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NASA Warns of Magnetic Storm After Huge Solar Flare

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the nothing-wrong-with-a-little-glow-ball-warming dept.

NASA 84

coondoggie writes "NASA today said a strong-to-severe geomagnetic storm is in progress following a massive solar flare and coronal mass ejection (CME). CMEs are a solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and affect electronic systems in satellites and on Earth. Simulations indicate that solar wind plasma has penetrated close to geosynchronous orbit starting at 9am today. Geosynchronous satellites could therefore be directly exposed to solar wind plasma and magnetic fields. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras after nightfall, NASA stated."

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A bit late to the party? (5, Informative)

Jedi Holocron (225191) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526214)

Spaceweather.com is reporting this as subsiding....

SUBSIDING STORM: A severe geomagnetic storm (Kp=7-8) that began yesterday when a CME hit Earth's magnetic field is subsiding. At the peak of the disturbance, auroras were sighted around both poles and in more than five US states including Michigan, New York, South Dakota, Maine, and Minnesota:

Re:A bit late to the party? (1)

Iskender (1040286) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526568)

While Slashdot is late to the party here Spaceweather does say that people near the poles should still keep an eye out.

So the story essentially becomes: "If you're in Alaska, Northern Europe or somewhere similar there is a greater than usual chance of auroras today."

In the southern hemisphere only Antarctica is south enough and the people there probably don't need outside help in spotting auroras. =)

Re:A bit late to the party? (1)

xmorg (718633) | more than 3 years ago | (#37527486)

THE END IS NEAR!!! bring out your dead!!!

Re:A bit late to the party? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#37528172)

Oh please. There is no way a geometric storm could eff

Re:A bit late to the party? (1)

xmorg (718633) | more than 3 years ago | (#37585704)

see? poor guy died in the middle of his comment. why am i still alive?

Re:A bit late to the party? (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#37585820)

you lived long enough to hit the "submit" button for xmorg.

Re:A bit late to the party? (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#37527596)

Make that six states, then. I saw the aurora last night, just before midnight, in Alaska.

Re:A bit late to the party? (1)

Jedi Holocron (225191) | more than 3 years ago | (#37528884)

I think that was only the list of locations that were reporting photos to Spaceweather.com....at the time of the post.

Re:A bit late to the party? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37531274)

Note that they said "over 5 states", and listed the 5 where seeing the aurora might be considered newsworthy. It's rather common that the aurora is visible in some part of Alaska, if not the more densely inhabited parts.

Re:A bit late to the party? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37534578)

I'd like to see the Aurora where I am, but we have this low pressure front that's derping about like a very low powered and retarded version of a hurricane over the Great Lakes. Not space weather, but not considered the usual weather neither.

Considering /.'s lead time.... (1, Informative)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526228)

Considering /.'s lead time this warning would have been helpful last week.

I jest, I jest, this sounds cool. I hope I can see some of the show in the North East.

Re:Considering /.'s lead time.... (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526354)

Good thing they discovered superluminal neutrinos last week because you'll need a time machine.

Re:Considering /.'s lead time.... (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526406)

Oh you were lucky enough to actually find out from TFA when the storm will impact Earth..

Re:Considering /.'s lead time.... (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#37528424)

Well, that is part of my question around superluminal neutrinos. If they really worked that way, then couldn't you potentially detect a supernova weeks or months before it becomes visible via light/radio? The speed difference is small, but when the travel time is measured in decades to centuries a tiny percentage adds up.

Re:Considering /.'s lead time.... (1)

rgbatduke (1231380) | more than 3 years ago | (#37529506)

Except that they don't, in fact, observe neutrinos before supernovae. They arrive right when they "should", at or slightly after the light arrives. Bear in mind that \Delta t is 6x10^{-8} seconds over 500 miles. A light year is roughly 6 x 10^12 miles, so a supernova from hundreds to millions of LY away would produce neutrinos that arrive anywhere from hours to days or months before the light. And they don't, or at least no one has yet observed that they do. That is, it isn't really a tiny percentage, not tiny as in at all difficult to resolve. 60 nanoseconds is hundreds of CPU clock cycles -- your computer could resolve the timing to a couple of significant figures and I'm guessing state of the art clocks and transducers can do at least orders of magnitude better.

