I glanced through some online definitions. Most are along the lines of, "The abstract science of number, quantity, and space," while a few are like "The science of structure, order, and relation that has evolved from elemental practices of counting, measuring, and describing the shapes of objects." I imagine most mathematicians would define math as something entirely abstract, as in the first definition, without any necessary connection to reality, which the second definition seems to entail.

In any case, metrology is the science of measuring things. It seems more appropriate to use that heading even if it makes sense to put that definition under the "mathematics" heading.

Re:Sun's limb? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38877833)

The study of mathematics indeed includes protractors, as most schoolchildren have found. Sorry about your ignorance.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38850947)

Why don't we have a small array of solar-orbiting satellites to monitor the far side of the Sun?

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38851129)

We do. in addition to SDO, in inclined geosync orbit, we have two spacecraft in heliocentric orbits somewhat ahead of and somewhat behind the Earth. They're called STEREO.

http://stereo-ssc.nascom.nasa.gov/where.shtml [nasa.gov]

- Morty [Posting AC because I've spent mod points.]

Re:Why? (2)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38855511)

And NASA and ESA are working on two more, but my understanding is that they won't be as coordinated like STEREO (they'll be rotating around the sun faster, so they won't necessarily get the 100% coverage that we currently get with STEREO):

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/sunearthsystem/main/solarprobeplus.html [nasa.gov]

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=45 [esa.int]

(disclaimer: I work for the STEREO Science Center)

Earth gets hit with X2 all the time (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38850987)

Sometimes there is satellite damage from X2 flare, though the things are supposed to be designed to withstand them. More likely effects are communication disruptions. Last year, February 2011, Earth was hit with X2. We mostly survived 8D

Re:Earth gets hit with X2 all the time (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38851151)

Any idea how frequent? I know they aren't unprecedented, but I'm having trouble finding any numbers. Does an X-class flare happen a few times a year? A few times a decade?

Re:Earth gets hit with X2 all the time (4, Informative)

kc0dby (522118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38851475)

Wikipedia has a nice, but tiny list of major recent flares, that will give you an idea. It looks like on a decade scale, X2 is pretty minor. Apparently they estimate the largest observed flare to be an X45.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_flare [wikipedia.org]

Section 4.5 is what your looking for.

Re:Earth gets hit with X2 all the time (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38851531)

It's probably simple chemistry/physics, but with the increased energy from the sun, would that cause an increased elevation of pollutants floating around? The result being an increased height, and less dense pollution?

Solar flares are nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38851005)

Better watch out for the CMEs from my butt when my hemorrhoids flare up. Then nobody will be safe

frist psOt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38851187)

community. The Worthwhile. It's wan7 them there. people's faces at knows for sure what

Solar hysteria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38851269)

So now we have an abundance of satellites capable of detecting every little spark and sputter from which to build frequent hysterical headlines. I've heard more about solar flares in the last six months than in the previous 40 years of my life.

Most of this stuff amounts to nice northern lights people. Must we embiggen every detectable event into a media frenzy?

Solar maximum (1)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38851425)

We are not even yet at the predicted maximum of the solar cycle [noaa.gov] . Such coronal mass ejections will probably get more and more frequent until we get to the solar maximum. Now do not get me wrong, I like solar flares as much as anybody here, but we shouldn't really report bursts that miss Earth... or else, we are going to hear about them very often in the near future !

Re:Solar maximum (2, Funny)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38851499)

Which would YOU rather read about, Solar Flares going nowhere, or the results of another Republican Debate?

Re:Solar maximum (1)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38852311)

Good question! Both are definitely inconsequential in the short term...

"Earth Safe" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38851465)

"Earth Safe"? Thanks, I was really worried. Now I can concentrate on the Greek Crisis.

You mean SciFi Channel films lie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38851533)

Are you telling me "Solar Holocaust" a film where Kevin Sorbo leads a team of washed up 80s TV actors to blow up the sun to save the earth from certain doom is pure fiction?

No worries... (1)

lazycam (1007621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38851577)

Most of us slashdot readers are hidden safely away in our parent's basements.

MOM! I NEED MORE CODE RED AND PIZZA BAGEL BITES!

Re:No worries... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38851721)

Nothing to worry about there except argon gas.

Another will hit us, probably soonish (2)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38854459)

As a n00b to ham radio, and only a Technician Class (don't even have my callsign yet, just tested today), I look forward to doing some DXing [wikipedia.org] in the 6 meter band. The preferred band for international DX is usually 20 meters, but solar storms that actually hit us tend to push the maximum usable frequency [wikipedia.org] for skywave propagation upward in frequency (downward in wavelength). I've been hearing of people making 2000 mile contacts at 6 meters with 5 watts in the conditions from the last flare. Since I'm not licensed for the HF bands (I may soon go for the upgrade to General Class but I still won't have any HF gear), but DO currently have the ability to operate in the 6 meter band, I will have to wait for the right moment to try to reach out and QSL [wikipedia.org] someone.

Re:Another will hit us, probably soonish (1)

NF6X (725054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38854859)

Congratulations on getting your ham ticket!

Re:Another will hit us, probably soonish (1)

Sir Lurkalot (772154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858151)

Congratulations!

Ken

KD8DWO

The MSL and other missions? (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864107)

Will this effect robotic missions currently flying such as Dawn and MSL and other missions?

techprotecbags.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38867373)

These massive solar flares if strong enough can damage electronic devices on the earths surface. Check out techprotectbags.com for products and information to protect the valuable electronics in your home.

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