This Is a Monster: Sunspot Now Larger Than Jupiter… Continues to Unleash Solar Flares

SHTFplan.com
February 12, 2014

As most Americans go about their daily lives without care or concern for what’s happening around them, 92 million miles away a catastrophic threat may well be in the making.

solar-storm2

In January, the NOAA identified a sizable sun spot dubbed AR 1944. Within hours ofwarnings being issued about the potential for this particular region of the sun to cause earth-directed coronal mass ejections it sent an X-class solar flare our way. While powerful, that particular flare and the subsequent M-class flares were not strong enough to cause any significant disruptions on earth.

But as the spot rotated to the other side of the sun things got interesting… and ever more dangerous for the people of earth.

AR1944 has since been renamed to AR1967, and the region is now more active than it was in January. According to sky photographer John Chumack, AR1967 has grown considerably. It is now wider than Jupiter. That’s big. So big, in fact, that you can fit over 100 earth-sized planets into it.

ar1967
(Credit: John Chumack – Sunspot AR 1967 – Galactic Images)

Space.com calls it a monster:

“The massive sunspot AR 1967 is now wider than the planet Jupiter and is very active,” Chumack told Space.com in an email on Feb. 4. “Yesterday no less than seven M-class solar flares have erupted from this region.”

The sunspot group AR 1967 has continued to unleash several solar flares as it makes its two-week trek across the face of the sun, as seen from Earth.

And while AR1967 is not earth-facing as of right now, it will be in a couple weeks. Last week the sunspot unleashed seven M-class flares in a single day. And though earth was spared from getting hit by a higher-level X-class flare, the potential for such an event certainly exists and is estimated to be around 50% because of the region’s high level of activity.

It doesn’t happen often that the sun unleashes a solar flare powerful enough to cause serious damage, yet in the last decade we narrowly escaped the worst-case scenariotwice.

The first instance occurred in 2003, when researchers spotted the most powerful solar flare ever recorded. That one came in at a whopping X-45 class. We got lucky that time, as the flare was not earth directed. But had it been, it could have led to widespread grid-down scenarios all over the planet as power grid infrastructures would have seen surges strong enough to destroyelectrical transformers and substations.

The second incident occurred in 2012 and most people didn’t event hear about it. It wasn’t disseminated by the mainstream press until a full year later. That flare was so intense that it prompted one expert to claim the world escaped an EMP catastrophe:

‘There had been a near miss about two weeks ago, a Carrington-class coronal mass ejection crossed the orbit of the Earth and basically just missed us,’ added Peter Vincent Pry, who served on the Congressional EMP Threat Commission.

‘Basically this is a Russian roulette thing,’ he said. ‘We narrowly escape from a Carrington-class disaster.’

A Carrington-class catastrophe refers to an 1859 solar event that lead to surges across the world, which resulted in a (literal) meltdown of telegraph communications equipment.

CU-Boulder professor Daniel Baker noted that the 2012 flare was unprecedented:

The speed of this event was as fast or faster than anything that has been seen in the modern space age”

And to put into perspective what would have resulted had this flare not bounced off our atmosphere, Baker followed up with an ominous assessment:

Had it hit Earth, the July 2012 event likely would have created a technological disaster by short-circuiting satellites, power grids, ground communication equipment and even threatening the health of astronauts and aircraft crews.

We have proposed that the 2012 event be adopted as the best estimate of the worst case space weather scenario…

We came close.

So close that Congressional members are coming around to the idea that we could well experience the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it should a high level X-class flare be directed at earth.

It’s no longer just an outlier, according to Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY) who is a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

It’s a certainty:

The Likelihood of a severe geo-magnetic event capable of crippling our electric grid is 100%.

The reality is that one of these days, perhaps even the next time AR 1967 swings around, earth could get hit by a flare similar to what missed us in 2003 and 2012.

The fall out from such an event would be nothing short of a worldwide catastrophe, as electrical power lines, utility plants, GPS systems, telecommunications equipment (including your cell phone), cars, and anything else not hardened against an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) is rendered instantly inoperable.

What would follow is complete pandemonium as the entire global infrastructure, especially in developed nations, completely collapses.

A security report presented to Congress predicts that such a scenario would be long-term, widespread, and result in the deaths of 90% of the population of the United States.

As retired Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has warned, our ailing grid is simply not ready for it. And no one is willing to pony up the tens of billions of dollars necessary to upgrade our domestic infrastructure.

In the grand scheme of things, the sun unleashes these powerful flares on a regular basis. It will do so again. And chances are that our planet will not be ready for it.

But this time it won’t just be telegraphs or a hydro power station in Ontario that goes down. It’s going to be a massive hit and it’s going to affect anyone on this planet who is dependent on the daily functioning of electrically powered systems.

As highlighted by Tess Pennington, a grid-down scenario is no laughing matter andsomething to be taken very seriously:

Consider, for a moment, how drastically your life would change without the continuous flow of energy the grid delivers. While manageable during a short-term disaster, losing access to the following critical elements of our just-in-time society would wreak havoc on the system.

  • Challenges or shut downs of business commerce
  • Breakdown of our basic infrastructure: communications, mass transportation, supply chains
  • Inability to access money via atm machines
  • Payroll service interruptions
  • Interruptions in public facilities – schools, workplaces may close, and public gatherings.
  • Inability to have access to clean drinking water

How prepared are you for a scenario in which the grid is non-functioning for an extended period of time?

