Monday, 16 January 2017

Coronal Mass Ejection

You want a meaning of life, I'll give you one. Our tenure on this planet may have some time to run ....it may not. There is no raison d'etre and it's time to wake up to our own insignificance. It is sheer arrogance to believe we are in some way special, we're not. Without this purpose, there is no meaning and looking for one is detrimental to how we as a species live our lives.

It is detrimental in that we each are given this gift of life. However you choose to believe this came about is your business and I respect that, but you must respect that this is indeed a once in a lifetime opportunity. Life is to be enjoyed and we must do our best to make sure everybody does so. We should enhance this experience, there is enough natural adversity without heaping more on ourselves.

Can you imagine how well we could manage the planet if everybody worked towards a common cause. We are merely short-term tenants that can be eradicated as quickly and easily as the dinosaurs. If you can brighten just one stranger's day, and they in turn do the same, within a year the whole planet will be happy. It doesn't have to be a gift or even a helping hand, the power of a smile is not to be underestimated.

By the standards today, as kids we had nothing. The fields, beaches, rivers, hills, woods, ponds, etc., were our playgrounds and we were happy that way. I've always had this feeling that technology is a really bad thing. It's not even the fact I believe it to make people moody and aggressive. The biggest concern is how we would do without it. If we were suddenly to lose our satellites and computer systems imagine the chaos. This is going to happen one day, just as it would have done many times in the past had we the technology back then.

The cause will be a Coronal Mass Ejection that follows a solar flare. The flare will hit in 8 minutes but the CME can take 3 or 4 days to reach us. The clip below shows the affect the CME has on us....



The clip mentions the Carrington Event of 1859 was when during a 'Solar Superstorm' a particularly strong CME hit Earth with devastating affects. In brief, Sunspots are the cause of solar flares and CME's. sunspot activity is at its height during Solar Maxima which occur on average every 11 years. It is my belief a 'Superflare' occurs as a result of one flare following directly in the 'wake' of another. Whether I'm right or not, from August 28 to September 2, 1859, numerous sunspots were observed.

'The aurora could be seen almost to the tropics, giving an indication of just how much of the Earth could be affected. A flare associated with a major CME that took only 17.6 hours to reach Earth instead of the usual 3/4 days. It is believed that the relatively high speed of this CME was made possible by a prior CME, On September 1–2, 1859, one of the largest recorded geomagnetic storms (as recorded by ground-based magnetometers) occurred. Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed, in some cases giving telegraph operators electric shocks. Telegraph pylons threw out sparks and some operators could continue to send and receive messages despite having disconnected their power supplies' 

We can only guess what a similar event would do today.


The thing is, this is not a rare occurrence and we will get hit again by a big one. It won't wipe out life on Earth but it will wipe out technology. No computers, no phones, no access to money, no knowledge of what is going on elsewhere, no petrol pumps, the list is endless. The only thing that won't be in short supply is chaos. Scientists try to predict when another may occur by ice core samples but it is impossible to tell as there are too many unknown variables. All we know is it can happen any time. The Carrington Event occurred two years before the Solar Maximum of solar cycle 10 but other so far less severe events have occurred at different points in the cycle.

Less severe storms have occurred in 1921 and 1960, resulting in reports of widespread radio disruption. In March 1989 a geomagnetic storm knocked out power across large sections of Quebec. On July 23, 2012 a "Carrington-class" Solar Superstorm (Solar flare, Coronal mass ejection, Solar EMP) was observed; its trajectory missed Earth in orbit. Information about these observations was first shared publicly by NASA on April 28, 2014.

There is another problem associated with these solar maxima, although I'm not sure science has yet found 'evidence to support it' in the increased tectonic activity and weird weather patterns with storms intensifying. This is merely conjecture on my part and hey, what do I know, I haven't got a white coat and a pencil stuck behind my ear.

Although I never thought for a moment the world would end in 2012, it could so easily have been curtains for mankind.

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