It's one of several reasons that people are skeptical about the superluminal result, one of several things that will ultimately have to be explained if the superluminal result is eventually validated.

rgb

Re:Considering /.'s lead time.... (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#37530616)

Yup, that was basically what I was getting at...

Re:Considering /.'s lead time.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37537066)

Except that they don't, in fact, observe neutrinos before supernovae. They arrive right when they "should", at or slightly after the light arrives.

Assuming that our theory about when they were generated in relation to the light is correct. A theory which was validated by watching the timings of the neutrinos vs. light. If the neutrinos don't actually emit until much later in the process, those measurements would actually supply proof of FTL neutrinos.

It's a chicken-and-egg game to rely on supernova as a yardstick for the issue, since we don't really know anything firsthand about the supernova event itself.
So this will either end up being:
a) shown to be a mistake, measurement error, etc. during the earth-based experiment
b) some new form of particle/neutrino/energy which isn't the same as what we observe in supernova
c) a mistake, error, etc. in our theory about how supernova operate.

Re:Considering /.'s lead time.... (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537256)

Except that they don't, in fact, observe neutrinos before supernovae. They arrive right when they "should", at or slightly after the light arrives. Bear in mind that \Delta t is 6x10^{-8} seconds over 500 miles. A light year is roughly 6 x 10^12 miles, so a supernova from hundreds to millions of LY away would produce neutrinos that arrive anywhere from hours to days or months before the light. And they don't, or at least no one has yet observed that they do. That is, it isn't really a tiny percentage, not tiny as in at all difficult to resolve. 60 nanoseconds is hundreds of CPU clock cycles -- your computer could resolve the timing to a couple of significant figures and I'm guessing state of the art clocks and transducers can do at least orders of magnitude better.

It's one of several reasons that people are skeptical about the superluminal result, one of several things that will ultimately have to be explained if the superluminal result is eventually validated.

The only supernova where neutrinos could be assigned to was 1987A, and the number counts (detailed on Wikipedia) were too low to state anything significant. However, there was a increase in neutrino counts 3 hours before the light arrived.

You also have to keep in mind that process producing the neutrinos in a SN could just be earlier. Yes, neutrino speed should be verified.

What is the point in reporting this? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37526368)

The storm had already passed by the time this article was posted.
This is something that should have been posted on Sunday.

Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (0)

xploraiswakco (703340) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526370)

Reading the article, 9am appears to be US Eastern time, and roughly 1300 UTC. As a New Zealander I do find it annoying when people fail to identify the timezone.

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37526466)

Being in the UK I assume that a time stated without reference is GMT... but then I would...

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37526554)

You should both assume that times given are local for the source. This being NASA and all...

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (0)

xploraiswakco (703340) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526620)

That still doesn't identify what timezone the source is, and if you RTFA NASA did identify the timezone, coondiggie failed properly repeat that detail.

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (1)

tag (22464) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526896)

You should both assume that times given are local for the source. This being NASA and all...

Would that be Kennedy Space Center (ET), Johnson Space Center (CT), White Sands (MT), JPL (PT) or some other NASA office in another time zone?

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37527598)

Would that be Kennedy Space Center (ET), Johnson Space Center (CT), White Sands (MT), JPL (PT) or some other NASA office in another time zone?

Another time zone? What are you talking about? You already listed all 4 of them. :)

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (1)

Known Nutter (988758) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526498)

er...