It wouldn’t take long for society to fall apart if it were to happen. Recent evidence suggests that within three days we’d be in a world of trouble.

With all of the variables at play we can probably all agree that the possibility on any given day is extremely low. But over a timeline of fifty or a hundred years, it becomes a lot more likely.

The last time a major solar event struck earth was 1859.

Are we due for another one?

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Sunspot goes wild! X-class solar flare blasts in our direction

NBC News
January 8, 2014

The sun erupted with a powerful solar flare on Tuesday, disrupting radio traffic and sending a blast of electrically charged particles our way. And there may be more blasts to come.

The X1.2-class flare was recorded by sun-observing satellites, including NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, at about 2:32 p.m. ET. X-class flares are the strongest category of solar outbursts, although X1.2 is toward the category’s low end. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center said the flare sparked a strong radio blackout.

For days, space weather forecasters have been bracing themselves for solar eruptions from a large active sunspot region called AR1944. This region has now turned to face Earth directly, which means strong solar flares are likely to send storms of charged particles — also known as coronal mass ejections, or CMEs — heading straight for us.

Read more

Watch: Massive Fireball Roars Through Suburban Power Lines, Blows Out Electricity

SHTFPlan.com
November 11, 2013

If you’ve ever wondered what a massive electrical surge from an electro-magnetic pulse weaponsolar flare or cyber attack might look like, then take a look at this footage shot in Montreal.

(Watch at Youtube – Hattip Michael)

In this instance the surge caused a cascading electrical outage across one neighborhood. Imagine what such an event would look like across the entire national power grid.

Then consider how long it would take to bring essential services like hospitals, communication system, commerce processing, and banks back online.

According to former Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, we’re talking not days or weeks, but months and years before utility workers would be able to repair key transformers and nodes.

We could have events in the future where the power grid will go down and it’s not, in any reasonable time, coming back up.

For instance, if when the power grid went down some of our large transformers were destroyed, damaged beyond use, we don’t make any of those in this country. They’re made overseas and you order one and 18 months to two years later they will deliver it.

Our power grid is very vulnerable. It’s very much on edge. Our military knows that.

Related Reading:

Massive Vulnerability Detected In National Power Grids [SHTFplan]

When the Grid Goes Down, You Better Be Ready [Ready Nutrition]

You’ve Been Warned: Why You Need to Be Ready for Total Grid Failure[Organic Prepper]

 

 

Read: The Edward Snowden ” Solar Flare Killshot” Hoax

August 8, 2013

The Internet is ablaze with yet another baseless conspiracy theory that only serves to distract from real cover-ups and issues of genuine significance – the hoax that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden recently warned of a “solar flare killshot’ set to wipe out hundreds of millions of people in September.

Image: Edward Snowden

According to the original article, “Edward Snowden, hacker-fugitive and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, revealed Tuesday that a series of solar flares is set to occur in September, killing hundreds of millions of people. Documents provided by Snowden prove that, as of 14 years ago, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) remote viewers knew that the event was inevitable. Ever since, the world’s governments have quietly been trying to prepare for the sweeping global famine to result.”

The story has since gone viral, appearing on countless forums and websites and attracting thousands upon thousands of comments.

Like all popular hoaxes, the story has a thin veneer of authenticity. The sun is set to exhibit some strange behavior as a result of a magnetic field flip that occurs around once every 11 years. This will cause a “feverish” peak in solar activity, leading to more solar flares and coronal mass ejections, potentially disrupting satellites and power grids on earth but not leading to the slaughter of hundreds of millions of people.

Given that there are so many actual cover-ups, scandals and issues of real significance that we could be concentrating on, it’s really quite disappointing that so many people have wasted their energy on something that is so transparently false. The hoax also serves to distract from Snowden’s authentic revelations about NSA surveillance.

The source of the story can be traced back to ‘The Internet Chronicle’, which if you read the site’s ‘about’ page is clearly a satirical website which disseminates false and overtly ludicrous stories.

The website jokes that it originated, “After crash landing in an asteroid December 30th, 1976, the alien husks of Chronicle editors rapidly adapted to Earth climates and bacterial flora. They are able to survive naturally in the wild and reproduce freely.”

“Receiving tweets twice daily via fax from religious advisers impregnates our right-wing furnace of hate, enabling us to bring you the most horrifyingly sensational headlines you’ve ever seen, or your money back – guaranteed!” states the website.

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you that the website is a hoax, just take a look at the other headlines featured on the front page, many of which are based on bizarre manufactured stories involving Edward Snowden.

– Vatican Forces Storm Dome of the Rock, Pope names Snowden Messiah

– Edward Snowden killed by drone strike on Ecuadorian embassy

– Snowden Reveals Second Shooter in Zimmerman Case

– Snowden Granted Sainthood

– NSA Whistleblower Ed Snowden: Saddam Hussein did WTC 7

– Obama Pardons Edward Snowden

Other hoax stories appear with headlines like ‘Paula Deen commits suicide at 66′ and ‘Wendy’s unveils new hacker theme for restaurants’.

The gullibility of thousands upon thousands of people in falling for such a patent hoax because they didn’t spend 30 seconds checking the source only provides the mainstream media with more ammunition to shoot down very real cover-ups and conspiracies, such as the death of Michael Hastings, by lumping in genuine issues with baseless conspiracy theories such as the Edward Snowden ‘solar killshot’ hoax.