A powerful M9-class solar storm that unleashed a coronal mass ejection toward Earth in the early hours of Jan. 23, 2012 (GMT).CREDIT: NASA/SDO/SOHO
January 23, 2012: Solar Flare the size of the moon erupted on the Sun. Size of M9.
Solar Flare Sizes:
X: The strongest type of solar eruption is class X
M: These flares are medium-strength events.
C: These represent the weakest and class
Didn't we just have a massive solar flare? Actually we did. Here's a list of recent big ones:
Dec 2006: X-9
Feb 2011: X-2.2
June 7th, 2011: M Size
August 8th, 2011: M-2 Size
Why so Many Flares? Answer: An 11 Year Cycle:
This flare is the one of the largest ones yet in the sun's current cycle, which began in 2008 and is expected to last until around 2020. Solar activity waxes and wanes over an 11-year sun weather cycle, with the star currently heading toward a solar maximum in 2013.
One observation on the level of activity we are seeing:
This intense level was last seen in the late 1800's with Northern Lights being observed as far south as Cuba. But the US and Canada was not electrified then. If we see similar levels again, there could be massive power outages and fried communication satellites that would cause many months of outage and disruption. Blame it on the Maxwell equations, or on the aligning of events before the return of the Lord.
For previous posts on Solar Flares:
August 2009: Solar Flares Heating Up
January 2009: Scientists Warm of Coming Catastrophe
Space.com: Huge Solar Flare Eruption
The signs in the stars and the heavens are one the of the most concrete specific prophecies made by Jesus Christ as he foretold that these signs would increase before his return to earth.
25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
An immense blast of plasma spewed late Sunday night from the sun led to the strongest radiation storm bombarding our planet since 2005, and a rare warning from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency -- and even a plan to redirect certain high-flying airplanes.NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center -- the nation’s official source of warnings about space weather and its impact on Earth -- issued a watch for a geomagnetic storm expected to hit our planet Tuesday morning after a satellite witnessed an ultraviolet flash from the massive solar eruption, according to Spaceweather.com.There is no risk to people on Earth, Doug Biesecker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center told FoxNews.com.But as a rare precaution, polar flights on Earth are expected to be re-routed, Kathy Sullivan, deputy administrator of NOAA, said today at a Meteorological Society meeting in New Orleans, La., according to Space.com.Eruptions on the sun shoot tremendous streams of charged particles away from the star -- in this case directly towards us."There is little doubt that the cloud is heading in the general direction of Earth," Spaceweather.com announced in an alert. The blast from the immense solar radiation storm let loose with a so called coronal mass ejection (CME) that will hit the atmosphere Tuesday morning, something NASA and NOAA monitor for as it could cause problems for astronauts, communications satellites, and even rocket launches.“A preliminary inspection of SOHO/STEREO imagery suggests that the CME will deliver a strong glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 24-25 as it sails mostly north of our planet," SpaceWeather’s bulletin read.It could also affect navigation and the power grid.The solar flare spat out late Sunday, Jan. 22, at 10:59 p.m. EST was rated an M9-class eruption -- nearly an X-class flare, the most powerful type of solar storm.NASA spokeswoman Kelly Humphries told Space.com the six spaceflyers currently living and working on the orbiting outpost are not in any danger.
"The flight surgeons have reviewed the space weather forecasts for the flare and determined that there are no expected adverse effects or actions required to protect the on-orbit crew," Humphries told SPACE.com in an email.
The flare led to the largest radiation storm of its kind since 2005 -- one still only described as a three on the scale of one to five, Biesecker told AFP.NOAA measures geomagnetic storms on a five-point scale from 1 to 5. G1 storms are minor, leading to weak power grid fluctuations and having only minor impact on satellites. G5 storms are extreme, leading to widespread voltage control problems, damage to transformers, radio outages and satellite problems.NOAA warned that of geomagnetic storms on Tuesday as well -- another result of the flare. They may be as strong as G3, causing intermittent navigation issues and problems with low-Earth satellites.The sun's activity waxes and wanes on an 11-year cycle, Space.com reported. Currently, activity in Solar Cycle 24 is expected to ramp up toward a "solar maximum" in 2013.
This still from a NASA space observatory video shows one view of a powerful, M9-class solar storm that unleashed a coronal mass ejection toward Earth in the early hours of Jan. 23, 2012 (GMT).