A CME that erupted from NOAA Active Region 1302 on Saturday September 24 in conjunction with an M7 strength solar flare, arrived this morning at 1237 UT (8:37am Eastern Time)

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37526504)

As a New Zealander I do find it annoying when people fail to identify the timezone.

On a US site? Or does it just bother you that your country doesn't have a site like this?

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (1)

xploraiswakco (703340) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526584)

The article was fine, /. is somewhat more international.

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526622)

As a New Zealander I do find it annoying when people fail to identify the timezone.

On a US site? Or does it just bother you that your country doesn't have a site like this?

As a west coast USian, i do find it annoying when people fail to identify the timezone.

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37527266)

This is a US site? A good portion of the readership is not from the US, I've never seen a policy anywhere on the site stating it was US only. It's US-centric, of course, but the users are what make the "nationality" of a site and clearly /.'s users come from all corners of the Earth. It's worth noting that this works both ways - when there's a story about research from Manchester university or whatever in the UK a lot of American users get annoyed that the country isn't properly identified and leads to confusion, there's really no excuse for such a lax approach to key details on a site with a strong technical/scientific/mathematical leaning regardless of where the domain was registered.

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (0, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526524)

9am appears to be US Eastern time, and roughly 1300 UTC. As a New Zealander I [have deluded myself that my opinion matters]

That's 9am Democracy Time, you piece of commie Eurotrash, and it's only by the grace of God and His Instrument Patton that you're not on Berlin time.

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37526552)

Would people like you just STFU? I don't care if it's meant to be funny in some fashion. It's just annoying.

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (2)

xploraiswakco (703340) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526576)

Wow, someone sounds like a typical american, can't tell one side of the world from the other (New Zealand is about as far from Europe as you can get, i.e. opposite side of the planet).

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526604)

And you sound like someone who has no sense of humor. It was obviously a joke.

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (1)

xploraiswakco (703340) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526702)

And mine wasn't? I guess we all lack a sense of humour.

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37526882)

one was funny. the other was quite unfunny, you piece of new zealand commie trash!!!

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#37527634)

It was funnier than the post you were responding to, but perhaps I lack a sense of humor as well :)

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37526588)

I'm having a hard time to decide what is funniest: the "Democracy Time" TZ, or the fact that New Zealand is not exactly a European country :)

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#37527624)

Eurotrash? I know the post was (supposed to be) in jest, but you do realize that New Zealand is nowhere near Europe, right?

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37532466)

But New Zealand is right next to Austria which is in Europe right?

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526564)

This is slashdot, you insensitive clod, we aren't supposed to just RTFS, we RTFA!

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (1)

xploraiswakco (703340) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526680)

True, but RTFS is supposed to help us decide if we want to RTFA, which kinda fails when we find ourselves feeling like we have to when we don't want to.

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#37535710)

Mostly we just RTFC.

Re:Sorry what time of day was that ?!? (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526638)

US Eastern time is the only time zone that matters.

Made for good photography! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37526522)

I got this shot of an aurora over Karlstad, Sweden last night http://i.imgur.com/fnbS4.jpg

Re:Made for good photography! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37527398)

Very nice looking. I'm jealous!

Re:Made for good photography! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37528054)

Wow! Thanks for sharing.

Re:Made for good photography! (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#37528102)

Nice!

Re:Made for good photography! (1)

ndap (141358) | more than 3 years ago | (#37528510)

First time I've seen Karlstad mentioned on Slashdot :) Was it taken on Kronoparken?

Re:Made for good photography! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37533416)

No, I am a student at Karlstad University, this was taken right outside of the Campus housing complex. I managed to capture some lights on the horizon tonight as well.
http://i.imgur.com/dD8bB.jpg

Re:Made for good photography! (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#37535676)

Thanks for sharing this as well. Looks like a long exposure, and the people stayed fairly still! The target is a good touch, it is crisp. Please post more if you have them.

Re:Made for good photography! (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 3 years ago | (#37530414)

Meanwhile, here in Oulu it was 8/8 cloud cover and lashing it down...

