Repent: Coronal Mass Ejection Heading Our Way


Okay. For fuck's sake, what really is going to happen in 2012? I'm more than ready to chalk all this nonsense up to the latest in Y2K, but then weirdass stories like this one come out.

Is it peak oil? "Change of consciousness"? Indigo children? "The Rapture"? Global warming? I mean, what the fuck.
On second thought, forgive my momentary indulgence in superstition. Now moving on...
President Heidi Montag

Also, hooray the sun is active again! Aurorae!
I've been needing something to add a bit of excitement to my life. Massive world upheaval and chaos just might be the thing to bring me out of my slump.
Whatever. I love watching these solar storms hit our ionosphere. Surely I cannot be the only one to remember the awesomesalad aurora over Seattle in November 2004? You could see that even through the skyglow of downtown.

Also, welcome to risk assessment 101, people. There's always a risk to stability. Either suck it up or crumble.
Clearly it's the first -or is it?!- horse(man) of the apocalypse... I thought, on first glance, that it looked like a dragon.

No link to the geophysical institute? You can get forecasts, best times of year for viewing, a lot of good stuff...
I try really hard to avoid bad Nicolas Cage movies (and there's no shortage of them), but somehow Knowing slipped through my defenses. Yuck. One of the worst movies I've seen in a long time.

Solar flares are cool. But if they knock out my Crackberry, I'm gonna be pissed.
@5 Yeah I had my hopes up for an Aurora too since it is supposed to be clear Thursday/Friday night.

I can't wait for the CME's X class flares & all the fun stuff to start up again. I got some amazing photos in 2004 and my present camera is far superior.
HOLY SHIT that movie sucked. Even though it had Nicholas Cage in it, the plot had such promise ... until you got to the end and discovered that everything that happened had no real purpose except to keep CGI people employed for one more movie.
Check out this cool sequence of images of the coronal ejection taken by the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, orbiting in the first Lagrange Point between us and the Sun...…

Larry Niven wrote a great short story about a massive solar event cooking half the planet (the half opposite from the main characters), called "Inconstant Moon"...
Damn hipsters and their fixies. They're responsible for this?
President Heidi Montag

I blame socialism and the homosexual agenda.

"Before we go jumping to conclusions, take a step back and think this through. Like most of the various ways the world is going to end in 2012, the possibility of the Sun blasting out a huge, Earth-damaging solar flare is very attractive to the doomsayers out there. But let's have a look at what really happens during an Earth-directed solar flare event, the Earth is actually very well protected. Although some satellites may not be…"

Here is a long list of failed doomsday predictions to which 2012 will be added.

I KNOW it would be bad if a massive solar flare burned out our electrical grid, and yet I can't help but think that, hey, at least it would be a powerful incentive to replace some of our obsolete, crumbling infrastructure.

Anyway, seriously, costing the US $1-2 trillion is a long, long way from the "end of the world."
@14 - that article doesn't address the original post's point about the vulnerability of our electrical grid (in fact it mentions the solar-flare-induced failure of the Quebec grid in 1989).

"OMG a giant killer flare is going to hit earth and we're all going to fry!" is definitely in the class of overhyped doomsday predictions - the network weaknesses of our grid to disruption by current overloading is a documented and real concern.
Actually, I'm pretty amused by that article's (14's) assertion that disruption/loss of GPS, other satellite communications, and national power grids is a minor, secondary concern (which I guess it is, compared to being actually, physically, fried by our own sun).

In truth, our society is so overdependent on technology that the idea of losing it all at once is terrifying (that's why we spend time/effort/money on protecting it from, well, *terrorists*).
Ever since GoldenEye, I've been waiting for this.
Solar flares are as unpredictible as earthquakes. The idea that there will be one at a specific time in 2 years is just silly.
And the Mayans predicted nothing for 2012. Their calendar ticks over at the first digit, but doesn't even add a new one. The new date, IIRC, will be up from That's like going from 1999 to 2000, a lot of zeros but hardly a calendar ender.
Wake me in time for the next doomsday.
Oh, 1859, how hath you skipped over us (sorta).
In 2012 anti-Christ Sara Palin will win the presidential election. The Mayans were right. It's the end of the world!
Let's see the sun try to be more scary than that.
@13 beat me to it. I'd ad Haiti on that list.
From NOAA:"Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to remain quiet for the next three days (15-17 April). Revised estimates for yesterdays partial-halo CME speed indicate a probable arrival of the flank of the CME at Earth sometime on 18 April."

Sad! @5,8: I also remember 2004's flares. Of course, those X-class flares hit during the trough of the solar cycle, making @19's point. I've kept on some of NOAA's alert emails since around 1999 and have been known to go to Canada on a whim with a good friend when the Kp shoots to 7 or up, so I'm also looking forward to the next couple springs and falls as the sunspots start to ramp back up.

This is the nerdiest thing I may have ever posted in a public forum.
Juris, I watched POES very closely during April 2002 and, when a peak was imminent, I then ran out with my tripod and camera to the nearby city park to capture those 8+ level auroral flares.

So nerd away! :)
that's a relief.
cause $1-2 Trillion is the actual no bullshit cost of Obama's health care scam/sham....
@26: Haha. You're funny.

It's just too bad we have actual numbers on that, because I was really looking to pull some "actual no bullshit" estimates out of my ass too.

(Bonus hint: The "actual cost" is higher than $1-2 trillion.)

Damn, @26, we're discussing potentially world-ending astrophysical phenomena and you still can't stop whining about the health care bill? It's not so much the obsession that bothers me as the utter lack of perspective.
Here's how it will go down in 2012. The earth magnetic field reverses itself ever 10,000 years or so. Scientific evidence has shown that it is growing increasingly unstable. So in 2012 the magnetic field will shut off as it makes the switch, and a coronal mass ejection will coincide with the event. Normally the magnetic field protects us from dangerous space radiation. Those that can get deep underground will survive, but the earth will continue rotating and as it spins people will kick off.
@29: The magnetic field does not "shut off". It just becomes very chaotic and therefore weaker, with a lot of mini-poles scattered across the whole globe. It could be bad, but not as bad as you suggest. And we'd all see some very pretty auroras.
Normal activity that's all! No, 2012 will not bring the end either!