Solar Sector Boundary Crossing Coincides With Historic 150th Anniversary

September 2nd marks a historic 150th anniversary. On this day in 1859 miners in Virginia woke at 3 am thinking glowing skies signaled sunrise. From the North Pole to Cuba, Hawaii, most of Mexico, parts of Central America and Colombia, China and Japan, brilliant auroras delivered a electromagnetic circus. All across Europe and North America telegraph wires sparked, stations caught fire, some operators reported sending and receiving messages even after disconnecting power lines.

150 years ago British astronomer Richard Carrington witnessed a unprecedented solar flare – today we know it as the Carrington Event. A similar event today would devastate life as we know it. Ponder weeks, months, possibly years without electricity, internet, ATMs, GPS, power to pump water and fuel, air, road or rail travel. Space weather is real and it matters.

Image result for carrington event

https://www.history.com/news/a-perfect-solar-superstorm-the-1859-carrington-event

On September 3rd space weather predicts a solar sector boundary crossing.

Our sun produces wind (currently 316.9 Km/second) blasts across the cosmos. Just like Earth, the Sun has a magnetic field – known as the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF).  Whipped into spiral rotation, wind driven IMF rotates in one direction. It divides into spiral sections pointing to and away from the sun along the ecliptic plane ( a direct line between Earth and the Sun). The edge of this swirling mass has a surface separating polarities of planetary and solar magnetism called the heliosphere current sheet.

http://spaceweather.com/glossary/imf.html

Earth’s magnetic field points north at the magnetopause (the point of contact between our magnetosphere and the IMF). If the IMF happens to point south at contact (scientific term, southward Bz) the two fields link causing partial cancellation of Earth’s magnetic field – in other words, opening a temporary door for solar energy to enter our atmosphere. Welcome solar sector boundary crossing – a phenomenon born of high solar wind and coronal mass ejections (CME’s – aka solar flares).

It takes 3 or 4 days for magnetism to sort itself out – during that time expect occasional high frequency radio wave disruption,  wonky GPS and cell phone service peppered with sudden power grid failure events. On the upside, we’re treated to kick ass auroras.

Space weather really does matter.

6 thoughts on “Solar Sector Boundary Crossing Coincides With Historic 150th Anniversary

  1. Various cranks, nuts, and loonies tell us that some of the damage to ancient constructions was by ‘solar cataclysm’ events.

    Brien Foerester has some interesting u-tube stuff claiming such; several of these guys specifically mention the ‘front facing’ damage to the Colossi Of Memnon.

    Perhaps they aren’t nutters after all? Naaaaaahhhh …

    • YouTube nutters are thicker than peanut butter in kindergarten lunch boxes. Space weather (solar wind and plasma streams) strike our atmosphere, not physical structures on the surface.Solar storms are responsible for electromagnetic pulses, extreme aurora activity, disruption of radio frequencies, GPS and satellite communication. So unless ancient structures were power plants YouTube nincompoops are barking up the wrong tree. 🙂

      • Now we know … but to the uninitiated (moi) what they say made sense. (Looking at some of the videos I couldn’t think of any alternatives myself …)

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