UTC motherfucker! Do you speak it?! (0)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526610)

I always love international websites posting things like "9 a.m.", because we only have 24+ timezones you know..

Say "a.m." again. Say "a.m." again. I dare you. I double-dare you, motherfucker. Say "a.m." one more goddamn time.

Re:UTC motherfucker! Do you speak it?! (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526690)

A.M. !

Re:UTC motherfucker! Do you speak it?! (1)

daid303 (843777) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526694)

Make that "we have only 1852 timezones you know..."

daid@DavidUbuntu:~$ find /usr/share/zoneinfo/ | wc -l
1852

Re:UTC motherfucker! Do you speak it?! (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#37527002)

Come now! Time zones have been updated several times since 1852. I mean, it's fine and dandy to commemorate when time signals were first telegraphed from Greenwich Royal Observatory, but for the most part cities were still on local solar time in 1852.

Re:UTC motherfucker! Do you speak it?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37529198)

That includes MANY duplicates, example: UTC-6 aka CST in North America is listed well over a dozen times not even counting cities listed (which would likely triple that or more).

The tz database lists 405 here:
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/List_of_tz_database_time_zones

Re:UTC motherfucker! Do you speak it?! (1)

lgarner (694957) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526760)

Nothing wrong with AM & PM, and it's unrelated to UTC. But, knowing the timezone would help, considering that the summary says it "has penetrated close to geosynchronous orbit starting at 9am today", while it's 8:10am here now. Must be those damn neutrinos again.

Re:UTC motherfucker! Do you speak it?! (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#37527082)

Well I don't know how or why you got modded flaimebait. That was pretty much my response, "9 AM? Where? How does that tell me anything?"

And yet, some moderator who has apparently never seen Pulp Fiction is too busy on his holy crusade for ambiguous units to figure out you were making a joke. Ah well, I giggled.

Re:UTC motherfucker! Do you speak it?! (1)

raluxs (961449) | more than 3 years ago | (#37527086)

Be thankful that he is not posting in swedish. No crees?

Re:UTC motherfucker! Do you speak it?! (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#37527116)

Because something coming from an administration of the US government on a very US-centric website won't be in one of about 4 time zones. Something coming from CERN or EU in general is in about 5 time zones. If the event is important enough, it's fairly easy to find out which of those time zones it applies to.

Re:UTC motherfucker! Do you speak it?! (1)

foog (6321) | more than 3 years ago | (#37528030)

Try chewing on: "Sunrise is at about 7 A.M. in autumn"

Re:UTC motherfucker! Do you speak it?! (1)

lahvak (69490) | more than 3 years ago | (#37528068)

From the reactions of other posters, it seems that the submitter not only failed to specify which "9 a.m." he is talking about, he also didn't properly specify which "today" he is talking about.

Re:UTC motherfucker! Do you speak it?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37528446)

Why its 9 All Morning. Well, 9 At Most. Anything but that crazy Latin "Ante Meridiem" which apparently means "before noon". Yes the website hits 24 time zones. Yes the former webmasters knew and understood the international nature of the site. Yes, the current webmasters are parochial yokels. They have never been more than 20 miles from home. They are doing the very best (given their nature and condition) that they can. When you complain about them, its like kicking a puppy that has two wheels for back legs, except here the problem is their "skewlin".

NASA giving excuses to my ISP (1)

martiniturbide (1203660) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526844)

..thanks NASA.. my ISP appreciate the excuse to give crappy internet service.

What a crock! (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#37526966)

I just don't buy the idea that a CME can really effect my interne,,@#!@@$@#$@#NO CARRIER

Re:What a crock! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37528184)

LOL

This story again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37527246)

It seems like I read stories that are slight variants on "solar storm threatens modern technology" several times a year. I can't remember ever reading a story documenting that any of the storms actually caused problems. Are the predictions poor/sensationalistic or are the effects real but so small as not to make it into the news cycle?

Re:This story again? (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 3 years ago | (#37527442)

I remember that one (straight from wikipedia):

On March 13, 1989 a severe geomagnetic storm caused the collapse of the Hydro-Québec power grid in a matter of seconds as equipment protection relays tripped in a cascading sequence of events.[2][9] Six million people were left without power for nine hours, with significant economic loss. The storm even caused aurorae as far south as Texas.[3] The geomagnetic storm causing this event was itself the result of a coronal mass ejection, ejected from the Sun on March 9, 1989.[10] The minimum of Dst was -589 nT.

Computer Problems (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 3 years ago | (#37527648)

Must be the reason why we have been having computer glitches all day.

paramagnetic aviaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37528086)

saw a bunch of ducks fly by, quacking like crazy at 9:25am.. and then saw a lot more of birds flying over south bay...

Re:paramagnetic aviaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37532656)

I wonder if such events actually do affect birds, whales, etc. Anyway, if you see Cheney, duck!

Just looked out the window ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#37528330)

... and its raining magnets.

The SOHO That Cried Wolf (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 3 years ago | (#37528368)

Knowledge and technology are all well and good, except when used for evil or to sell advertising, I guess...

A Solar Storm Strikes Earthâ"and Provides a Warning for the Future [time.com]

New Forecast: Sun's 'Superstorms' Could Doom Satellites [space.com]

Could The Sun Set Off The Next Big Natural Disaster? [smithsonianmag.com]

PS: The sun will go supernova in the near future. Please panic accordingly. :-)

Re:The SOHO That Cried Wolf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37533194)

The Sol couldn't ever go supernova because it is too small. it also has things swirling around it, trapped in a web.

EMP Magnetic Storm Ate My Homework (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37528520)

We don't need the news as it's happening. We just need it on a timely enough basis to form excuses based on it.

I'm safe ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 3 years ago | (#37528716)

... I unplugged my Dishnet.

Re:I'm safe ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37531562)

I'm safer.

I redirected my Dishnet to aim to concentrate their harmful rays at Krypton. They've been lording their red sun over us for far too long. Now I'm free of their meddling in my affairs.

Our Sun has spoken. (1)

Rashdot (845549) | more than 3 years ago | (#37528848)

I wonder what she said.

Deniers! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37529442)

And yet you deniers still insist that there i no global warming! This Magnetic Storm is proof that Global Warming exists, and is caused by man! The excess Co2 in the atmosphere is affecting the solar corona and causing excessive heat, which causes the retsyn in the sun to explode! In a few months, Al Gore will release his latest movie predicting these flairs!

x-plane function n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37533000)

Account that the satellite stands closer, and the distance therefor, claiming all is relative, could be bended light...

So by approximation it would only say we swing around the sun, slower or faster, causing disruption in the already weak magnetic field, made up out of the proto-sphere, the hemisphere, the stratosphere, and the Ozone layer.. ergo O-Zone.

this could be an x which is of course the relative, of the figure of speech. Hence, x === !n+1 ^ -1 +n0.-E. =~ making O an integer. Hence spectra. Omni. and bended light. Also the sun imploded and exploded at a pace of 12 times in 8 seconds, or something, but of course when you look at the clouds, they stand still. But actually they are traveling a 600,000 f/s. Airplanes only lift a piece of up towards the heavy object the sun in the rotation, and the Cosmos is wind. Ergo, swirl, being a hole of wind underneath.

An air pocket, Atlas

If they say so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37535684)

I have been seeing these warnings for as long as I can remember. Never once have I been affected by them or seen anything happen from them.

Good night! (1)

madhi19 (1972884) | more than 3 years ago | (#37536136)

Remember this kids while you go to sleep every day of your life you're about 8 minutes from getting fried by a massive Superflare from that big fusion engine up in the sky. Sleep well!
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