Sunday, August 7, 2011

Coronal Mass Ejections and You

This past week there were several medium to large Coronal Mass Ejections, otherwise known as solar flares. As the resulting electromagnetic pulses, travelling at about four million miles per hour, collide with Earth’s magnetic field, there will be increased Northern Light activity, and also sporadic disruptions of Radio and Satellite signals.

So what does that mean for you and I?

Well, if you’re far enough north (Maine), and the conditions are right, it means that you may be treated to some strange and beautiful light shows in the night sky. It also means that the satellite feed your cable company gets could suffer periodically, as well as the signals from the GPS satellites.

We we’re up in Maine this weekend and we went down to the beach to star gaze, but it was too overcast to see any Aurora activity. We did however suffer from some strange tics in the cable feed, and when we started our car to leave, the GPS put us squarely in the Atlantic Ocean. It stayed pegged to that spot, just off the coast, until we hit the Hampton tolls, then all of a sudden it came back to life, plopping us on I95, where we belonged.


Anyways, it seems we’re in a period of increased solar activity that won’t peak until 2013, so keep a weather eye to the sky, just be sure you have those polarized Ray Bans on, can’t be too careful. Matter of fact, I just finished fashioning myself a jaunty little tin foil cap, and I think I have enough left to line a couple of pairs of shorts.

That is all.

No comments: