You may recall that I blogged the other day about a geomagnetic storm heading in the direction of Earth.
Well, I didn’t know that the Sun fired off another solar storm at our planet Wednesday until this morning.
From Tariq Malik, managing editor of SPACE.com, Thursday evening:
The sun fired off an intense solar storm at Earth Wednesday (Aug. 21) — the second in two days — hurtling billions of tons of charged particles at our planet…
The solar eruption, called a coronal mass ejection, occurred yesterday at 1:24 a.m. EDT (0524 GMT) and sent charged particles streaking outward at 380 miles per second. That’s just over 1.3 million mph (2.2 million km/h). The solar fallout from the sun storm is expected to reach Earth within the next three days.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, this storm shouldn’t pose a threat to humans on Earth.
Late this afternoon, I thought to myself, “I wonder if there’s some resource out there that tracks severe space weather and attempts to forecast the resulting geomagnetic storms affecting Earth?”
Why would I be interested in something like that?
Back on August 16, 2011, I blogged about the potential consequences of a wicked solar storm. According to one estimate, a severe one could cause $1 trillion to $2 trillion in losses the first year, and take 4 to 10 years to fully recover from.
Personally, I suspect the carnage would be worse.
Getting to work, I queried “space geomagnetic storm forecast” on an Internet search engine and came across something called “TESIS.” From their website:
The TESIS is a set of solar imaging instruments developed by the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Science, and launched aboard the Russian spacecraft CORONAS-PHOTON in January 30, 2009. The main goal of the TESIS is to provide complex observations of solar active phenomena from the transition region to the inner and outer solar corona with high spatial, spectral and temporal resolution in the EUV and Soft X-ray spectral bands.
The TESIS includes five unique space instruments to observe the inner and outer solar corona from 0.2 to 4 solar radii in spectral band 290-320 A. With the advanced capabilities of its instruments, the TESIS will help better understand the physics of solar flares and high-energy phenomena and provide new data on parameters of solar plasma in the temperature range 105- 107 K.
The TESIS experiment started in the deep minimun between the 23rd and the 24th cycles of solar activity and planned to continue through all the razing phase of new cycle till 2012-1013…
TESIS main tasks
-The study of mechanisms of solar wind generation and coronal heating.
-The development of methods for space weather forecasting.
-The study of the production and evolution of high-temperature plasmas in the corona.
-The analysis of processes of magnetic energy accumulation and release before and during flares.
Did you guys understand all that? I sure didn’t. And I’m a fan of astronomy.
The thing that counts is, the TESIS website has a page dedicated to “Geomagnetic Activity Forecast” under “The Sun Today” in the main menu.
For each calendar day, the following is provided:
-”24-hours forecast of magnetic storms”
-”27-days forecast of magnetic storms”
-”3-day forecast of solar activity”
-”27-days forecast of solar activity”
As it stands right now late Friday night:
-24-hour forecast of magnetic storms: “Magnetic disturbances are expected”
-27-day forecast of magnetic storms: Geomagnetic distrbances are expected on September 1, 11, and 12
-3-day forecast of solar activity: The probability of a “strong magnetic storm” reaches 10 percent on Sunday (with strong defined as level G3 or higher)
-27-day forecast of solar activity: Solar activity is expected on September 1, 11, and 12
(Editor’s note: According to the NOAA Space Weather Scale for Geomagnetic Storms, a level G3 storm could result in the following:
Power systems: voltage corrections may be required, false alarms triggered on some protection devices.
Spacecraft operations: surface charging may occur on satellite components, drag may increase on low-Earth-orbit satellites, and corrections may be needed for orientation problems.
Other systems: intermittent satellite navigation and low-frequency radio navigation problems may occur, HF radio may be intermittent, and aurora has been seen as low as Illinois and Oregon (typically 50° geomagnetic lat.))
The TESIS Geomagnetic Activity Forecast looks promising. The site correctly-predicted “geomagnetic disturbances” for both August 20 and 21. And as long as it remains up-and-running, I’ll try to make it a point to stop by the web site on a regular basis in an attempt to keep abreast of severe space weather coming the planet’s way.
You can view the forecast on the TESIS website here.
(Editor’s note: Link added to “Resources” page)
Malik, Tariq. “Sun Unleashes Another Solar Storm Aimed at Earth.” SPACE.com. 22 Aug. 2013. (http://www.space.com/22490-sun-unleashes-solar-storm-at-earth.html). 23 Aug. 2013.
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